GAA FIXTURES REVIEW – GPA MEMBERS HAVE THEIR SAY
As part of the overall GAA fixtures review the GPA have consulted extensively with their members. The player consultation was carried out through membership surveys, player focus groups, feedback from GPA player representatives around the country and discussions at the recent AGM.
Below are the key findings:
- More championship games over the summer months is something the players liked and would like to see more of
- Almost three-quarters of players were satisfied that the new competition format allowed for a sufficient number of games against teams of equal standard. However, satisfaction was greater among hurlers (90%) than footballers (53%)
- There has been a shift on views on a tiered championship, especially in football with 60% of football members now supporting a change.
- There is a lack of any meaningful off season for players echoing the recent ESRI report findings
- In relation to feedback on ‘April Club Month’ players had differing views and each county seems to interpret it differently. Over 50 squads said that they were expected to train with their county as well as club in April.
- Last week the GPA presented these finding to the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) and made the following recommendations:
- A task force to be set up to with all relevant bodies with the aim of delivering effective change. This group should have an urgent mandate to deliver change quickly
- In advance of any future change to the football championships there must be consultation with the GPA
- There should be an urgent review of the closed-season policies in the GAA to address the issues of players having little or no time off.
Paul Flynn, CEO of the GPA said, “The fixtures conversation is an important one and players are at the heart of it. We wanted to hear the players’ experience of the 2018 season so that we could bring it to the attention of the GAA and push hard for player centred change. We now have a strong mandate from our members to demand real and meaningful change to the fixtures schedule to allow players to better manage the intense demands of the modern game. We all want to ensure that the game flourishes into the future. It’s essential that the players voice is heard and respected by the decision makers in the GAA and the GPA will be focused hard on ensuring that this happens.”