Dermot Earley highlights "disconnect" between players and the GAA

The Gaelic Players Association (GPA) chief executive was speaking to Oisin Langan at today's GAA Congress

BY Cian Roche 16:03 Saturday 25 February 2017, 16:03 25 Feb 2017

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

Gaelic Players Association (GPA) chief executive Dermot Earley says there is a "disconnect" between the GAA and the players around the country.

The GAA passed three of its major restructure motions on Saturday and one of those was the introduction of the proposed 'Super 8' proposal.

Earley had said in his opposition to the proposal that there was not enough consultation with players around the country, a stance he reiterated this afternoon.

"We're very disappointed," he said. "Just on behalf of our players I think one of the big issues is that they would have felt that they weren't consulted.

"I know in response to that comment that I made, Páraic would have felt that there was a lot of consultation that took place. I think there is a disconnect of going down and actually speaking to the players, as opposed to speaking to clubs and that.

"We surveyed our players and got down to each and every panel within the country. It came back unanimous that they weren't in favour of this.

"The reason being was that the so-called 'lower tier' counties felt like there was nothing in it for them. I suppose in hindsight if you look at the Laois proposal, at least there was games at the start of the Championship.

"I think it was disappointing, from my point of view, that the motion that will effect our inter-county players was ignored.

"They might have said they consulted with everybody but they didn't actually get down and ask the players, which is what we did. Now I do accept the point that there was a little delay getting out there. But I suppose with a transition and everything that's going on.

"At the same time, it was quite clear that the players came back and 70% were not in favour."

Earlier this afternoon, Motion 41 - a motion that sought to recognise the Club Players Association as the official representative body for club players at all grades eligible to play for adult teams - was withdrawn after it faced opposition from several county delegates.

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