The GPA elaborate on their 'Super 8' rejection

The annual GAA congress is taking place this weekend

BY Sinéad Farrell 11:25 Thursday 23 February 2017, 11:25 23 Feb 2017

GPA Chairman Seamus Hickey Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

The GPA has released a statement, elaborating on why its members have voted to reject the proposal to introduce a round robin format at the quarter final stage of the All-Ireland football championship.

The GPA's President Seamus Hickey previously revealed their stance on the Super 8 proposal to Newstalk's Off The Ball last night ahead of the annual GAA Congress coming up this weekend.

Today's statement, which outlines five reasons for their rejection, reads:

"Following extensive consultation with County squads on motions regarding the GAA's revised format for the All Ireland Senior Football Championship, the GPA has been mandated by members to vote against the proposal to introduce a round robin format at the quarter final stage."

"Changes in relation to bringing forward the All Ireland finals from September to August and the proposal for extra time to decide all drawn games, with the exception of finals, have been unanimously welcomed by all inter county squads."

"While the GPA welcomes changes to the status quo, the proposals put forward by the GAA are not sufficient to support the growing consensus for change among players at both county and club level and administrators and supporters."

Commenting on why the members do not accept the proposed amendments to the quarter-final stages, the statement indicates that there is a lack of 'meaningful consultation with players regarding all aspects of the proposal.'

It also claims that the proposal does not serve teams who come from 'lower ranked counties' and 'will do little to alleviate the increasing gap between higher and lower ranked counties.'

In relation to the provincial championships, the statement says:

"There will be no incentive for provincial winners over other teams who qualify for the quarter-final stage. Provincial winners would now have to play an additional three games in order to reach the semi-final. Provincial winners would now have to play an additional three games in order to reach the semi-final."

Chief Executive of the GPA, Dermot Earley, said :

"The inter county game is the pinnacle at which players at all levels strive to play at. The idea of players participating in a competition with a revised format which does not have the support of over 70% of squads is something the GPA finds impractical. The GPA is calling on delegates to oppose the motion being put to the GAA Congress this weekend."

He added:

"The GPA is reiterating the need for meaningful collaborative engagement with all stakeholders to bring about agreed change which is critically important to the future of our games. The GPA feels that any change should also be cognisant of the impact on all competitions including the All Ireland Hurling Championship, Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher Cups."

The CPA has also rejected the proposals which will be discussed at the Congress.

Liam Griffin of the CPA spoke on Off The Ball last night and expressed his disappointment that nobody from the group will be allowed to speak at Congress.

Image: Liam Griffin (red)

"What can I say? It's very disappointing. We're all members of the Association, every single one of us are volunteers and people who have been at the coalface," he said, before touching how the Gaelic Players Association as well as the CPA have now rejected the "Super 8" proposals

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