GPA to increase pressure on the GAA following Croke Park's rejection of Championship reform

The GPA's proposal was rejected for "reasons we are not satisfied with" and the GPA are planning a response

BY Robbie Dunne 09:42 Saturday 23 January 2016, 9:42 23 Jan 2016

The GPA appear to be responding to criticism of their work recently by urging their members to discuss "as a matter of urgency" the rejection of a possible reform to the All-Ireland football series before deciding how to respond to the rejection.

The GPA say their championship plan was "rejected for reasons we are not satisfied with" and are opening up the avenues of discussion to see what their members think after Central Council rejected the proposal in the belief that the new structure would create more fixtures.

The GPA's proposal would see a league-based play-off involving eight teams of four groups after the provincial championships, which would remain the same. The remaining 24 teams from the league play-off would then advance to the knock-out stages.

According to the Irish Independent, The GPA have asked their members "what action should be taken in response to the current situation; what level of disillusionment prevails among players over current structures; what appetite is there for structural change?" in an effort to better understand what the general sense is amongst the football playing body.

Colm O'Rourke criticized the GPA's work last week in his column in the Irish Independent stating, "There is no progress on a properly planned fixture list to protect players."

The Meath man was on Off The Ball this week to discuss his stance and offered his opinion on the championship structure debate and player welfare, which is what is at the heart of the matter.

The GPA are against a 'B' Championship but believe their new championship structure would help club players to plan their seasons around the inter-county scene. They are also adamant that a 'round robin' format would improve the overall structure of the All-Ireland and lead to a better championship for everyone involved.


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