Ciaran Whelan points to a 'distinct lack of respect' from the GAA in Kildare fixture debacle
Former Dublin midfielder Ciaran Whelan has said that the GAA should take a 'long, hard look at themselves' after the Kildare fixture debacle this week.
Kildare will take on Mayo at St Conleth's Park in Newbridge on Saturday but the match was originally scheduled for a double header alongside Tyrone and Cavan at Croke Park.
Kildare manager Cian O'Neill and the Kildare county board both protested the decision and threatened a no show for the round three All-Ireland qualifier which ultimately prompted the GAA to relocate the fixture to St Conleth's Park in Newbridge.
The GAA said that the decision to play the game at Croke Park was due to 'safety concerns' around supporters trying to attend the match and categorically denied that there were financial motivations in scheduling the match at Croke Park.
Whelan said that the GAA's failure to consult both teams before deciding the location of the fixture pointed to a distinct lack of respect from the association.
"Those at headquarters really need to take a long, hard look at themselves, and they were certainly erroneous in not analysing every possible scenario and eventuality prior to the draw been made," Whelan wrote in his column in The Herald newspaper.
"Releasing confirmed fixtures hours after the draw without detailed engagement with the key stakeholders points to a distinct lack of respect."
Whelan's sentiments were echoed by GAA Hour host Colm Parkinson who pointed to numerous examples of the GAA making decisions on games without consulting players.
"It was a build up of so many decisions by the GAA without consulting players that didn't really have players' situation in mind," Parkinson said on the latest episode of The GAA Hour.
"We saw it in the league this year, we saw them changing games from a Sunday to a bank holiday Monday without any consultation with players.
"We saw Laois being sent to Nolan Park to play Dublin instead of at home. We saw Carlow being sent to O'Moore Park instead of playing them in Carlow.
"We saw Wicklow not allowed play them in Aughrim, all to satisfy supporters. Not a notion given to what actually suits players.
"We see Kildare being sent to Croke Park, we see Dublin being given two Super 8 games in Croke Park, all for financial purposes and not, for what as far as I'm concerned, are the most important people in the GAA: the players."