The GPA have released a statement which responds to the damning views of Jarlath Burns 5 years ago

The GPA have released a statement which responds to the damning views of Jarlath Burns

We are getting no closer to the truth of what is going on here.

There has been a lot of fallout since congress passed the controversial proposals to re-structure the All-Ireland Football Championship.

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The motion, which will see a round-robin format (Super 8) introduced to the quarter-final stages, has received a lot of criticism, with many arguing that it will only widen the gap between the stronger and weaker counties.

The Gaelic Players Association (GPA) voted against the proposal.

They outlined the reasons for their stance three days before the vote took place, the main one of which was that they alleged there was a lack of consultation with players regarding all aspects of the proposal.

The GAA's chairman on the Standing Committee on Playing Rules, Jarlath Burns, spoke to the GAA Hour recently where he made a number of accusations regarding the lack of consultation between the GPA and its members.

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Burns told the GAA Hour that a Whatsapp message was sent out to players three weeks before the vote in order to gain their views on the Super 8 proposal.

Burns said that this is damning of the leadership within the GPA, considering the organisation were made aware of this proposal since last August.

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Now the GPA have released a statement where they outlined the level of consultation which has taken place between the organisation and its members.

An excerpt of the statement is below:

The GPA has engaged extensively with our members with regard to competition reform over the past 18 months in the form of surveys, squad meetings, regional workshops, the establishment of a steering group of current and former players and through a multitude of communications providing information and seeking input and feedback at various junctures.

The most recent consultation with all inter-county squads was to ascertain a consensus as to how the sole GPA vote at Congress would be employed.

Over 70% of squads expressed a wish to vote against this proposal. The reasons for the player opposition to this proposal have already been outlined.

The statement also outlines the various levels of engagement which took place since they received the proposals in August 2016.

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  • August 2016 GAA’s Proposal on Revised Format of the All Ireland Championships released – copy of proposal sent to all members with feedback sought.
  • September 2016 meeting of GPA Football Competitions Steering Group.
  • September 2016 consultation with GPA squad reps on GAA Proposal to gather squad views on GAA Proposal.
  • October 2016 GAA release updated Proposal Document.
  • October 2016 GPA circulate full document to all members, with separate explanation of key points in the proposal. All players provided with opportunity to present views on updated proposal.
  • October 2016 GPA present results of squad feedback to all players. Players favoured overwhelming GPA proposal over new GAA proposal.
  • October 2016 GAA Proposal discussed at GPA Player Safety and Welfare meeting to assess any implications on welfare of inter county players.
  • November 2016 GPA National Executive Committee updated on current position.
  • December 2016 at Annual GPA Rep Summit workshop on strategic issues including competition structures and GAA proposal.
  • February 2016 consultation with National Executive Committee on motions for Congress including GAA proposal.
  • February 2016 final consultation with all squad reps. Consensus reached as to how the GPA delegate should vote at Congress.
  • Over 70% of squads voted against proposal of ‘Super 8’ format.

It is interesting that there is no mention of the Whatsapp message in the statement so perhaps there is some substance to the remarks made by Burns.