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CPA call for permanent club/county season split

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John Horan

John Horan

SPORTSFILE

John Horan

The Club Players' Association have called on Croke Park to build on the growing momentum behind a proposal to split the GAA year into club and county seasons.

In recent weeks the GPA and GAA have made proposals that are in favour of a clear demarcation between the club and county season in a calendar year. And now the CPA have thrown their weight behind the proposals, insisting the Covid crisis has given the GAA a "once-in-a-generation chance to Fix the Fixtures".

"It may have taken different timelines and different routes to get to this point but there is a growing realisation that a split-season approach is the best solution to fixing the fixtures," read a statement from CPA chairman Micheál Briody (below).

"It is reassuring now to see that the GAA, GPA and CPA have come to similar conclusions. We have always said it is about what is right, not who is right."

"The current consensus has come about as a result of circumstances and the threat posed by the disruption and uncertainty of Covid-19.

"But with any threat there is also very often an opportunity, and if the Taskforce can build on the current opportunity with evidence from the enforced split, then the GAA has a once-in-a-generation chance to Fix the Fixtures. Our Association has the opportunity to come out of this dreadful scenario, stronger, better and more united than before."

The move towards a split season has gathered momentum recently. Over the weekend, GAA president John Horan revealed he was open to the idea that had inter-county action placed at the start of the year before moving to the club scene. Horan insisted that any such proposal would be unlikely to be introduced until 2022.

The GPA also revealed a proposal for a shorter inter-county season from 2021 to ease what it says are "unsustainable demands". The fixtures committee task force, which the CPA walked out on earlier this year, is set to meet later this week. And the CPA insisted the moment to move on fixtures was now, insisting it would be "unforgivable" to let the opportunity pass.

"The GPA's very positive adoption of a season split to accommodate fully club and county programmes is commendable and we strongly welcome it. We also commend the GPA and the GAA for acting now on the recent ESRI research they jointly commissioned, where 40 per cent of GPA members stated they choose the wrong career path in order to play the games they love and enjoy."