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County game not solely at fault for need of a CPA, says Harte

By Declan Bogue

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has acknowledged that difficulties between club and county levels has given rise to the formation of the Club Players' Association (CPA), but has denied that the fault lies squarely at the door of the inter-county game.

"There are issues between club programmes and county programmes. It's been there for some time," said Harte.

"We all know it's not perfect and we all know it needs to be fixed in some way or other. But it's not as if everything is the fault of the county scene and the club scene are always the hard done by people.

"Everybody has their agenda and everybody needs to try to facilitate their options within the whole framework of all that is going on. So yes, it is easy to identify the problems but to fix it, if it was that easy it would have been fixed long ago."

Some of the rhetoric surrounding the establishment of the CPA spoke of all-powerful county managers preventing players turning out for their clubs, a charge vehemently denied by Harte.

"There are lots of things thrown at county managers, that they are power brokers and that they want too much power and all this," he said.

"Again, that's just language that is thrown out there and if it's thrown out often enough it can become a truth for some people. I don't see that as the case.

"I don't think you can generalise what happens even within different counties, because people are always talking about the club and county conflict. They are talking as if county players get no club football and their clubs have no access to them.

"I can speak for Tyrone only with conviction and complete knowledge - there are 15 league games, four of them are starred games which means that county players are not available. They are available for the other league games and they are available for all Championship games."

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