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GAA needs to wake up to power of its players

The GAA administration seems blissfully unaware that it dwells on the slopes of a rumbling volcano, namely player power.

How else can one explain the passing of the Super 8 motion, when 75% of the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) opposed it?

Of course, the administration is by no means exclusively to blame for this; the GPA's failure to publicly announce that its members opposed the motion until the week of Congress was a mistake.

However, if both parties do not commit to collectively resolve the ongoing tension between club and inter-county championships then club players will continue to suffer from fixture uncertainty and interminable delays and county players from burn-out.

The Super 8 motion, as well as the other two motions passed - the playing of the finals in August and the abolition of replays for most inter-county matches - will, at best, have only a very modest impact on player welfare unless and until the real problem is addressed and resolved - namely the ability of county boards and managers to unilaterally delay their club championships.

Clearly, the most pressing issue is for the GAA administration to realise that the day of it unilaterally making rule and structural changes for tens of thousands of club and county players, who are massively invested in their sports, is over and for the GPA to start putting forward concrete proposals - not just complaints and objections.


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