GAA Football

Páraic Duffy on why he won't park Championship reform proposals

GAA Director-General Páraic Duffy pictured at The Irish News, Belfast. Picture by Hugh Russell

GAA director-general Páraic Duffy says he won’t park the proposals for reform of the All-Ireland senior football championship because “they have been 18 months in gestation”.

With the newly-formed Club Players’ Association against the motion to introduce a round-robin at the All-Ireland quarter-final stage, Wednesday’s announcement by the Gaelic Players’ Association that it was also in opposition to the proposals put pressure on Duffy to withdraw the proposals from the agenda.

However, in an exclusive, wide-ranging interview in today’s Irish News, the Ard Stiúrthóir said that he would press ahead with the proposals despite opposition from both bodies representing players.

The proposals will be broken into three separate motions, one of which relates to the introduction of the round-robin. The other two would see the All-Ireland finals brought forward by three weeks, and see an end to replays, with the exception of provincial and All-Ireland finals.

Asked if it was justifiable to keep the motions on the Clár, Duffy responded: “The CPA, to be fair, has just been founded. It doesn’t yet have a structure and constitution. I’m sure it will in due course.

“Players are members of clubs and have a voice through clubs. I’m not saying the CPA shouldn’t have a voice as well.

“But the CPA is asking that, for the moment, we do nothing. That means nothing can happen before next year’s Congress.

“Their concern is around fixtures and that’s something which can be addressed on an ongoing basis, and we’re willing to talk to them about that.

“I don’t necessarily believe that all players are against the proposals. I don’t think you can make that conclusion.

“There’s a general consensus in the GAA that we have to manage our fixtures better, and this is part of that process.

“There’s also a general view that the football Championship needs reformed. These proposals are going forward on a trial basis for three years, even if they’re passed.”

GAA Football

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