GAA Football

GPA defends its consultation process over 'Super 8' proposals

Dermot Earley, CEO of the Gaelic Players Association, speaking against Motion 4 during the 2017 GAA Annual Congress at Croke Park, in Dublin. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile.

THE GPA has defended its consultation process with players regarding the introduction of the ‘Super 8’ All-Ireland quarter-finals, saying it “engaged extensively” with its members on the subject over the last 18 months.

They only officially released a statement last Thursday, less than 36 hours before Congress began at Croke Park, in which it was revealed 70 per cent of players had voted against it.

Dermot Earley spoke of his disappointment after the vote that the wishes of the players “were ignored”.

However, Jarlath Burns was among those to question the GPA’s methods of communication with the players, while others have questioned the timing of their announcement that they would oppose the proposals so close to Congress.

Last night’s statement included a 21-point breakdown of the GPA’s consultation process with players since they began to build their own proposals in May 2015.

Their proposal, which included a round-robin series involving all 32 counties, was rejected by Central Council ahead of Congress in 2016.

“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,” said the statement.

“While the players' body accepts the decision of Congress, we will continue to consult with all inter-county players whose views will determine the next course of action for the GPA in relation to structures in both hurling and football.”

GAA Football

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