Griffin wants CPA to have their say on Congress proposals

20 February 2017

Wexford's Liam Griffin

Liam Griffin is calling on the GAA to invite the newly-formed Club Players' Association (CPA) to next weekend's Congress so they can have their say on proposed changes to the All-Ireland SFC structure.

The 1996 Wexford All-Ireland SHC winning manager, who is the CPA's fixtures coordinator, is vehemently opposed to GAA director-general Paraic Duffy's plan to push through a so-called 'Super 8' format that will see the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final stage played off over two groups of four teams.

"It's not about who's right. It's about what's right," a typically passionate Griffin told the RTÉ's Damien Lawlor.

"What's right for our game going into the next 20 years. Is the current system right and fit for purpose? No, it's manifestly not. I agree that we should bring the All-Ireland finals back to middle of August and I also agree with the extra time, but I totally disagree with the 'Super 8' competition.

"It marginalises football counties but it also marginalises hurling, and that's not right. We need to stop and take a pause.

"We've come up with three systems, which we're capable of bringing here and putting before them and I'm telling you any one of those is a 1000 per cent better than the ones we're operating under.

"We've requested to be invited to Congress. Some of the journalists have had real sniping at us. 'You have to learn to run before you can walk' and all sorts of stuff. A load of bulls**t. What do you mean we have to learn run before we can walk? There's something wrong with the game."

He added: "Since 1884 no one's gone out to ask the players what they think. We started off a few weeks ago and now the GAA are willing to ask the players what their opinion is. Why can't we just stop, go in and sit down and try and discuss this in a forum? We are not outsiders. We are insiders. We just want to see a fairer system.

"Why wouldn't they let us come in to a room, sit down and say, 'right there's the blank canvas, talk'. Talk now, show us the plan. We'll show them plenty of plans and let them show us theirs.

"We'll see can we come up with something that bit better for everybody. Better for the game of hurling, better for the game of football, better for the club player, better for the kids, better for the supporters.

"We can do this because what we're doing [now] is all lob-sided and it's evolved to the stage that it's a total shambles, in my opinion." 

The CPA have been advised to write to GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghaíl if they want speaking rights at Congress. 

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