In an unprecedented move, the GAA have confirmed that plans are afoot to run club championships and inter-county championships simultaneously for 2020, if GAA activities are allowed to resume.
Due to the time already lost, and in anticipation of a further delay in activities, the GAA have had to re-think the timing and design of both the inter-county and the club competitions.
The news comes following an interview with RTE Sport last week, where the GAA’s Director of Player, Club and Games administration, Fergal McGill told RTE Sport that if the start of the inter-county championships are delayed, the structures of the competitions may have to be altered. It is also understood that a complete cancellation of the inter-county championships would represent a loss in revenue for the GAA of almost €60million.
The CPA has reacted positively to the latest proposal:
“We understand in the current situation, changes to the usual GAA calendar are necessary. We welcome the GAA’s proposed solution to the problem which ensure that club players will not be left to one side. The grassroots of our games need to be protected”
Member of the GAA calendar team, Phelim O’Mahony has explained the reason for the proposal:
“We have already lost April as a club month, while it could be another couple of months, at least, before we may be able to proceed with the inter-county championship competitions. It is vital for the financial survival of the organisation, that the inter-county competitions can proceed in their current format, while it is vital for the survival of the grassroots of the organisation, that club players have a meaningful programme of championship games. In these testing times, our aim is to strike a balance between the time afforded to both inter-county players and club players. Therefore, we will be proposing that both club and inter-county championships take place simultaneously. “
The proposal will be presented at a specially convened meeting of the GAA Central Council. The meeting is scheduled to take place online via video conference on the evening of April 16th. It is expected that the majority of counties will support the proposal on the condition that it be in place for the 2020 season only.
The proposal is also dependent on how quickly or otherwise, the Covid-19 pandemic progresses.