National Forum

Master Fixtures List.

(Oldest Posts First)

The new Club Players Association (CPA) have decided to postpone a planned protest at this weekend's special congress, on the basis the GAA have promised to produce a master fixtures list for 2018 by the end of October. Yet how can any proposed Master Fixtures List address the situation that arises regularly in many counties, wherby they are unable to run off their own internal competitions in a timely manner, resulting in fixtures congestion The latest example of this is in Wicklow. The longtime Doctor to the Wicklow football team,Dr Cuddihy has resigned his position in protest over his club Eire Og Greystones having to play two championship games in the space of 24hrs,losing both games. "Dr Cuddihy has ended his long association as doctor to Wicklow county teams following last weekend's debacle that saw Eire Og play the county senior hurling semi-final and county senior football quarterfinal replay in the space of just 24hrs". http://www.hoganstand.com/ArticleForm.aspx?ID=276281. It was reported that the Greystones club players will as a result refuse to play for Wicklow next season. Have the CPA made a protest to the Wicklow County Board? If not why not? There is absolutely no reason why this situation should have arisen in Wicklow. The CPA don't appear to have their eye on the ball so to speak. The issue here as in other counties is not Club v County but rather clubs v incompetent Couty Boards. It's pointless for the CPA to be protesting to the GAA authorities when the problem lies squarely within their members' own counties. While a Master Fixture List will be welcomed throughout the GAA it will not, nor is it designed to fix the fixture problems created by County Boards inability to get their own affairs in order.

lilywhite1 (Kildare) - 27/09/2017 14:01:10    2051019

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This is something I dont get. A lot of blame for club fixture issues gets laid at the door of Croke Park and CPA have continued to fly this flag but surely organising club fixtures can only be solved by the county boards themselves. GAA doesn't micromanage, this is why we have county boards in the first place. Seems its easy to just shout at the 'fat cats' and 'grab alls' on Jones Road instead of dealing with problems cleverly at their source.

RoyalBadger (Meath) - 27/09/2017 14:42:10    2051037

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Replying To lilywhite1:  "The new Club Players Association (CPA) have decided to postpone a planned protest at this weekend's special congress, on the basis the GAA have promised to produce a master fixtures list for 2018 by the end of October. Yet how can any proposed Master Fixtures List address the situation that arises regularly in many counties, wherby they are unable to run off their own internal competitions in a timely manner, resulting in fixtures congestion The latest example of this is in Wicklow. The longtime Doctor to the Wicklow football team,Dr Cuddihy has resigned his position in protest over his club Eire Og Greystones having to play two championship games in the space of 24hrs,losing both games. "Dr Cuddihy has ended his long association as doctor to Wicklow county teams following last weekend's debacle that saw Eire Og play the county senior hurling semi-final and county senior football quarterfinal replay in the space of just 24hrs". http://www.hoganstand.com/ArticleForm.aspx?ID=276281. It was reported that the Greystones club players will as a result refuse to play for Wicklow next season. Have the CPA made a protest to the Wicklow County Board? If not why not? There is absolutely no reason why this situation should have arisen in Wicklow. The CPA don't appear to have their eye on the ball so to speak. The issue here as in other counties is not Club v County but rather clubs v incompetent Couty Boards. It's pointless for the CPA to be protesting to the GAA authorities when the problem lies squarely within their members' own counties. While a Master Fixture List will be welcomed throughout the GAA it will not, nor is it designed to fix the fixture problems created by County Boards inability to get their own affairs in order."
At least now we are getting somewhere. Full out strikes are the only way to drive improvements as the debate has been going on for years. Fair play to Greystones and their players. The CPA have done nothing and they've rightly taken it into their own hands

tiobraid (Tipperary) - 27/09/2017 14:50:10    2051043

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Replying To RoyalBadger:  "This is something I dont get. A lot of blame for club fixture issues gets laid at the door of Croke Park and CPA have continued to fly this flag but surely organising club fixtures can only be solved by the county boards themselves. GAA doesn't micromanage, this is why we have county boards in the first place. Seems its easy to just shout at the 'fat cats' and 'grab alls' on Jones Road instead of dealing with problems cleverly at their source."
The problem is that the CPA is largely led by former intercounty men who in general would have been well looked after by their county board so why would they upset them? It will only succeed if its driven by players who have been directly effected by this all their careers. Wrong people most definitely involved.

tiobraid (Tipperary) - 27/09/2017 14:54:17    2051045

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County boards screw up the fixtures year on year. Clubs in some counties not playing with county players leads to drama and in other cases it's just too easy to get games called off at the last minute. I have friends playing in Donegal and some of the stories they tell me about fixtures up there is beyond belief. A joke every year.

TheFlaker (Mayo) - 27/09/2017 15:16:31    2051057

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There's problems at both national and county board level. The CPA is getting feedback on issues, they have lobbied county boards to address fixture problems that have been alerted to them. Such as club championship football games fixtures clashing with the AI hurling final. In the Wicklow example it was a football replay. Did the first game go to extra time? If not it should have. At national level there are problems. It's hard for county boards to know when their team will be playing championship. The back door system means that so many weekends are possibles for a county championship fixture. It's very hard for even the best county boards to plan ahead fully. So yeah county boards are rubbish but it's a hard job given the mess that is the intercounty fixture schedule.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 27/09/2017 15:58:04    2051071

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Replying To Whammo86:  "There's problems at both national and county board level. The CPA is getting feedback on issues, they have lobbied county boards to address fixture problems that have been alerted to them. Such as club championship football games fixtures clashing with the AI hurling final. In the Wicklow example it was a football replay. Did the first game go to extra time? If not it should have. At national level there are problems. It's hard for county boards to know when their team will be playing championship. The back door system means that so many weekends are possibles for a county championship fixture. It's very hard for even the best county boards to plan ahead fully. So yeah county boards are rubbish but it's a hard job given the mess that is the intercounty fixture schedule."
In this Wicklow case Whammo86, the fact that Eire Og Greystones had two games in 24hours had nothing to do with Intercounty Fixtures as Wicklow haven't played an Intercounty game in months. The fault lies with Wicklow County Board who can't hide behind 'the fixtures are a mess' excuse that many County Boards seem to think they can hide behind, laying all the blame on GAA Headquarters for the fixtures problem.

lilywhite1 (Kildare) - 27/09/2017 16:24:43    2051076

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Replying To lilywhite1:  "In this Wicklow case Whammo86, the fact that Eire Og Greystones had two games in 24hours had nothing to do with Intercounty Fixtures as Wicklow haven't played an Intercounty game in months. The fault lies with Wicklow County Board who can't hide behind 'the fixtures are a mess' excuse that many County Boards seem to think they can hide behind, laying all the blame on GAA Headquarters for the fixtures problem."
Yeah of course I agree 100% that it's Wicklow's county board's fault. I'm not arguing about that. There are definitely crap county boards out there. The CPA could have intervened here. It'd be interesting if they were notified because they have looked to put pressure on other county boards. The CPA seem to be very accessible. I sent an email to them bringing attention to a more minor fixture issue and received a response within an hour on it. They will be able to help in these instances. I wasn't arguing with you, all I was saying is that there's problems at both ends, it's not one or the other and lobbying at national level is also required.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 27/09/2017 16:52:59    2051081

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Replying To Whammo86:  "Yeah of course I agree 100% that it's Wicklow's county board's fault. I'm not arguing about that. There are definitely crap county boards out there. The CPA could have intervened here. It'd be interesting if they were notified because they have looked to put pressure on other county boards. The CPA seem to be very accessible. I sent an email to them bringing attention to a more minor fixture issue and received a response within an hour on it. They will be able to help in these instances. I wasn't arguing with you, all I was saying is that there's problems at both ends, it's not one or the other and lobbying at national level is also required."
That's good that the CPA seem to be accessible; that you got a prompt reply from them in relation to a fixture.

lilywhite1 (Kildare) - 27/09/2017 18:51:39    2051123

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Replying To tiobraid:  "The problem is that the CPA is largely led by former intercounty men who in general would have been well looked after by their county board so why would they upset them? It will only succeed if its driven by players who have been directly effected by this all their careers. Wrong people most definitely involved."
100% agree with you. I don't see why there needs to be national organization either... A lot of lads looking to boost their own profile here

bennybunny (Cork) - 27/09/2017 22:48:48    2051193

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Replying To bennybunny:  "[quote=tiobraid:  "The problem is that the CPA is largely led by former intercounty men who in general would have been well looked after by their county board so why would they upset them? It will only succeed if its driven by players who have been directly effected by this all their careers. Wrong people most definitely involved."
100% agree with you. I don't see why there needs to be national organization either... A lot of lads looking to boost their own profile here"]We need Croke Park to produce a masters fixtures specifically detailing what weekends club games are to be played in order to give county boards the backbone and legitimate authority to enforce a workable and fair fixtures plan for their clubs. In order for Croke Park to produce a master fixtures list that includes weekends for club fixtures, they will need clubs and more important club players to agree to; Clubs must be willing to play a minimum of 50% of non club championship fixtures i.e league and regional cups WITHOUT their county players. Clubs in counties (8 out of 32) who reach an all-Ireland Quarter final must be willing to play a minimum of 75% of non club championship fixtures WITHOUT their county players. Clubs in counties (2 out of 32) who reach an all-Ireland final must be willing to play a 100% of non club championship fixtures WITHOUT their county players. I would like to see the CPA ballot its members and ask them the above questions. My hunch is that they would received a overwhelming majority in favor clubs playing without county players based on how far their counties progress in the All-Ireland championship. This would give Croke Park the mandate they need to include club fixture plan in their Masters Fixtures schedule.

TirChonaillAbu (Donegal) - 06/11/2017 20:54:18    2060870

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Aren't the Leagues starting in January this year? How many weekends will the entire fixture programme be postponed due to weather issues? Some chance of making a master fixture plan when the intercounty fixtures themselves are purely aspirational.

PoolSturgeon (Galway) - 06/11/2017 21:18:20    2060877

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Replying To TirChonaillAbu:  "[quote=bennybunny:  "[quote=tiobraid:  "The problem is that the CPA is largely led by former intercounty men who in general would have been well looked after by their county board so why would they upset them? It will only succeed if its driven by players who have been directly effected by this all their careers. Wrong people most definitely involved."
100% agree with you. I don't see why there needs to be national organization either... A lot of lads looking to boost their own profile here"]We need Croke Park to produce a masters fixtures specifically detailing what weekends club games are to be played in order to give county boards the backbone and legitimate authority to enforce a workable and fair fixtures plan for their clubs. In order for Croke Park to produce a master fixtures list that includes weekends for club fixtures, they will need clubs and more important club players to agree to; Clubs must be willing to play a minimum of 50% of non club championship fixtures i.e league and regional cups WITHOUT their county players. Clubs in counties (8 out of 32) who reach an all-Ireland Quarter final must be willing to play a minimum of 75% of non club championship fixtures WITHOUT their county players. Clubs in counties (2 out of 32) who reach an all-Ireland final must be willing to play a 100% of non club championship fixtures WITHOUT their county players. I would like to see the CPA ballot its members and ask them the above questions. My hunch is that they would received a overwhelming majority in favor clubs playing without county players based on how far their counties progress in the All-Ireland championship. This would give Croke Park the mandate they need to include club fixture plan in their Masters Fixtures schedule."]The problem with trying to bring in a set framework for how the club season should pan out across the board is the vastly different structures from county to county. In Louth, our leagues contain 12 teams so each team plays 11 games before playoffs decide remaining promotions/relegations. In the Championship, 4 groups of 3 play 2 games each to decide Quarter Final lineups, with relegation playoffs for the losers. Some 'Star' fixtures have been introduced in the last few years where three league games are played without county players, but by and large clubs have their county players for nearly all league games and this is the established tradition. There are counties who play more regular season league games (I think Down might play 22?) and far more group games in the Championship than us, or with different structures. Croke Park can't do any more than allocate windows in the calendar year for County Boards to run their competitions off, unless all counties were to have their competitions structured nearly identically. This is not feasible, between 2006 and 2007 Louth restructured the club scene and Senior was whittled from 16 to 12 - there was uproar. Likewise, some counties have established traditions where clubs play league without county players for long durations and others don't - I think it's impossible to regulate this across the board also. The CPA have the right idea, but pointing the finger back at Croke Park is the lazy option - at this stage it needs to be taken up with the individual County Boards.

Sawyer (Louth) - 07/11/2017 18:05:53    2061048

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It's hard to know what the CPA are asking for or how it can be delivered. They seem to be wanting club championship games played in both codes in every county in April but in a county like Leitrim there are 3 hurling clubs. Why would they need to be playing championship in April? They also want to insist players are released by county managers to their clubs for the month, but the players are free to do whatever they want at all times. If a player doesn't show up for county training he doesn't risk a fine or being sacked, he can only be dropped and replaced with another club player, presumably one happy to put his county before his club. It's bizarre that they want Croke Park, where clubs have little influence, to dictate everything that happens at local level, where clubs have much more of a say.

Soma (UK) - 07/11/2017 19:27:36    2061067

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Something that could be interesting would involve a radical change though. Allow counties to field more than 1 team if they want to. Play the intercounty season as 1 league competition. Divisions of 12 in football (maybe fewer at lower levels depending on number of reserve sides). 11 matches all scheduled at the start of the season. Top 4 in each division into semifinals. 2 up 2 down (to include regular season top team, plus playoff winner. Playoff finalist promoted if top regular season team wins. Club action can be played around regular season games. Which only take up 11 weekends. Can be played In the 22 weekends from April to August. Semifinals and finals moved back to September. Club championship should be completed in October. Counties penalised if club championship isn't at quarterfinals stage by the end of September. Leave Provincial club and All Ireland until February and March. Intercounty preseason at that stage with those club players.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - 07/11/2017 20:16:21    2061079

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Replying To PoolSturgeon:  "Aren't the Leagues starting in January this year? How many weekends will the entire fixture programme be postponed due to weather issues? Some chance of making a master fixture plan when the intercounty fixtures themselves are purely aspirational."
The League is only starting a week earlier than it has in the last few years so weather should be no more an issue than any other year. And the weather can be worse in Feb/Mar than in Jan anyway.

jimski (Kildare) - 07/11/2017 21:02:29    2061089

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Replying To Soma:  "It's hard to know what the CPA are asking for or how it can be delivered. They seem to be wanting club championship games played in both codes in every county in April but in a county like Leitrim there are 3 hurling clubs. Why would they need to be playing championship in April? They also want to insist players are released by county managers to their clubs for the month, but the players are free to do whatever they want at all times. If a player doesn't show up for county training he doesn't risk a fine or being sacked, he can only be dropped and replaced with another club player, presumably one happy to put his county before his club. It's bizarre that they want Croke Park, where clubs have little influence, to dictate everything that happens at local level, where clubs have much more of a say."
Some good points Sawyer. If we are ever going get the best solution to the club and county fixtures mess, its going to boil down what each party is willing to sacrifice or trade off to get a concrete fixtures schedule. Clubs are going to have accept they will have to play half or more club league games without their county players. Traditionists need to accept the intercounty season needs to be condensed and finish up on the August Bank holiday to allow all club championships to be run from start to finish there after for All counties. County Managers will have to accept they must release any player not named in their match day 26 man panel back to their clubs to play league. County boards will have to accept they will be restricted to the parameters set by croke park to run and complete club league and club championship fixtures. This will minimise the options county boards have to run competitions and standardise club competitions in All counties. What I'm trying to suggest is that croke park take leadership and get the mandate they need to set the parameters within which all county boards design their fixtures schedule. A. Here are 16 weekends between 1st of April and 1st off August to complete your club leagues and non championship competitions. All clubs will be without their county players for the first 8 rounds of their club leagues and there after depending how well their counties progress in all Ireland. B. Club championships begin for all clubs in early August and must be completed in 10 weeks. .

TirChonaillAbu (Donegal) - 08/11/2017 00:15:46    2061112

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Replying To jimski:  "The League is only starting a week earlier than it has in the last few years so weather should be no more an issue than any other year. And the weather can be worse in Feb/Mar than in Jan anyway."
Club players hate divided championships with games in April and then nothing for three months.Croke Park are driving small passionate dual counties like Westmeath, Offaly and Laois into withdrawing from Leinster club championships.They preach that the GAA is a two sport association but do everything to help the single sport glory counties.

jobber (Westmeath) - 08/11/2017 07:03:16    2061120

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Replying To jobber:  "Club players hate divided championships with games in April and then nothing for three months.Croke Park are driving small passionate dual counties like Westmeath, Offaly and Laois into withdrawing from Leinster club championships.They preach that the GAA is a two sport association but do everything to help the single sport glory counties."
Yeah there seems to be a want for a split championship which I feel is a disaster. I remember a few years ago it happened in Tyrone, First round played in April, beat and most of the younger players went travelling or couldn't be bothered because they were out of the championship. why hang around for a few league games. It sucks the life out the clubs when the carrot of the championship isn't there.

The_Fridge (Tyrone) - 08/11/2017 13:46:41    2061208

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Simple Solution , but the GAA in HQ won't like it as they view the county games as revenue generating games. Go back to the old championship format .... Knock Out !!! If you're good enough on the day, you go to next round, if you lose let the players back to the clubs and get on with the league or championship. All Ireland would be run off in 5 rounds ( from Provincial quarter final stage which is where most championships start) No back door games. Some say, lads have been training all year and will only get one game !! Tough !!!! You have league matches and if you really want more games in the championship then you'll work hard to prepare and work hard on the day to ensure you get the result. The edge has gone from the championship and only gets good when it gets to the current quarter final stage.

StirringIt (Cavan) - 08/11/2017 14:10:48    2061214

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