Divided opinion among players on hurling championship changes
17 June 2017
Waterford hurler Noel Connors, GPA CEO Dermot Earley, GPA President David Collins and Mayo footballer Tom Parsons.
A survey carried out by the GPA has revealed that players from elite and non-elite hurling counties have different opinions on the proposed changes to the hurling championship.
Whereas 70% of Liam MacCarthy squads support the proposed changes, over half of the squads competing at Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher Cup level are opposed to the changes.
The changes would see the introduction of a round-robin series in the Leinster and Munster championships. Five teams would contest the series, with each side having two home games and two away. There would also be a third route to the All-Ireland through a provincial qualifier group with Westmeath, Laois, Kerry, Carlow and Antrim all featuring in the group.
The proposals were submitted at Central Council today for approval at GAA Special Congress.
A statement released by the GPA reads: "70% of Liam McCarthy squads would be supportive of the new Championship Proposals. 50% of squads are not in favour of the current qualifier group structure as only one team can progress from this group.
"The proposals do not have a majority support from squads participating in the Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher competitions with only 40% supportive of the structure.
"Squads have expressed concerns that the scheduling of the competitions is too condensed and does not do enough for the promotion or development of hurling in these counties.
"These squads have expressed a strong desire for a longer championship season and to have the opportunity for their games to be played before games in the Leinster or All Ireland Championships to enhance the profile of these games.
"The GPA are satisfied that the player's voice has been heard at Central Council and that the decision to proceed with bringing the proposed changes to a GAA Special Congress provides the opportunity for player input through a GPA motion suggesting amendment to the championship structure in line with the above."