Coulter Calls For Strike Action
Tuesday, 28 February 2017
DOWN legend Benny Coulter has called on inter-county players to withdraw their services if they are serious about opposing the Super 8 system that was passed at Congress on Saturday.
In his Democrat Column the Mayobridge player/ manager feels that players must make a genuine stand and not simply pay lip service to their opposition to the changes.
Coulter writes: "The Super 8 system was passed at congress on Saturday against the players wishes with 73% of players voting against the idea.
“Now there was uproar on social media over the weekend from Inter-county players that this went through.
“The only way to stand up to this and stop it happening is for Inter-county players to go on strike for the start of the 2018 season. When I say strike I mean a proper strike in terms of no players making themselves available for the early season competitions until the proposals are overturned.
“It's farcical anyway that we haven't a better system.
“Let's get the top 16 teams in Ireland into a 4 x 4 group stages compete for the A Championship and for the bottom 16 would be the same for the intermediate Championship.
“It would give each team at least three good competitive games and the winners having to play six games to win an all Ireland title.
“Let's be honest at the minute only six teams can win the Sam Maguire and I do not see that changing over the next five years."
At the weekend's Annual Congress, the GAA passed three motions relating to future championship structures. Two were widely accepted as follows:
(i) From 2018 on (experimentally to 2020) the All-Ireland finals in both football and hurling will be played in AUGUST; (ii) there will be NO replays played in senior championship games apart from provincial and All-Ireland finals.
A third motion (iii) where two round robin groups of four (the super eight) will replace the current knockout All-Ireland senior quarter finals. Each of the eight teams will play three games in the round robin - one at home, one away, and one at Croke Park.
“Essentially, it's a motion brought in (and now passed) by those who don't play the game, against the wishes of the majority of those who do play the game.
For the three motions (i) the proposal to replace the football quarter-finals with the 'super eight system' got 73 per cent of the vote; (ii) the motion to move the All-Ireland finals forward three weeks received 78 per cent of the vote; (iii) the motion to get rid of championship game replays received 91 per cent.
Both the Club Players' Association (CPA) and the Gaelic Players' Association (GPA) came out strongly against the 'Super Eight' with the 'GPA' CEO Dermot Earley speaking passionately against the motion.
The Super Eight isn't ideal as players don't want it, supporters will pay for it and administrators will keep it.
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