Former Mayo footballer Tom Parsons, now CEO of the GPA, speaking during a GPA media conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, Dublin, to address the upcoming GAA inter-county football championship structure proposals. Photo: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile

GPA backs summer league-championship format for Gaelic football

The Gaelic Players' Association (GPA) has outlined its position in relation to proposals on the restructuring of the GAA inter-county senior football championship.

At a press conference held in Santry this morning, GPA CEO Tom Parsons, the former Mayo footballer, said Proposal B would 'breathe life into Gaelic football'.

This proposal would see the creation of an All-Ireland SFC league based on the current Allianz NFL competition. It would guarantee more games for counties each summer.

The other option on the table at Special Congress later this month is a proposal for four provincial conferences of eight teams, with some counties shuffling into different provinces to create the new groups.

Both formats include the Tailteann Cup and are on an experimental basis.

If those options fail to receive the necessary 60% support, delegates will be asked if they support the 'Super 8' format or the previous qualifier system.

Outlining the GPA position today, Parsons said: “Games develop players, especially in the spring and summer months, and a minimum of seven championship games against sides of a similar level would be significant.

“We have 80% of our membership in favour of Proposal B, 90% of our GPA representatives and captains support the series. The Tailteann Cup also has huge support from our membership.

“It will allow teams to develop and play at their own level. The potential for brutal mismatches is lessened. This is about fairness.”

The GPA has held a series of focus groups, workshops and player surveys over the past 18 months to seek a mandate from members, who comprehensively opted for Proposal B.