GLEN Rovers are the latest club to come out against a proposal to be voted on by Cork County Board delegates on Tuesday night where clubs would play championship games without their inter-county players.
There are three options on the table, two of which would see the season shut down at the height of summer, and another radical alternative, option C, where two of five round-robin games take place without the inter-county contingent.
Whichever of the three options is passed there will be major change with four tiers instead of the current three and just 12 clubs sides in each level going into place for a two-year trial period.
The Glen released a statement following a meeting with their club members on Monday night railing against the prospect of fielding in the championship shorn of their figureheads Patrick Horgan and Stephen McDonnell, while U20 wing-back Robert Downey is also on the Cork senior squad.
“Our members were tonight afforded the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Championship 2020 proposals and to share their views openly,” the statement explained. “Glen Rovers welcomes a healthy debate on the current state of Cork GAA and its future at the vanguard of the Association nationally.
“The recent proposals from Cork County Board have ignited a discussion on both counts. As a club, we recognise that change is both inevitable and a required ingredient in order to improve the quality of games and the lot of players at all grades in the county championships. The public debate on the proposed options has centred on option C.
“As the option with the most far reaching implications for Cork GAA, it is natural that public discourse has focused on it. Glen Rovers does not accept option C, as it is currently defined, as a constructive solution to fixing the issue of providing meaningful games to players throughout the summer months.
“With the absence of the best players in the county, even for some games, it poses serious questions as a measure to improve the quality and attractiveness of our championships. Moreover, players should never be asked to make a decision between club and county.
“To begin on this road is to sow the seeds of discontent and division at a time when solidarity is what Cork GAA requires above all else. We recognise that the inter-county calendar has developed to the point that it cannot be solved completely at the county level. However, we call on the Board to recognise the concerns of our members and of members throughout Cork that clubs cannot and should not be asked to further compromise in this way to achieve a sense of fixtures parity.” The Glen didn’t however endorse option A and B, which would be similar to the current system in their view.
“Equally, we ask the board to recognise the sacrifice of the modern inter-county player, who should not be expected to make further sacrifices in order to avail of the honour of competing on the national stage. In our view neither option A nor B in any way addresses the challenge of improving the fixtures calendar, leaving players idle as it does from May to August.
“We were disappointed that our request for a deferral of tomorrow night’s vote was not agreed to allow for proper and meaningful discussion such is the importance of these proposals. Similarly, not allowing the submission of amendments stifles a proper exploration of the best solution for all.
“We feel option C has much to commend it if the provision excluding inter-county player participation is removed. We feel it most closely resembles clubs’ desires for games throughout the summer months. Sadly, as a sensible amendment to these proposals, it cannot be debated tomorrow night.”