Fixtures are a major concern for clubs

The reaction to our story on the way the fixtures in the senior club championship were being handled brought a lot of reaction.

The reaction to our story on the way the fixtures in the senior club championship were being handled brought a lot of reaction.

This newspaper has received emails, telephone calls and texts wishing to be associated with the fact the fixtures problem was highlighted.

While every manager or club person have their own perspective on fixtures, they are all adamant that there has to be more clarity. There is also a perceived or otherwise held view that some clubs are treated better than others as regarded fixture changes and postponements.

Apart from the senior championship, we were contacted by Aodh Ruadh manager Maurice McLaughlin regarding the postponement of their Intermediate Championship game with Buncrana last weekend. He was very unhappy as he felt they had co-operated fully with all the interested parties; were willing to co-operate with having the game postponed with the one proviso that they have a league game only to be told on Friday at 1.30pm that championship game was off and they had no league game.

“In light of the way we were treated in trying to get a league game earlier in the year re-arranged on the June Bank Holiday, it was very shabby treatment,” said McLaughlin.

That is just one story and is typical of what arises each week for all involved - fixtures committee, clubs, players and supporters.

There are many agendas and our highlighting of the issue in our Monday edition was done to do just that, not with any agenda.

One of those who responded to Monday’s article was Four Masters manager Emlyn Hughes, who feels it is time to stop passing the buck.

“We need the County Board to facilitate a meeting between the Competitions Control Committee (CCC) and the County Manager in December and a plan put in place and a plan that we stick with,” he said.

“We also need the County Board to take responsibility when any problems arise between the CCC, the county manager or clubs and act as a mediator.

“Clubs also need to take more responsibility and not act alone. Everyone needs to see the bigger picture,” said Hughes, who feels there is a huge issue over the Gaeltacht Championship taking up two weekends in the schedule.

When contacted on the issue, a spokesperson for the CCC said that they wanted to look to the future and they had planned a schedule for the remainder of the year.

“That chapter is behind us and we have a very hectic schedule in place in football and hurling over the next eight weeks,” said the spokesperson.

It is important the person at the centre of the entire argument - the club player - is not forgotten in all this debate.

They need to be able to enjoy their football and to do so they need to have certainty who and when they are playing.