GAA regret GPA annoucement

November 09, 2007
In a statement issued the GAA said that it regretted the GPA's announcement that its members had voted for potential strike action in terms of its senior Intercounty competitions in the event of the issue of Government Grants for senior Intercounty players not being resolved. The Association made the following points; - The concept of Government Grants for senior Intercounty GAA players was a matter developed by Government representatives and the GPA, independently of the GAA, over a number of years. - The GAA has supported the concept when requested to do so on the understanding that such grants would be structured and paid on the same basis, through the Irish Sports Council, as applies to other sports. - To date, the Government proposes to make funding available under the finance which is provided annually through the Capital Sports Programme designed to help finance crucial projects at county and grassroots level.  This capital allocation can vary greatly from year to year and is dependent, among other factors, on the state of the exchequer finances in any given year.  In that scenario the GAA has absolutely no way of guaranteeing that 'additional' money for player grants is not being deducted from the allocation for capital funding nor has it any guarantee of continuity of payment.  Also, it has serious implications for the word and spirit of the Amateur Status of the Association by asking the GAA to pay players directly from its own funding - The GAA accepts full responsibility for player welfare, which it sees as a fundamentally different issue to that of grants.  Over ¬20 million will be expended by the Association on Intercounty players in the current year and it is accepted by all parties that very significant and effective progress is being and will continue to be made in the area of player welfare.  - The concept of grants for players was a GPA and Government initiative and it is a matter for these bodies to resolve.  However, the GAA has had a series of meetings in recent weeks with both bodies and is fully committed to playing a meaningful part in reaching a resolution acceptable to all parties.   Further talks have been scheduled for next week and no further statement will be made in the meantime.

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