GPA unanimously vote to escala...


GPA unanimously vote to escalate protests as expenses row continues

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Microphones will go untroubled after the conclusion of the Allianz Leagues as GPA members voted to escalate their protests in the row over player expenses. 

Players have recently made themselves unavailable for post-match interviews as part of their protests. GPA CEO Tom Parsons told OTB Sports this month that players are being seen as a "cost-saving mechanism".

Captains and team representatives have voted unanimously to escalate their action as the row rumbles on.

Player expenses were capped as a result of the pandemic, but the GPA had expected that rates would return to 2019 levels 'at a minimum' this year.

Parsons told OTB Sports, "We're not asking for anything more. Players aren't looking for an increased rate. We want that rate back, whether we do 10 or 15 sessions.

"In the preseason, we could be doing five sessions a week - in a de-load week; it might be three. But we can't just say it's four every week.

"It needs to be driven week by week. That's what's frustrating. We won't use players as a cost-saving mechanism."

A call among captains and representatives was held on Thursday night when several issues were highlighted.

"In one county," they heard, "More than 20 players living outside their county are not being permitted to claim expenses from that address Friday to Sunday.

"Attempts are being made to force them to only claim expenses from their family address within their county.

"This is despite the fact that their sole reason for this journey is to attend training. If imposed this could result in financial distress to players, especially students. "

Members also heard that "some players who have trained during pre-season and national league who subsequently get released from their squads are not being offered expenses."

And finally they were informed that, "Where squads are carrying more than 32 players (which is the majority), those additional players, are in some cases being treated differently to those within the 32.

"That’s despite there being no difference in the preparation and training levels for these players. The imposed charter by the GAA does not protect them, as it serves 32."

The GPA believe local negotiations - which they say are being imposed by the GAA - go against the culture of treating players equally.

With all that in mind, GPA members will step up their retaliation from this weekend.

Players will make themselves unavailable for televised post-match interviews. Further to that, no players will attend the launch of any GAA competitions at national or provincial level in the coming weeks.

GPA CEO Parsons says their members "are still open to discussions with the GAA to resolve these issues".

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