The GAA and Gaelic Players Association have announced a new framework agreement worth €6.2m per year which will see a number of "significant" improvements for inter-county players.
The new framework agreement, which will run from 2017-19, will see an increase in mileage expenses for inter-county players, a nutrition expense, a special fund for former inter-county players, a group of delegates to examine demands on players as well as greater GPA input into policy decisions.
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There will also be an increase in funding available to support Player Development Programmes via the GPA as a result of the new framework which is worth approximtaely two and a half times the current deal.
For the first time, the players' body will receive a percentage of commercial revenues which will be built into the estimated €6.2m figure.
A 'nutrition allowance', capped at €1.2m, will be paid under the terms of the new agreement to cover special dietary needs, while the mileage rate of 50 cent per mile, in place since 2001, has been increased to 65 cent.
The commercial partnership is to be revamped while GPA’s input towards policy decisions has been addressed. It will have an additional delegate to Congress and will thehave right to submit one motion to Congress annually.
“The increased commitment involved in playing our games at inter-county level has been commonly acknowledged for some time,” GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghail said at today’s announcement.
“We are serious about the welfare of our players and will continue to work with the GPA to safeguard that welfare,” he said.
GPA President Dessie Farrell said it was another “historic milestone” for both organisations.
"This three-year agreement now establishes a long-term commitment to link player welfare and development with the GAA’s commercial success which is highly significant," he said.
The Summary of Framework for Agreement has been broken down into four areas:
Enhanced input into policy decisions
- GPA to have an additional delegate to Congress along with Ard Chomhairle Rep.
- GPA to have right to submit one motion to Congress annually in line with other units.
- Creation of a Policy Forum to discuss issues of concern and relevance to the GPA.
Demands on senior inter-county players
- New working group of players and administrators established to examine demands on players.
- Proposals formulated and presented to Central Council by June 2017.
- Aim of this new group will be to ensure that amateur players can maintain a balance between their personal and professional lives and their club and county careers.
Player Expenses and Reimbursement
- Review of current document on expenses/gear for approval by Central Council this November.
- Mileage Rate: increase for inter-county players to between 62.5c and 65c per mile (to a maximum total cost of €1.5m).
- Nutrition Expense: new refundable & vouched nutrition expense (to the amount of €1.2m per year) to be introduced.
- €200,000 to be set aside each year to deal specifically with surgical interventions for former inter county players.
- Cost of increases to mainly come from central GAA funding – Central Council to ring-fence funding to counties to assist with these additional costs.
Core Funding of the GPA - Provision of Welfare/Development Services
- GAA to provide €2.5m or 15pc of net central Commercial Revenue (whichever is higher) in each of the three years of the agreement.
- Commercial Partnership (Le Chéile) to be revamped
It is anticipated that this detailed work will be concluded later in the year.