Hats, flags or headbands. The chipper vans. The stewards. The pubs. The trains and the buses. The sponsors. The media. Can you tell me what they all have in common?

They all make and generate what can be substantial money when it comes to GAA games. And the list is a lot longer then that. And who ensures that they make it? The players. The 15 players that play on both teams and the respective panel members.

And what have all of them got in common?

Well, they are the only people who don't get paid. I often wonder if you brought people over from other parts of the world to an All-Ireland final day, and explained the following: that this match will generate millions of euro to many sectors, and them lads on the pitch are the people that make it happen, and they don’t get paid.

They would genuinely think you are mad.

And then you proceed to tell them, that not alone do they not get paid, but they actually have to fight tooth and nail to get a few expenses to cover their costs.

They wouldn’t believe you.

It's hard to believe what is going on at the minute in relation to player expenses. It baffles me, it really does.

I'm not going to go pointing fingers at who is right or who is wrong, or who said what. The reality is, it is a downright disgrace.

GAA, GPA, Colm O'Rourke, blah blah blah, the long and the short of it is, how in god's name do the players have to put up with this nonsense, in this day and age, to get their money?

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The majority of coaches, sports psychologists, physios all get paid, and rightly so. They do a big job that takes a massive amount of time and effort, and a lot of pressure also.

The other thing I can't understand is this famous number 32. They will only cover 32 players' expenses with the county board having to cover the other panel members.

Again, nowadays. the number is generally 36, so why not go with the norm? By no means should it be a free-for-all, with lads claiming all around them, but surely common sense should prevail, but you know what they say about common sense don’t you? It's not that common.

So what is the norm? The norm is that you have 36 players on the majority of panels, who train five times a week. The five times is again generally made up of three pitch session and two gym sessions.

That is what the majority are doing, so is it to hard to ask that the players are paid for five sessions a week, at 65c per mile which is the agreed figure and get on with it?

And to go back to Colm O'Rourke's point, he is right, it is some privilege to play for your county, but there is no privilege in logging on to your online banking and realising the money you are spending on petrol and diesel is massive, and not getting anything back.

As a player, it is something that I often could never understand, and a lot of players are the same. And I am not going to change my mind now just because I am out the other side.

It's all about the players, and it always has to be. Without them, we have nothing. Year after year, the GAA show a profit of millions of euro. Which is great, and long may it last. And I know a lot of that is put back into counties and clubs.

But they wouldn’t make millions without any games.

The GAA has been very good to me, and I hope it will for a long, long time to come. It has given me some of my greatest days. And I think it's very easy (and trust me there are a lot of them who do just that) to just start giving out and people are quick to jump and comment on a debate.

But I really do believe this is plain and straightforward. It shouldn’t take Matt O'Hanlon to bring forward a very well-written statement, or Tom Parsons to explain to the country on Allianz League Sunday.

The GAA should realise what we have, who provides it, and just look after the players.

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