A GAA proposal, set out by a committee created from former president Aogán Ó Fearghail’s time in charge, is set to be presented to the GAA in an effort for radical change throughout the association – controversially including the payment of an allowance to inter-county players as well as abolition and re-rooting in realtion to administrative sectors of the association and the provincial councils, as reported by The Irish Times.
The committee was created in 2015 in an effort to establish a future vision of the GAA, in respect to its 150 year anniversary in 2034. The report, titled Towards 2034 – the 150th anniversary of the GAA aims to:
“to generate the kind of widespread debate that is now required” and “outlines the salient issues and challenges facing the GAA and makes recommendations on the future direction of the organisation”.
“Its mission is as a community-based, volunteer organisation, promoting Gaelic Games, Gaelic culture and lifelong participation and engagement … The values identified with this mission include community identity, amateur status, inclusiveness, player welfare and teamwork.”
It will certainly spark a debate that was seen as inevitable, due to the increasing professionalism the sport has gained in recent years. The commitment inter-county players provide is level par with many professional sports and the concern over the well-being of the players has been a popular debate.
The recent ‘stepping away’ of high profile players from their counties due to the high demands and little rewards provided further bolsters the debate that players deserve something for the growing commitment they are required to provide.
However, it has been stated in the report that the sport will retain its amateur status, but the players and managers will received an allowance to cover expenses.
The report occupies a lot of points and aspects of the sport that will cause a strong debate with the vision of change linked directly with the concern of both players and managers. The aim is to provide a catalyst for possible future change at Inter-county level, with the policy regarding club players and their subsequently club managers to stay the same.
“By 2034 the GAA will have developed a model to recognise the time and effort contributed by senior inter-county players and their respective managers. “This will facilitate effective budgeting where senior inter-county players and managers will retain their existing amateur status but have their value to the Association, and their enormous commitment to their sport, recognised by a defined and agreed allowance.”
“This will facilitate effective budgeting where senior inter-county players and managers will retain their existing amateur status but have their value to the Association, and their enormous commitment to their sport, recognised by a defined and agreed allowance.”
Other areas of concern in regards the proposal is the relaxation of rules towards rugby and soccer games being forbidden at Croke Park, as well as the removal of provincial councils.