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GPA insist payment is not on players' agenda

The Gaelic Players Association is still adamant that the vast majority of GAA players at inter-county level would not seek payment themselves if payments to managers were regularised.

The GPA is sticking by the results of a survey conducted prior to Congress in 2010, when the payments to managers controversy was raised by director general Paraic Duffy in his report to Congress, which found that 71pc of those polled would not seek remuneration themselves if their managers were paid.

This reaffirmation of these results comes despite Alan Brogan's admission on Wednesday that the "floodgates might open a little bit" if payments to inter-county managers were permitted.

"It could be a dangerous road to go down, but how else do you do it? I don't know," said Brogan, who admitted he hadn't given the document released last week much consideration.

The significance of the comments are that they come from one of the GPA's most active members in the years prior to official recognition.

The comments come after a stream of inter-county footballers tweeted even harder views than Brogan's, saying that payments to players would be next on the agenda if managers' payments were regularised.

However, GPA spokesman Sean Potts said a broader view had to be taken and that a "silent majority" had to be acknowledged.

The 2010 survey was conducted independently by UCD and canvassed the views of 300 inter-county players. It found that 63pc of those surveyed were in favour of legitimising payments to managers, while a further 16pc offered no opinion.

Of those who were in favour of legitimising or regularising the payments, 71pc said they would not seek payments themselves.

"This survey was comprehensive and we still feel it represents the view of our membership," said Potts.

Potts did not rule out a further survey on the matter as part of a wider questionnaire on subjects that may affect players some time in the future. The GPA made a submission to the GAA on the issue which was taken on board by Duffy in his compilation of the report.

They came out in favour of paying managers and suggested that what players want first and foremost is a professional set-up.

As part of their agreement with the GAA, which was signed off last year, the GPA have recognised the Association's amateur status.

Irish Independent