| 15.9°C Dublin

GAA players can report their own county on confidential disclosure platform if training rules are breached

GPA platform will allow inter-county stars to inform on breaches of training ban


Gaelic Players Association CEO Paul Flynn. Photo: Sportsfile

Gaelic Players Association CEO Paul Flynn. Photo: Sportsfile


Gaelic Players Association CEO Paul Flynn. Photo: Sportsfile

The Gaelic Players Association (GPA) will look to develop a confidential disclosure platform aimed at making it easier for its members to report counties who are not adhering to training moratoriums.

The players' body made the revelation as it published its annual report for 2019.

"Players are crying out for an off season, that's one fact," GPA CEO Paul Flynn said, when asked if players were likely to report on their own county.

"And it gives them an opportunity to report if there is non-compliance with the off-season window. One of the key strategic initiatives from my perspective is to deliver on an off-season for inter-county players.

"It goes back to the idea of sustainable amateurism and back to the foundation of what we should aim to achieve in the GPA, to bring that balance in the players' personal, professional and physical life. And this is a core element of it. We'll have to roll it out and monitor the usage of it."

The move comes in the wake of reports that some counties have been training well in advance of the permitted September 14 return date. In a recent missive, the GPA called for the club window to be respected but still wanted any county training session to be covered by the GAA's insurance.

The GPA also pointed out that the ESRI report showed 40 per cent of inter-county players reported having no off-season while 67 per cent said they would be in favour of stronger adherence to no inter-county training before December 1.

The GPA hope to establish a group to explore the optimal time to spend on training in a week as well as updating the anti-doping education process. As it stands, players are required to complete the training by March 31, but the GPA want to make it mandatory to have it finished by the end of January each year.

The report revealed that the GPA spent almost €750,000 paying its 10 staff members in 2019, that figure included €449,000 to its four most senior employees.

In total, 1,448 players engaged with GPA services in 2019, a 31 per cent jump on 2018 figures, with 81 per cent of net revenue spent on player welfare and development services.

Irish Independent