Thursday 22 August 2019

Flynn defends size of GPA salaries

Secretary insists wages in players’ body are assessed independently

Aidan O’Shea and Paul Flynn at the launch of Coca-Cola’s ‘Gift of a Lift’ designated driver campaign. Visit for full details
Aidan O’Shea and Paul Flynn at the launch of Coca-Cola’s ‘Gift of a Lift’ designated driver campaign. Visit for full details
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Dublin footballer and GPA secretary Paul Flynn has defended the salaries paid by the players' organisation to their staff, insisting their rates of pay are monitored by an independent body.

Former Meath footballer and Sunday Independent columnist Colm O'Rourke wrote that the average wage of the 12 GPA employees worked out at almost €77,000 per annum. O'Rourke also pointed out that "key management" were paid €490,418.

"No matter what way it is looked at there is plenty of gravy involved," he wrote.

However, Flynn launched an impassioned defence of the GPA yesterday at the launch of Coca-Cola's designated driver campaign, where he revealed that the salaries they pay are assessed independently.

"We shared a note to the members to just highlight what was being said and to clarify a few points," Flynn stated yesterday.


"With regards to the salaries; firstly, yes, it is not-for-profit but it's an organisation that needs to be run. I see it day-in, day-out because I work in recruitment and there's a war on talent out there.

"It doesn't matter if it's not-for-profit or if it's in the private sector or whatever it is; you have to pay people what the market rate is.

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"Every role in the GPA is benchmarked by an independent compensation benefits consultant who comes in, sizes a job and uses indicators to compare it on a like-for-like basis with a like-for-like job in a like-for-like organisation - i.e. a not for profit.

"The process internally then is; whatever way it is sized, to go below the average. Some companies will have let's say, 'we pay the upper-quartile of whatever it is benchmarked against'. So if the average is 100, we pay 125 or whatever it is, but internally (in the GPA) it's below the average.

"So when you go on a like-for-like basis, that's the way they are sized. So he's an independent guy, I won't say he doesn't care about the GPA but he doesn't care about the individuals on it and he's giving his objective opinion on which way these should be sized.

"That allows people on the board like myself or the wider NEC (National Executive Committee) which is made up of about 20 players, or whether it be the membership to stand over what the salaries are. That's just the nuts and bolts of it, that's the facts."

Along with the likes of Bernard Brogan, Fingallians clubman Flynn has already indicated his desire to return for 2018 and he believes that Denis Bastick, who retired last week, will be the only Dub to walk away from Jim Gavin's squad during the close season.

"There is no-one else (retiring) thank God," said the five time All-Ireland winner. "When you are on a journey, we love it, that's the thing and you don't want it to end.

"We don't want it to end. No inter-county footballer wants it to end.

"But when you are on a journey we are on, the friendship, the bonds you build up as a group, you really don't want it to end. I always feel go as long as the body allows and the body will dictate when the boots are hung up."

Flynn didn't start last September's All-Ireland final but was introduced after just eight minutes when Jack McCaffrey was forced off through injury.

After an injury-hit campaign in 2017, the 31-year-old insists he isn't ready to give up on winning back his starting place heading into the new season.

"My season this year was more frustrating than any in the past because the week before the first championship game, I pulled my calf.

"It's a little frustrating injury. Four weeks out, I missed the first game. I was probably in line to start the first game.

"Four weeks after the injury I pulled it again. I was actually back full training, building up to the Leinster final. I missed the second game too.

"I pulled it again. I actually pulled it worse the second time and I was lucky to make the Monaghan game as a sub. It completely changed my whole perspective of the season because I was like, 'just get me back into the field to play any part'.

"But I am not going to sit here and say when you reach over 30 that you are happy to sit on the bench, because I am not," he continued.

"I know them lads (the other over-30s on the squad) are not either. We all want to play. That's the thing. I think that's the strength of the squad because these boys, even if they are 30, they are guys who are starters, who would be key players in the team and they are going to want to play again.

"So, that will just push us. You've got guys who are holding on to the jersey who are going to have to fight to hold onto it, and then you are going to have younger guys coming up who are going to want to try and get a piece of the action too."

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