Gavin and McGuinness join calls for compensation
IN a move that could reignite the 'pay for play' debate, the managers of the last two All-Ireland champions want players to be compensated if they are asked to play championship matches on weekdays.
The footballers of Laois and Carlow are set to play their first-round Qualifier in Dr Cullen Park on Friday week and Dublin boss Jim Gavin and Donegal supremo Jim McGuinness have joined in the call for players to be reimbursed should they miss work to play for their counties.
"Monday to Friday would be considered a working week," argued Gavin. "And if you are expecting players to play senior inter-county during the working week, in a competitive championship game, I think they need to be compensated.
"The GAA has compensated players who travelled to Australia to represent their country in the Compromise Rules, so it's no different in this case."
Rule 1.10 of the GAA's official guide states that, 'A player, team, official or member shall not accept payment in cash or in kind in conjunction with the playing of Gaelic Games,' with the penalty ranging from a 24-week ban to expulsion, but McGuinness insisted that the player's 'amateur status' would not be affected?
"They are not getting paid to play, they are getting paid for the time off work," said McGuinness, who insisted there was 'no way' a player could be asked to work the day of a match.
GAA president Liam O'Neill disagreed and immediately ruled out the possibility of payments.