Thursday 22 August 2019

GPA chief Flynn: Players generate most of the GAA revenue and should receive a greater share


The three-year deal between the GAA and GPA runs out later this year (stock photo)
The three-year deal between the GAA and GPA runs out later this year (stock photo)

Cathal Dennehy

GPA chief executive Paul Flynn believes inter-county players are not being adequately reimbursed for their efforts and has called on the GAA to share more of its revenue.

On a weekend which will see up to 140,000 fans through the turnstiles at Croke Park, the retired Dublin footballer believes too many players are paying a heavy price to participate.

"What's critically important is we have enough funding to support demands that players present to us," said Flynn. "Whatever way that funding comes, we are very open-minded, whether it is commercial revenue (or) ticket prices."

The three-year deal between the GAA and GPA runs out later this year and Flynn, who was appointed CEO in June last year, is hoping for a more substantial revenue share.

The GPA currently receives 15 per cent of the GAA's commercial revenue - €19.6m million last year - and Flynn believes it may be time for the GAA to offer a percentage of gate receipts.

"Eighty per cent of revenue generated by the GAA comes from inter-county games, which is fantastic because we're able to invest a lot back into the clubs and grassroots and coaching. That's the beauty of the GAA, but equally the players can't pay to play: they have to be supported in cost reimbursement.

"People think all inter-county players are in receipt of expenses and a nutrition allowance.

"By the book they are, but they're not getting paid the right expenses at all times or in a timely fashion. The investment players are paying to fill stadiums to generate revenue for the GAA; you ask that they are supported."

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Flynn announced his retirement from inter-county football at the age of 32 earlier this year and he has no regrets about the decision.

"I haven't missed it. I look back with fond memories but am I missing running up and down sidelines waiting to come on? That's what made it easier to retire, when the body is creaking, you're not getting game-time and there are other things in life that you can do. I was on that pitch for the (2018) All-Ireland and when everyone was celebrating, I never felt as lonely in my life because I didn't play."

Flynn hears little from the Dublin camp these days - "once you're out, you're out" - but he expects Diarmuid Connolly to feature today.

"If the game is in the balance and you need somebody to come on and create something then I think it's going to be Diarmuid. He can create space and find a pass."

Having gone toe-to-toe with Mayo many times, he's expecting a "war of attrition" this evening.

"They're the toughest opposition to play from a physical point of view. Because of the hard running, the physical hits, I could barely get out of bed the next day after playing Mayo.

"If they bring that intensity, it's going to make a cracking game."

  • Paul Flynn was speaking at the launch of the Road Safety Authority's collaboration with the GPA and WGPA to promote road safety awareness

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