The GAA and GPA have announced a new deal worth an annual 6.2 million euro.
The arrangement, which will run from 2017-19, will include a number of revised benefits for inter-county players such as an increase in mileage allowance, a nutrition expense, and a special fund for former inter-county players.
The GPA will also receive a percentage of the GAA's commercial revenue.
The player's body will also have an added representative at Congress level and they will have the right to submit one motion to Congress each year.
The framework will include:
(1) Mechanisms to improve input from county players into matters of GAA policy that are important to them;
(2) Establishment of a working party to explore and address the demands placed on county players;
(3) Increased level of reimbursement of expenses incurred by inter-county players;
(4) Increase in funding available to support Player Development Programmes via the GPA.
Speaking about the new framework agreement, Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Aogán Ó Fearghail said: “Our inter-county players make a special contribution to the Association in so many ways.
“The increased commitment involved in playing our games at inter-county level has been commonly acknowledged for some time.
“We are serious about the welfare of our players and will continue to work with the GPA to safeguard that welfare.”
GAA Ard Stiúrthóir Páraic Duffy added: ““We are pleased that our negotiations with the GPA have delivered an extension to our formal working relationship.
“I would like to thank our representatives in the process for their time and dedication and I also acknowledge the input of the GPA in a process that required middle ground between our two organisations.”
GPA President Dermot Earley said: “By pledging to support the needs of county players and recognising the increasingly challenging environment in which they operate, the GAA has taken a very important step in securing their future wellbeing. Another significant development within this framework, which will be welcomed widely by county players, is the establishment of two formal structures which will facilitate increased contribution from players into policy decisions of the GAA.
“I want to thank the GAA team and executive for their commitment to this lengthy negotiation process. I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to the players, officers and executives involved on the GPA side for their contribution to the process which has culminated in such a positive outcome for all parties.”
GPA Chief Executive Dessie Farrell added: “Today’s announcement is another historic milestone for players, the GPA and the GAA. This agreement, emphasises the crucial role played by county players in our games and indeed acknowledges their dedication and commitment in performing at the highest level. It ensures the financial impact on players is reduced while placing the support structures within the GPA for players on a very firm footing. This three-year agreement now establishes a long-term commitment to link player welfare and development with the GAA’s commercial success which is highly significant.”
The GAA and GPA negotiating groups will now use this Framework Agreement to finalise a revised Recognition Protocol document covering the three-year period 2017 – 2019. It is anticipated that this detailed work will be concluded later in 2016.
Summary of Framework for Agreement – 4 areas
1. Enhanced input into policy decisions.
– GPA to have additional delegate to Congress along with Ard Chomhairle Rep
– GPA to have right to submit one motion to Congress annually in line with other units
– Creation of a Policy Forum to discuss issues of concern and relevance to the GPA.
2. Demands on senior inter-county players.
– New working group of players and administrators established to examine demands on players
– Proposals formulated and presented to Central Council by June 2017.
– Aim of this new group will be to ensure that amateur players can maintain a balance between their personal and professional lives and their club and county careers
3. Player Expenses and Reimbursement.
– Review of current document on expenses/gear for approval by Central Council this November.
– Mileage Rate: increase for inter-county players to between 62.5c and 65c per mile (to a maximum total cost of €1.5m).
– Nutrition Expense: new refundable & vouched nutrition expense (to the amount of €1.2 million per year) to be introduced.
– €200,000 to be set aside each year to deal specifically with surgical interventions for former inter county players
– Cost of increases to mainly come from central GAA funding – Central Council to ring-fence funding to counties to assist with these additional costs.
4. Core Funding of the GPA - Provision of Welfare/Development Services
GAA to provide €2.5 million or 15% of net central Commercial Revenue (whichever is higher) in each of the three years of the agreement
– Commercial Revenue i.e. Media Coverage, Sponsorship, Franchising, Licensing
– In 2015 agreement this figure was €2.0 million
– GPA to present outline budget to Central Council annually and provide annual end-of-year report to Central Council outlining how funding was disbursed
– The GAA will nominate a member to the GPA’s Finance Committee and vice versa
Commercial Partnership (Le Chéile) to be revamped
– New Board to be established including two external non-executive members
– GAA to guarantee additional €800,000 p/a from it to GPA for Player Services
– All GPA commercial activities will be undertaken through this body only;
– All other GPA fundraising limited to dinners etc. in Ireland and overseas.