A Limerick A Day

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The GAA is to ban overseas training for county squads and will also impose a restriction on the duration of home-based camps, the Irish Independent reports

The athletic heroes who play
Gaelic games must do so without pay
And now a new rule
Which seems rather cruel
Insists that they can’t go away

John Moynes

Pic: Balls.ie

25 thoughts on “A Limerick A Day

    1. eoin

      And meantime, the top brass at the GAA refuse to reveal what they’re being paid.

      https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/gaelic-games/gaa-defend-policy-of-not-releasing-top-salaries-in-annual-accounts-1.3385875

      A lickle birdy tells me the salaries in the GAA are benchmarked with other “similar sporting organisations” and I would fall over if they were made public. I don’t know what the salaries are, and maybe the John Delaney headlines are sowing unmerited seeds of cynicism, but given the amount of effort put in for free by players and volunteers, I think I’d like to know.

  1. paul

    A few people at the top of the GAA earning a living and the people doing all the work at the bottom doing it for free. I’d be all for the players having a massive piss-up or holiday before each game, two fingers up to these restrictions.

    Or… you know… pay the players.

          1. George

            We don’t live in parishes. But anyway would it be the same way paying soccer players killed the sport?

          2. rotide

            We actually do, it’s the default administrative region in rural areas.

            Again, its nothing like soccer. The GAA is hugely important around the country. The local club is a massive social structure. Professionalism would kill the structure that the GAA has built up over the years.

            Why do you think you don’t see a massive groundswell of support for professionalism from GAA clubs and players around the country? Even among the top tier players at county level there isn’t a majority of support for it.

            I’m from Dublin, all of this was news to me because in general the GAA plays a far smaller part in city life than country life.

        1. topsy

          Yes it has. There is little rugby played in Ireland at grass roots level.
          There are more GAA clubs in Cork than rugby clubs in the entire country.

      1. Zaccone

        GAA has far higher attendances, and participation, than any other sport in Ireland. If rugby and football can pay their players then the GAA can definitely pay them something.

        It doesn’t even have to be a massive wage, or given to many players. But the players at the very top level should at least be given something small to let them not worry about having to work a full time job as well – the equivalent of what the kids in the Leinster/Munster academies say – 30k p/a roughly.

        1. rotide

          I used to hold this exact opinion, but was talked out of it by diehard GAA types. I’d encourage you to talk to people involved in local GAA and see how much money goes around the country. This would stop overnight if/when players get paid.

          1. Zaccone

            The GAA’s annual revenue is close to €70mn a year. Thats on par with the IRFU. The IRFU manages to support four full time professional teams, each much larger than a GAA squad, and with salaries for the players going from 30k-500k a year out of that. And to support grass roots rugby at the same time. There is no financial reason the GAA can’t do the same.

            How much are the full time GAA admin staff getting paid for their troubles? Surely, given a lot of them are retirement age, they could volunteer their time for free instead? There aren’t that many county level players across the country. The funds to pay them 30k each per year could easily be found if the will was there.

            The “diehard GAA types” who argue against paying the players aren’t the ones out there every week killing themselves training and playing – its easy for them to argue against paying a man for his labour.

          2. rotide

            “The “diehard GAA types” who argue against paying the players aren’t the ones out there every week killing themselves training and playing”

            Actually, yes they are. they are exactly the people I’m talking about.

            You also seem to be having trouble with maths. It’s one thing to support 4 professional teams, it’s entirely another to support SIXTY FOUR.

          3. Zaccone

            The IRFU’s 4 professional teams have much larger squad sizes, and with player salaries going up to over 500k per player. The maths work out fine. Leinster’s wage bill last season was €10mn. Thats enough to support 333 (!) GAA county level players if they were on 30k a year.

            I’ve never once met a GAA county level player who’ve said they would turn down getting 30k a year to do exactly what they’re doing now. So you must know some very odd ones.

            Its really not a strange concept to pay people who work very, very hard for their labour. Especially when the organization in question is extremely well funded, with almost €70mn a year in revenue. Every other sport with that sort of income manages to do it.

          4. rotide

            This is like comparing apples with oranges
            “The IRFU’s 4 professional teams have much larger squad sizes”
            They have much larger squad sizes because they are professional. GAA squads can and do just call up club players into the panel.

            “Thats enough to support 333 (!) GAA county level players if they were on 30k a year.”
            ok, what do you propose you pay the remaining 1,600 players (assuming a 30 man panel for each sport in each county)? Bear in mind that Leinster make far more money in sponsorship and global tv rights than the gaa

            “I’ve never once met a GAA county level player who’ve said they would turn down getting 30k”

            yet again, this goes way past just the county players. The GAA caters to a much larger community than that.

        2. rotide

          I should also point out that it would spell the end of any hope smaller counties would have in competing in the championship.

          Even if wages were capped, the bigger counties would find ways around it and attract the best players.

        3. Zaccone

          “yet again, this goes way past just the county players. The GAA caters to a much larger community than that.”

          The point made by most posters in this thread, myself included, has been that top level county players deserve a small wage. Nobody is arguing for every GAA player to get paid, or even for the top players to get paid handsomely.

          “They have much larger squad sizes because they are professional. GAA squads can and do just call up club players into the panel.”

          So pay the players on a weekly or monthly pro rata basis based on their being called up. Thats not hard to do.

          “Bear in mind that Leinster make far more money in sponsorship and global tv rights than the gaa”

          Leinster make nowhere near as much in revenue per year than the GAA. The GAA’s revenue is €70mn a year. Leinster’s annual budget is €12.5mn.

          Its completely financially doable for the GAA to pay its players. Every other sport with comparable revenue does so. The problem is doing so would reduce the funding wasted elsewhere in the organization on Delaney-esque antics, so your “diehard GAA types” (ie middle aged men not sweating and bleeding for the game) hate the idea.

        4. rotide

          You conviently ignored the actual maths.

          Your model leaves 1600 players unpaid.

          My original point is that going profesional will ruin the GAA as we know it. The Championship would cease to exist and the grassroots would become ignored in favor of acadamies that the merged counties left standing would run.

          This is why the vast majority of the GAA, while in favor of the idea of top players recieving a wage, aren’t involved in a massive groundswell of support for it.

          Nice try on introducing the comedy delaney villian though.

  2. Dan

    The chairman of the GAA’s Medical Scientific and Welfare Committee (MSW) needs to be warned of the dangers of donuts and Guinness.
    How can such an unhealthy man be believed?

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