Money Row | 

‘If we threatened not to play at the weekend they’d soon scramble’ – GAA players still waiting on expenses

Nugent highlighted students in particular who he said had been travelling to training but "haven't received 1 penny of expenses up to this point.

Aidan Nugent© SPORTSFILE


Some inter-county GAA players have not been paid expenses for mileage and nutrition despite training officially getting underway on November 24 last.

Two Armagh players have aired their concerns publicly with joint captain Aidan Nugent highlighting the issue, stating on Twitter that it wasn't good enough "in the middle of a cost of living crisis."

Nugent highlighted students in particular who he said had been travelling to training but "haven't received 1 penny of expenses up to this point.

"There's not enough being said about it. Players generate massive amounts of money each year for the GAA," Nugent added.

The GAA and the Gaelic Players found themselves in a stand off this time last year when there was no agreement on a players charter, specifically around the number of permitted training sessions/games that could be expensed in a week.

The GPA withdrew some elements of media co-operation and it wasn't resolved until May. Players got expenses backdated at that point when agreement was reached.

Nugent's Armagh colleague Aidan Forker responded with veiled criticism of the GPA who he said "need to be stronger on getting this sorted."

"If we threatened not to bother playing at the weekend they'd soon scramble to get the system up and going instead of citing 'technical updates with WebExpenses system'" said Forker.

For their part GPA chief executive Tom Parsons issued an update on behalf of the players body to squad representatives outlining that the Webexpenses, the platform through which players' expenses are uploaded, was only made operational by the GAA on January 31.

Parsons pointed out that the system had an issue with sterling payments and there were assurances given that it would be resolved this week.

"We were notified last week that the system is still not operational for counties outside the € (euro) zone as changes are being made to move all currency over to £ (sterling) for those counties," Parsons pointed out, adding that it was "disappointing as this work should have been undertaken earlier.

"This work was due to be completed last Friday and is now overdue which we have expressed our dissatisfaction to Croke Park (about). They have committed to having this work complete by latest tomorrow so those squads will be up and running by COB (close of business) tomorrow.

"It is the responsibility of the County Boards to ensure updated squad lists have been submitted to Croke Park to allow players start claiming expenses," continued Parsons.

"Any remaining counties in the € (euro) zone who are not up and running on Webexpenses at this stage should review this with your county secretary or treasurer to ensure (the) squad list has been submitted as a matter of urgency.

"The GPA will continue to push centrally with Croke Park to ensure all squads are up and running asap as it is not acceptable for players still to be out of pocket for expenses at this stage."

Players are entitled to 70 cent per mile under the terms of a new players charter agreed late last year. A new 'green' mileage rate of €1 per hour was approved where two players travel together.

The 70 cent base rate applies for the first 7,000 miles, reducing to 40 cent after that. The €1 'green rate' covers 6,000 miles before reducing to 60 cent.

The mileage rate in the Six Counties remains at 45 cent but to compensate the nutrition rate has risen from £28 to £37.

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