There was a buzz of activity around Croke Park yesterday with the out-front launch of the new Tailteann Cup and the behind the scenes finalising of a deal between the GAA and the Gaelic Players Association.

The first is covered elsewhere this morning on Sport for Business, the latter means that there will be an optimum opportunity for players and managers to promote the new tournament and the full summer of Gaelic Games.

A joint statement was issued last night from the GAA and the Gaelic Players Association which read:

Subject to approval by the GAA’s Ard Chomhairle and the GPA’s National Executive Committee who meet separately this week, the GAA and the players’ representative body can confirm that agreement has been reached on a Players’ Charter which will cover the 2022 season.

It has also been agreed after recent discussions that a new charter will be negotiated for 2023. All previously outstanding issues relating to travel expenses have been resolved.

The GAA and GPA are committed to working together in a positive way in an effort to avoid similar issues arising in the future.

There was no indication of where the compromise was found but in cases like this, it is only important that both sides are satisfied that a fair agreement has been reached.

There was obviously a sense of urgency with the Football and Hurling Championships already on the edge of the Provincial Final stage.

This explains the agreement only lasting for this season but with an indication from both sides that discussions have already begun towards a longer-term arrangement from next year.

It is also possible that commercial partnerships including that with PwC announced on Friday, played a part as no sponsor wants to be dragged into the middle of a row that is going to compromise the level of coverage they can be assured of.

There have been a few lines in the sand drawn throughout the lifetime of the Gaelic Players Association but the final line of the statement stressing that they will work together in a positive fashion to avoid a repeat of this year’s stalemate should be taken at face value.

The GAA is an outlier among global sports run in a professional fashion in that an amateur ethos is central to the player mentality and to the sustainability of the sport, which has of course always been more than a sport.


Sport for Business Perspective:

Getting to a point of agreement has been harder emerging from the deep challenges of Covid but the two sides have got there now, and that is a good thing for all concerned.




Sport for Business Partners