Two stories relating to money and player welfare stand side by side in our timelines and sports pages today.
At home, the dispute between the GAA and the Gaelic Players Association hinges on the number of collective sessions per week that a 65 cent per mile expense allowance should be allowed to be paid centrally and what should be negotiated at a local level.
Across the Irish Sea, there is anguish at Chelsea Football Club over the cap of €20,000 per match travel expenses that the club is allowed to incur now that owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned. This effectively means that they cannot hire a private plane to take the squad to play Middlesbrough in an FA Cup tie this weekend. Their Champions League tie in Lille was booked before the sanctions took effect but now there are question marks over how to pay for their travel to further matches in the tournament.
To deal with the second problem first, Thomas Tuchel has suggested he might be forced into driving a seven-seater minivan and getting others to do the same.
€210 Million in Annual Salary
Or perhaps the players, who will collectively earn €210 million in salary this year, might ‘catch themselves on’ and pay for whatever they need themselves.
At the GAA rate of 65 cent per mile, and why it is calculated in the old imperial measure is another mystery, that would equate to travelling around the world 12,974 times.
The juxtaposition of the two stories highlights something but it requires a fair bit of a mental mind flip to have them making sense.
The row between the GAA and the GPA centres on that paying a maximum of four collective sessions. It is not forbidden to pay any more, just that there will not be a contribution from central funds. That contribution is currently coming in at around two-thirds of the overall cost, 40 cent out of the 65 cent with counties meeting the shortfall.
GAA Director General Tom Ryan wrote to county boards last night to explain the rationale being less about money and more about having to think about player welfare.
The players are all amateur and the principle of the expense payments is that they should at least not be out of pocket for their desire to be part of an elite team.
Demands on Time
There is also the question of the demand on their time. Players at the inter-county level are generally not permitted to train or play with their club teams during the county season, though a significant number have been engaged in playing for the Higher Education tournaments over the winter.
Those sessions and matches would be on top of the four sessions a week that Croke Park believes is a number that makes the most sense from preparation and welfare perspectives.
The bank of time is the one that cannot be added to.
People who are in full-time employment are generally asked to turn up no more than five times a week with the received wisdom being that any more would be counterproductive in terms of morale and effectiveness.
Coaches and Managers may indeed feel that putting in more time gives them more time to build a winning team but, and speaking as a manager at a lower level, the reality is that they are not the ones putting in the hard physical yards and having to manage recovery alongside study, jobs and life.
If four sessions are good enough for most and almost all of the best, is there really a justification for exceeding this.
The withdrawal of players and most managers from conducting post-match interviews last weekend was seen as a way of highlighting the negotiations that are ongoing between the GAA and the GPA. It cost the players a moment in the spotlight and the supporters a chance to get to know them a little better.
This really does feel like a negotiation that can be tidied up and put away without the need to be done through megaphones.
At least in that, if nothing else, the stories of the GAA and the British Government troubles with the GPA and the Chelsea footballers are at least alike in one sense.
Has the world just gone a little bit madder than usual?