Money money money !

The comments and opinions contained herein are those of the author and not of Wexford GAA



The age old GAA question, do we pay our top players ? The Rover pens his first article in favour of pay for play in the GAA.

What do you think ?


Does the GAA need to pay Inter-County Players?

Paying players, it is a burning question within the GAA. Last year we saw the controversy of the managers pay issue, with people jumping to either side of the fence. It caused a lot of controversy as everyone knew managers were getting paid, although some decided to deny it. But the vast majority of people have no problem with managers being paid. It’s rare now that you find a club or county team without a paid manager or trainer, it’s almost seen as a requirement for success now. But on the other side of things, Oulart the Ballagh achieved great success under Liam Dunne, one of the club and county’s legends, and are now under the leadership of yet another, Martin Storey. Both sides of this story can be exhausted and an agreement will never be met, but with the exhausting nature of managing a team, most will agree that them being paid is justified. But this is now creating a major rift amongst players.

As you may remember, at the end of the 2012 season, one of Wexford’s great servants, Darren Stamp, retired, citing the level of commitment of being involved with a county team to be too much. In an interview he told a reporter that even €100 a week would help to keep his career alive. In the economic times we live in, leaving work early for training 3-5 times a week isn’t a viable option, especially for the older players who may have family to take care of. A lot of people would have a problem with this statement, but not me. I agree with him. Just because he believes players should receive money makes him seem like he’s only in it for glory, but he’s not. Darren loves the game, he even coaches the next generation by coaching in primary schools. Many athletes that come to Ireland and get to see the commitment level of GAA players can’t believe that it is an amateur association. The level of commitment shown by players in the organisation is something to be admired, but is it coming to a point where it’s too much to justify without pay?

Training 3-5 times a week, as well as matches on the weekends and club duties mixed in can have a massive toll on a person, especially with the standard of training constantly rising. Is it not justifiable that players need an incentive to commit to this? Many will disagree with this statement, but just put yourself in that situation. Our players are professionals, playing an amateur game. The GAA pulls in millions a year and is the biggest sporting organisation in Ireland, and the largest amateur organisation in the world. Surely there is enough money there to pay players even just a small bit?

I know the main argument against this is ‘sure don’t they have the pride in the jersey to play’ but this is an outdated look on the issue. There will never be 200,000 weekly wages in the GAA, it’s not soccer, but ‘just €100 euro a week’ would give players a reason to keep playing for longer time, and also incentivise younger players to improve their game to make county teams. The pride would never be lost if it was such small amounts. There would obviously need to be a strict limit put in place by the GAA in regards to the pay, but it could definitely work. Every player loves his club and his county, and will play regardless of pay. But every man loves his family also. There will come a time when the GAA will have to pay players or the game will not be a viable option for most people once they reach adulthood. Why can’t that time be now?

By The Rover


The comments and opinions contained herein are those of the author and not of Wexford GAA

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