Allianz League final media event cancelled because of GPA protest 2 months ago

Allianz League final media event cancelled because of GPA protest

The GPA are continuing their protest over expenses and, as a result, some players and managers aren't doing interviews.

Darragh Fitzgibbon, for example, was the only player who gave a televised interview after last weekend's round of games though it seems he did so by mistake. As confirmed to us by the GPA, Fitzgibbon was approached by TG4 as man-of-the-match and, exhausted after the game, forgot about the protest that was taking place.

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He explained this through the Cork rep and that was that.

Allianz first came on board as National League sponsors in the 1990s and, forever since, they have sponsored media days on League final week. In SportsJOE, we had received correspondence about this week's event, due to take place on Tuesday but, on the back of a GPA statement last week, it has since been postponed.

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A GPA statement declared that, having held a vote with squad reps and captains, it was decided that 'no players will attend the launch of any GAA competitions at national or provincial level in the coming weeks.'

Players would receive a sum of money to participate in such media days so in showing solidarity to their fellow players, they are taking a hit here. Some managers are also refusing to do interviews in a show of support for their players, like Wexford manager Darragh Egan, who, despite talking to TG4, didn't talk to journalists after their loss to Waterford at the weekend.

Meanwhile, Dessie Farrell, one of the founders of the GPA, did speak with journalists after their loss to Monaghan.

In that statement from their CEO Tom Parsons, the players' body discussed issues risen by players at their most recent meeting. They talked about players who, having been dropped from county panels since the start of the year, are yet to receive expenses. They talked about counties who, with more than 32 players on their squad, have discovered that those from 32 up haven't been paid their expenses.

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They talked about cases where, from Friday to Sunday, players aren't allowed to request mileage, which is paid at a rate of 65cent per mile, from an address outside their counties.

"Attempts are being made to force them to only claim expenses from their family address within their county. This is despite the fact that their sole reason for this journey is to attend training. If imposed this could result in financial distress to players, especially students," read that particular complaint.

As a result, the GPA, its reps and captains agreed on the following.

"A unanimous vote was taken among the 60+ captains and reps on the call to escalate the player protest. It was decided by your squad reps and captains that;

•    Specifically for televised broadcast interviews on match day, players will continue to make themselves unavailable.

•    No players will attend the launch of any GAA competitions at national or provincial level in the coming weeks.

•    Players will write to the GAA’s commercial sponsors to inform them of the position of players and flag disruption of upcoming events is likely.

The unity shown on last night’s call was a very clear illustration that we are in this together. Players noted that we are still open to discussions with the GAA to resolve these issues."

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