No change to how Cork refs paid

Cork referees’ co-ordinator Michael Keane has been given assurances from the county board that referees will be paid in the same format as they were last year.

Keane said he has not been given instruction to ask match officials in the county for their Personal Public Service (PPS) numbers.

Despite county boards in Longford, Tipperary and Wexford requesting referees’ PPS numbers to complete new expenses sheets, Cork have yet to explain what system they will use to distribute match fees following talks between the GAA and Revenue earlier this year.

“There’s no change as far as I’m concerned,” Keane said. “I’ve been told there is no change anyway. There has been no mention of PPS numbers and the status quo remains.

“I’ve heard that a system could be coming in where mileage would be involved but Cork referees would still be getting the same amount for every championship match [€45, €25 for a league game] as they did last year.”

Keane believes a spotlight has been unfairly shone on match officials.

“When you’re bringing another six fellas with you to a game you’re not making money out of it,” he said. “It’s a myth to think referees are making a nice living out of it.

“I honestly think this was brought in with the focus on managers and their expenses but there is no comparison that can be made between them and the referees.”

Cork referees are remunerated in December based on the number of match reports they have submitted.

In a survey conducted by the Irish Examiner, Mayo and Laois referees also said they have yet to receive any information about the new expenses system.

Like in Cork, Mayo’s referees usually receive their fees shortly before Christmas at an end-of-year event with them receiving €50 per championship match.

As things stand, they have been asked to submit all their match reports after which the board can ascertain what money is due to them.

“There has been no mention of PPS numbers,” said a well-placed source. “We’re still waiting on instructions.”

Laois referees’ co-ordinator Vincent Dowling explained referees had been receiving €50 for championship games, which had been “collected at the gate”, and €45 for other adult fixtures which was provided by the home team.

On the matter of the mileage system and PPS numbers, he said: “We haven’t had any word of that as yet.

“I don’t know what is coming in but referees won’t travel 25 miles for €20. They just won’t do it. The price of petrol is going through the roof.”

In Donegal, there is consternation among some referees about having to fill out forms to ensure they receive their fees.

Meanwhile, the Gaelic Match Officials Association have welcomed the news from Longford and Wexford that the county boards will ensure referees receive the same amount of expenses as they did in fees last year.

“However, a large number of counties have not clarified their position as regards out-of-pocket expenses for 2012,” said the GMOA spokesman.

“The GMOA advise all referees’ bodies who have not yet secured an agreement on their expenses from their county board to do so immediately.

“The fairest solution for all concerned is follow the Longford County Board’s lead and have your county board make up any shortfall of €40.”

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