Mileage cut among proposed GAA cost savers

A cut of over 50% to the mileage rate is among the cost-saving proposals that have been made to the GAA.
Mileage cut among proposed GAA cost savers

Croke Park have invited suggestions from units such as the provincial councils as to how they can go about reducing expenditure in the coming months. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Croke Park have invited suggestions from units such as the provincial councils as to how they can go about reducing expenditure in the coming months. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

A cut of over 50% to the mileage rate is among the cost-saving proposals that have been made to the GAA.

Croke Park have invited suggestions from units such as the provincial councils as to how they can go about reducing expenditure in the coming months. They include caps on training sessions and spends.

Among them is a temporary reduction in the mileage rate to 30 cent per mile. Currently, it is between 62.5c and 65c per mile for inter-county players and the standard is 50c per mile.

The increased mileage rate was part of the funding agreement between the GAA and Gaelic Players Association (GPA), which elapsed last year but as per that contract rolled onto this year. That fund has a capacity of €1.5m per annum, which will hardly be challenged in 2020.

As the GAA takes stock of its financial situation in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown, the terms of the deal are expected to be renegotiated. They had included a vouched nutritional expenses initiative for players, which can be as much as €1.2m per year. The amount of direct funding from the GPA to GAA, which was €3.3m in 2019, is also to be reconsidered.

Having already made a series of significant cuts to Central Council-contracted salaries, the GAA face a number of further difficult decisions when the Government’s wage subsidy scheme concludes at the end of August.

Although the GAA have availed of the scheme, employees have taken reductions since the end of March where the cuts ranged from 10% to 30%. From the start of June, those earning over €38,000 will see their wages diminish by 40%, while employees on an annual salary of between €24,400 and €38,000 will experience a cut of 30%.

Those decreases are intended to be deferments with regular income payments to be made “as soon as possible once the current nationwide Covid-19 emergency is concluded”.

However, the GAA is currently taking in barely if any income. It is dependent on the inter-county championships taking place and they are not set to start until late October.

As part of the Federation of Irish Sport, the GAA will soon make an application to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport for emergency funding.

GAA director general Tom Ryan said last month: “There probably will come an end where we need to look at what sources of assistance are available to us, but we haven’t really done it yet and when we do we will do it in tandem with the sports community in general.”

Meanwhile, the death has taken place of Galway super-fan Brendan Coffey. An honorary steward at Pearse Stadium, Coffey, who passed away on Sunday, was well-known for his association with the county teams and fundraising activities.

Galway senior football team manager Pádraic Joyce posted on Twitter: “Sad day for all involved with Galway GAA with the news that the real ‘Boss’ one of our greatest ever supporters has moved on and will be keeping an eye on us from above.” Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

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