GPA and GAA agree new four-year funding deal

The GPA will continue to receive 15% of the GAA's net commercial revenue, while gaining a greater influence to formally work with the GAA on such deals in future
GPA and GAA agree new four-year funding deal

GPA CEO Paul Flynn, right, speaking with GAA President John Horan at GAA Special Congress at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last year. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

The Gaelic Players' Association has agreed a new four-year funding deal with the GAA after more than a year of negotiations.

The GPA will continue to receive 15% of the GAA's net commercial revenue, as agreed in 2016, while gaining a greater influence to formally work with the GAA on such deals in future.

Additional sponsors will be allocated to the GAA/GPA commercial partnership including a current Tier 1 GAA sponsor and three Tier 2 sponsors; specifically a diversity partner, a logistics partner, and an official ball/sliotar partner.

While a minimum guarantee of €2.5m in funding to the GPA has been removed, the GPA received €2.97m from this arrangement, which accounts for revenues from media coverage, sponsorship, franchising, and licensing, last year.

In addition, €800,000 has been committed to the GPA's past players' surgical fund, spread across the next four years.  

The 2016 deal was extended by a year as financial negotiations stretched into 2020 and were further delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic which has wiped out the GAA's income from gate receipts.

The agreement kicks to touch the issue of player expenses until next year, when negotiations will resume on a separate players' charter.

The GAA and GPA agreed on a reduced flat mileage rate of 50c per mile in October for the 2020 campaign as part of the GAA's cost-saving measures. It had been increased to between 62.5c and 65c per mile in their last deal four years ago.

"The GAA and GPA are pleased to announce that a new protocol to cover the next four years has been agreed between the two associations," read a joint statement.

"The agreement follows a lengthy period of negotiations after the last arrangement was initially extended by one year.

"The new agreement will maintain the 15% share of net commercial revenue allocated to the GPA from the GAA annually and is designed to encourage the two associations to work in partnership to develop commercial revenues to their full potential. 

"This will in turn allow for enhanced investment in all areas of Gaelic games including the off-field lives of inter-county players.

"Expenses incurred by players in preparing for the inter-county game will be covered in a separate players’ charter, which will be negotiated separately in 2021.

"Both the GAA and the GPA would like to acknowledge all of those involved in the process from both organisations and look forward to enhanced future cooperation for the benefit of both our inter-county player base and the wider association."

GAA core funding accounted for 39% of GPA income in 2019, with Government grants making up another 40%. The bulk of GPA expenditure (81%) is used on player development programmes and player welfare.

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