GPA not fazed by bank blow

GPA officials are not hopeful about the chances of continuing their sponsorship deal with Halifax.

Chief executive, Dessie Farrell, held talks with a senior bank figure on Tuesday night, just hours after the bank announced it was closing its retail business in Ireland.

The company has sponsored the player association’s hurling twinning scheme as well as their fair play awards for the last two seasons and Farrell confirmed that both would continue in the future regardless of Halifax’s involvement.

“At this stage, it wouldn’t be looking good, which is disappointing because we had another year of the contract to run, but we had been planning for this eventuality given the recession, so there are contingency plans in place.

“While it’s unfortunate, it’s not going to cause us huge concern,” he added. “At this stage the concern is more for players that were employed by Halifax and the rest of the staff. 750 people have lost their jobs.”

At least two current inter-county players work in the company’s retail sector. The GPA will meet with Halifax again next week but the cost of any termination in their deal is balanced against the €250,000 the players’ group will receive every year from the GAA towards administration costs as well as another €1m for various schemes.

“Obviously there’s an amount of funding for administration, which would help, but we have our ongoing sponsorship and we’d hope to secure more sponsorship over the coming year,” said Farrell at a function to promote the European Transplant and Dialysis Games. “There’d be joint opportunities with the GAA themselves and we hope to begin work on that very shortly.”


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