Thursday, March 27, 2008

GAA: Unanswered Questions on the "Eligible Expenses" scheme

Of One Belief also asks some pertinent questions about the "Eligible Expenses" scheme...

"The new “Eligible Expenses” scheme is very long on the “How” (ie we get chapter and verse on the mechanics of the thing) but totally and worryingly short on the “What” (i.e. just what is going to be included in these mysterious “Eligible Expenses”). In plain GAA language it’s not good enough. GAA people at Congress in a fortnight’s time are being asked to sign a blank cheque. We were last asked to do this on 8 December last year: we all now know the narrow escape the GAA had then. There’s an old Irish saying that goes: “Fool me once, shame on you … Fool me twice, shame on me!” It seems fairly relevant here!

Let’s look at the new “scheme”. At first glance alone here are some of the problems with it:
  • Just what are “Eligible Expenses”? It’s time to show us the beef! Give us a list of what’s in and make it clear what’s out. If that fairly simple exercise can’t be done … well, why can’t it be done?

  • On whose authority is the GPA to be unilaterally introduced to important decision-making roles within the GAA?

  • Why is the GPA the only party to all this not defined in the document?

  • What are the legal liabilities for the GAA in involving a non-constituted body like the GPA in its corporate governance?

  • Will team mentors/back-room people be eligible for these “enhanced expenses”? If not, why not?

  • Ditto re people involved in inter-County Under 21 and Minor teams

  • Ditto re referees, in many ways among the most important GAA people of all

  • And what about the driver who brings County Players to training etc in his/her car: does the inter-County player then revert back to being a 50-cents-a-mile as opposed to a €1.27-a-mile burden?

  • Who’s going to handle the administrative nightmare this will introduce at County level?

  • What kind of expenses regime is it that’s performance-based? Expenses are expenses are expenses: if they’re tied in to some sort of performance-related arrangement they’re not bona fide expenses. Are we seeing a major GAA Trojan Horse here?

  • Any encouragement of pooled player travel (and another stated government policy) now goes out the window

  • Most seriously of all, after all the honeyed words about player burnout we’re now about to lever even more training/performance demands onto inter-County players: that’s simply not what we should be doing"

1 comment:

deiseach said...

I seem to recall that people who suggested that the original grants scheme could potentially bring the GAA's rules into conflict with EU employment law were told that this could not be the case, that the GAA would have taken advise to that effect and no one could force the GAA to change its rules against its will and anyway who was going to go to court over a measly few quid. Yet here we have a new scheme designed specifically to head off any such objections. Fancy that.