Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Players are the GAA’s crown jewels says GPA chief Farrell

Dessie's not one to let the opportunity for an argument pass by, and no doubt got his buddy and biographer, Potty to help him pen and a swift and acidic response to Paddy Heaney's piece (Time has come for GPA to stop asking for more).

Earlier this year Paraic Duffy pleaded for a better relationship between the GPA and those that do not share the same views, reminding the GPA that it is not helpful for them to "use dismissive or intemperate language towards those who hold a contrary view on player-related issues". That call certainly fell on deaf ears, even though Dessie says, he "tried to temper his response".

Dessie makes it clear that any formal recognition of the GPA will have to involve the GAA bankrolling the players' association so that it can apply for "an expanded package of player welfare services". Dessie's wish list of employment programmes, health services and education initiatives would make Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro proud. One further step on the slippery slope to professionalism.
Except Dessie thinks he can cloak the intention as a guise to protect Gaelic's amateur status. "We can safeguard our amateur status by ensuring we achieve excellence in the area of welfare" Dessie boldly claims. Because if you don't he warns "this has the potential to set us on another collision course with the GAA regarding sponsorship, TV and image rights". That's code for we want control over the money generated from these rights and we will strike if we don't get our way.

Most alarmingly, and this betrays Dessie's true vision for the GAA, he sees the GAA as a "product" which we must make the "best in the market" to compete with other codes.
Lord help us all.

No comments: