Laois GAA will oppose the introduction of payment to managers after delegates opted against the move at Monday night’s county board meeting.
The current hot topic in GAA circles has been widely debated at club level in recent weeks, and club delegates were informed at Monday night’s meeting that a decision would have to be made on Laois’ stance on the issue ahead of further meetings between the GAA’s Central Council.
Portarlington delegate Seamus Hunt urged that no payments to managers be brought in, as he felt it would be a “recipe for disaster” which would in turn lead to players demanding payment, and in turn leading to a situation which the GAA could not afford.
Rathdowney-Errill delegate Mick Fitzpatrick spoke in favour of managers being paid, saying. “Managers are going to be paid whether we like it or not, it should be out in the open.”
John Kealy from Borris-Kilcotton felt clubs in particular needed assistance from GAA authorities on the matter. “Clubs need guidelines, eventually some club is going to be investigated and on one wants to see anyone left out to dry, a bit of guidance is needed so that everyone is satisfied. This won’t go away.”
Addressing the meeting, Central Council delegate Anthony Delaney said he would “exercise whatever is decided here” at Central Council level, but felt that it was an almost impossible situation to police as it would mean the county executive would have to investigate its own clubs. A breach of the rule would lead to a six month suspension if a club or county board was found guilty.
Martin Byrne, the current Treasurer of the Laois County Board insisted that should an inspection of Laois’ finances ever be conducted, that the county would have nothing to hide.
Under current guidelines, managers are only entitled to claim mileage at a rate of 50 cent per mile, along with other various expenses such as for food or phone calls.
It was eventually decided that the county’s stance be that the current rules, as they stand, be enforced, rather than seeing payments legalised or regulated, with the members settling on the statement that the Association “Implement GAA Rules and continue to pay standard mileage” to managers.
No Central Council meeting on the subject has been arranged as of yet, with one expected either on or before the GAA convention in April.