Outgoing Interim CEO of the Gaelic Players Association Ciaran Barr has hit out at detractors creating a divide between clubs and counties within the GAA.
The former O'Donovan Rossa and Antrim hurler shed some light into the GAA's financial structure, calling intercounty funding an 'investment'.
Mayo man Tom Parsons has now filled Barr's role as CEO of the GPA following their AGM on Monday night. Barr will revert to a Head of Operations and Finance position.
"The intercounty game cannot thrive without the club game. The club game cannot thrive without the intercounty game," Barr said in the meeting.
There have been some vocal within the GAA sphere that intercounty spending has been 'unsustainable', with Barr believing the contrary. He asked if funding could be more 'efficient' and 'effective' and said the 2019 and 2020 reports give an overall picture.
"In 2019, with a thriving intercounty game, the GAA generated record revenues - 83 cent in every euro of which was invested back into schools, clubs, counties and provinces."
"In 2020 revenues generated by the inter-county game fell off a cliff due to Covid-19 and GAA units across the country and overseas were left with little to no investment as the GAA just didn’t have the money."
Barr was insistent on intercounty funding being a key turnover for clubs across the country. "They attract the attendances, they attract the media coverage, they attract the commercial revenue," he said.
"This commercial revenue is then distributed down along the chain to all units of the GAA. It is those units that provide the volunteers, develop the facilities and nurture players some of whom progress to intercounty level."
— WGPA (@WomensGPA) July 2, 2021
Monday night's AGM also sees the last report given without the involvement of the women's game. In December, the Women's GPA carried out a merger with the GPA for united representation.
"After that we will not have male GPA members and female GPA members. We will have solely GPA members. Different backgrounds, one association," Barr said.
The GPA reported a surplus of €467,289 at last night's AGM for the 2020 financial year. In 2019, they recorded a surplus of €87,674.
Making up the executive GPA board are former WPGA chief Maria Kinsella and Wexford's Matt O'Hanlon as co-chairs. Cork native's Aoife Murray and Dónal Óg Cusack will act as secretary and president respectively.