Waterford demand U-turn on GAA's move to 'pause' loss of wages cover on player injury fund

The county released a statement this morning calling for a ‘resolution’ before the return to play.

A general view of Croke Park.
A general view of Croke Park.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

WATERFORD GAA HAS demanded that the GAA perform a U-turn on its recent move regarding the loss of wages benefit on the player injury scheme. 

It was recently confirmed that loss of wages would not be covered by the GAA’s player injury fund in 2021.

The fund has been in existence since 1929 and provides benefit cover against serious injuries. But after recent loss and hefty deficits amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, clubs were informed of the decision to “temporarily pause” the loss of wages cover.

The GAA’s finance director Ger Mulryan said that this move will save the fund approximately €1.3m per year in his annual report released last month, adding: “It is hoped that this benefit can and will be restored when future funding permits.” 

Cork GAA clubs made their voices heard in an article with The Irish Examiner earlier this month while other club chiefs around the country have predicted a player exodus, and this morning, Waterford became the first county to publicly call for the U-turn.

In a statement, Waterford GAA noted that a “resolution” should be reached before the return to play. 

It’s understood that self-employed club players are wary of returning with this risk involved.

The statement, in full, reads: “Following an online meeting of the Management Committee held on 16th March 2021, Waterford GAA would like to clarify its position regarding the Loss of Wages Benefit on the Player Injury Scheme.

“Subsequent to a discussion on the matter taking place at 2020 Convention, Waterford County Board contacted Croke Park on 18th December. The response received from the Financial Director was circulated to the clubs later that afternoon. Waterford GAA, Central Council Delegate Brendan Tobin also queried the decision at the Central Council meeting on December 18th.

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“The matter was further discussed at several meetings of the Management Committee in early 2021 and the County Board have forwarded and supported the concerns of clubs with further correspondence to Croke Park on March 12th.

“The Management Committee have this week written to Croke Park requesting that the item be included on the agenda for the Central Council meeting on March 20th seeking the full restoration of the Loss of Wages Benefit on the Player Injury Scheme.

“CLG Phort Láirge appreciate that the GAA finances at national level are in a challenging position but are hopeful that a resolution on this matter can be found prior to the resumption of any playing activity.”

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