GAA and GPA unveil new £15.6m players welfare deal to run from 2017-19

GPA president Dessie Farrell (left) alongside GPA chairman Seamus Hickey, GAA president Aogan O Fearghail and GAA director general Paraic Duffy
The new agreement was announced at Croke Park on Monday

The GAA and Gaelic Players Association have unveiled a new £15.6m agreement to run from 2017-19 aimed at improving conditions for inter-county players.

The new scheme will include an increase in mileage and nutrition expenses plus a special fund for former players.

A working group to examine demands on inter-county players is also being set up amid current widespread concerns.

The agreement between Croke Park and the GPA will see the players body have a bigger input into GAA policy.

Monday's agreement means Croke Park's funding for the GPA will more than double from the previous agreement in 2011.

For this first time, the GPA will also receive a percentage of commercial revenues which has been factored into the estimated annual £5.2m sums.

The current mileage rate of just under 42 pence is being increased to over 54 pence with a pot of just over £1m being provided annually for the new overall nutrition allowance for players.

The scheme will also see the GPA having the right to submit one motion to Annual Congress and the players body having an additional Congress delegate.

"The increased commitment involved in playing our games at inter-county level has been commonly acknowledged for some time," said GAA president Aogan O Fearghail at the announcement.

"We are serious about the welfare of our players and will continue to work with the GPA to safeguard that welfare," he said.

GPA president Dessie Farrell described the agreement as "another historic milestone" for the two organisations.

"This three-year agreement now establishes a long-term commitment to link player welfare and development with the GAA's commercial success which is highly significant," added the former Dublin footballer.

Under the scheme, some £167,000 will be available annually to deal with what is termed "surgical interventions" for former players.