McCartan and Grimley call for compensation

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

BOTH Down and Armagh managers James McCartan and Paul Grimley have called for their players to be compensated for any loss of earnings as a result of the clash between the sides on Friday, February 7.
The Division Two National League game in the Athletic Grounds is the only game this season fixed to take place on a Friday night and while McCartan's response was a little muted Grimley was fuming, calling the decision scandalous.
“If we are given a fixture to fulfil we don't want to be awkward and break the rules but at the same time we are being constantly reminded that we are playing an amateur sport and that is fine, but amateur doesn't mean you lose money," said Grimley.
“The Olympics is seen as amateur games but yet athletes are endorsed by big sponsorship deals and whenever the Ireland international rules team play in Australia I am given the understanding that they are reimbursed for any loss in wages.
“So we are expecting the least our players do is take a half-day from work, yet there is nothing on offer and this is 2014 and it is scandalous."
While McCartan agrees with Grimley's decree about players being compensated he is more concerned with the player burnout considering the Friday game comes only two days after Sigerson Cup.
“All I would say is that anyone that has to take time off work should be compensated," said McCartan.
“It is a bit of an inconvenience for some guys but I am sure if they were going to be told that they are going to be playing Armagh in Armagh in front of 11000 people and they had to take two or three hours off work, I'd say most of them would accept that.
“But if Friday night games become a regular occurrence it is something that needs to be looked at again."
And the Down boss is concerned how the Friday night game will affect his players.
“It has become an issue as it has come to light that there is a Sigerson game two days before," he said.
“The GAA are all about player burnout and player welfare and it might have been a simple oversight because the penny didn't drop with me either, but at this time of year with the heavy ground, to play two 70 minute games in 48 hours certainly isn't ideal and it is something that needs to be looked at. I am going to be generous and say it was an oversight."

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