GPA chairman Seamus Hickey details what’s expected of new CEO of the organisation.
Speaking to OffTheBall.com’s morning show OTB AM, Hickey says the GPA will begin the process of appointing a CEO in the coming days.
“What we’ve done for the last two months was getting a subcommittee of our board working on what we’re looking for in terms of our next CEO, the advertisement is due out in the next couple of days and we’ll get that process up and running as fast as we can.”
Hickey says that the organisation will be looking for someone who can empathize with the players and highlight the role that the GPA have played in improving the conditions for inter-county players thus far.
“The most important thing, it’s universal in all the things we do, we need someone who knows the players, understands the players and represents them well. The environment has changed for the GPA and GAA especially in recent times with new personnel on both sides.
“We’re basically a stake holder in our games, our players are hugely important, we need someone who is going to represent them to the best of their ability we need someone who is empathetic towards the players and represents the players as best they can.
“Even if you were a past player there is a need to understand the modern player and the modern game and understand what the pressures are on and off the pitch. It can be a past player, it can be someone who is intimately familiar with the GAA and with the players and the commitments they make, it can be a positive and negative to be in a dressing room and have been in a dressing room depends on your openness and understanding of today.”
Hickey also spoke to OTB AM about the GPA’s continued fundraising campaigns in the United States which have been criticized in the past, having begun back in 2012.
“At the genesis of the GPA we were self funded, we had a commercial deal with Club Energise at the time which was one of our main incomes and we had no official recognition with the GAA, our founders basically took it as a mission to go over to the USA to raise awareness of the commitments and the role that the inter-county player in Ireland plays in our national sport, the leaders that they are on and off the field and the role models in the community.
“They went over with that ambition to develop a network of supporters of highly influential people in the US to help fund at the time our players programme, including scholarships.
“Then with the agreement with the GAA when we set up our player’s development programmes and our programmes of career and financial advice, CV support, interview skills and workshops and all of the different programmes we have. The demand from players started to increase, without the funds we receive from the US fundraising we wouldn’t be able to fund it; we’d have to restrict the services we offer to our members. The fundraising efforts in the US are essential to come of the key programmes we run.
“In recent years part of the US funding has been used to support our friends in the WGPA, we have actively contributed to their running and successful growth of their association, without an independent revenue stream to supplement what the GAA gives us we wouldn’t have the resources to provide what we do for players, that’s the reason we’re over fundraising.”