"Hopefully the runaway train of previous years can be slowed down..."

January 25, 2021

John Prenty wants inter-county training capped at three times per week, and two on a game week.

Connacht GAA council secretary John Prenty has called for inter-county training to be capped at three times per week, and two on a game week.

Writing in his annual report ahead of Thursday's convention, the Mayo native also suggested restricting match-day squads to 26, Croke Park continue to cover team expenses for a maximum of 32 players on each senior squad and limiting backroom team members to 12 while supporting a 'split season' model.

He said the GAA have 'stumbled' upon a formula that helped produce a 'very exciting' 2020 All-Ireland championship, despite a decrease of almost 40% in the cost of running inter-county teams from the year before.

"Suddenly we had no games, no attendances, lockdowns and very little financial opportunities. For a number of years I have decried the excessive costs of the inter-county game in particular with year-on-year increases in expenditure," Prenty wrote.

“The way that the year panned out meant that the previous demands of inter-county team managers and players to train more, have more professional staff involved and consequently spend more, could not be accommodated as 2020 had to be different and we managed to have a very exciting, high quality inter-county championship with county team costs at a fraction of the year before. 

"Hopefully the runaway train of previous years can be slowed down to keep within the speed limits."

He continued: "Maybe we have stumbled onto a formula for the future. Split season; match-day panels of 26; senior team panel expenses for 32 players (all counties should be confined to 32); team expenses paid centrally, with additional costs confirmed by the auditor."

"Back room size confined to 12 officially. Counties carrying huge backroom teams has shown to be unnecessary, in my opinion, whereby some counties have almost a backroom panel on a one-to-one ratio with the players. Reduction measures are required to be done in this area."

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