The President of the Gaelic Players Association, David Collins, insists that that the GPA are not in the pockets of the GAA.
However, he concedes that his association have failed in the recent past to get their message out there.
“You can see from our engagement levels and the amount of players engaging in the programs we have that we are not in the GAA’s pockets,” Collins told RTÉ Sunday Sport.
“Yes, we are partners with the GAA but we have to be partners with them. They are the key stakeholders to it all and if we don’t deal with them and work with them where are we going to go as an organisation.”
Recently, the GPA was criticised for their lack of transparency and not selling themselves to the general public. Collins accepted that they need to work on informing people about they do.
“I think our explanation of what we do and how players respond to us and how players engage with us isn’t in the public eye.
“That’s a key thing that we need to change but it’s the relationships we need to change, be it with the media or our stakeholders in the GAA. That’s a real perception we need to drive forward.
“That’s a strategy going forward in next 12-18 months that we engage more and we get people to know what we do.”
Collins also responded to the suggestion that the GPA was comprised by their relationship with the GAA.
“That’s something that has been said to me personally with our relationship. Are we in bed with them are we this and that?
“Are we too nice now that we are partnered with the GAA? Yes we have to be on the same page as them, yes we have to work with them but we also have to be there for our players.
“Only two weeks ago we stood up for our players, we polled them instantly and asked them how they felt about the restructuring or how they felt about the Super 8s and all that. That’s information based and we feed that back to the GAA through meetings.
“The GAA weren’t happy with how we did that in that in terms of releasing a statement and how we pushed for the games to be called off because of the support for the players.
“How do the GAA go around setting games for a bank holiday Monday when we have players who have employment in the north of the country? These are key issues and we forced that back on the GAA.
“This is something we need to do more of, we need to be seen to be doing more of it and if we are not seen to be confrontational people think we aren’t doing anything. And that is far from the truth.”