Cavan LGFA have released a statement in response to strike action by Cavan Ladies Senior players following breaches of an agreed player charter.
Cavan players including Lauren McVeety, team captain Neasa Byrd and Collingwood AFLW's Aishling Sheridan featured on the 'We Are Cavan' podcast to bring awareness to their situation, alluding to a "constant battle" with the county board over issues from expenses to the lack of gear being supplied to the team.
Players confirmed that striking was being considered and days later on Sunday March 26th, the Cavan Ladies Senior Team opted out of their National League Division 2 match against Tyrone following "numerous attempts to have the minimum standards set out in the agreement adhered to".
"While there has been positive engagement since the issues involved were brought to light, we now want to see it backed up by action and these minimum standards finally implemented."
"We are not prepared to play until the issues have been fully resolved as we have been let down as regards promises and commitments previously."
The statement went on to say "Taking a decision to withdraw from a game is not something we do lightly. However, given the current circumstances, we feel we do not have any other option."
Open letter issued on behalf of the Cavan Senior Ladies Footballers to the supporters and clubs in the county. pic.twitter.com/WW6gqjYDqm
— GPA (@gaelicplayers) March 26, 2023
In response to the team's decision to strike and following mounting pressure to respond, Cavan LGFA have released a statement outlining their timeline of events stating "Making change does not happen overnight, and we have endeavoured over the last three months to support our players and members.".
The statement confirmed that on January 15th, a charter was signed by Cavan LGFA Gaelic Players Association representatives and representatives from their Executive board.
"On the 30th January, we received an email from the senior team Female Liaison Officer. This outlined that they requested travel expenses for four cars travelling down from University in Dublin."
"In an act of good faith, subject to a full executive meeting where the finances could be discussed and finalised, a once-off payment was paid to the cars 1st February."
"At the full executive meeting following this discussion on the 2 February, at that moment and upon disclosure of the Senior Team expenses, it was not a feasible option at this particular point in time, as there was an alarming increase of 101% on the same period in 2022 on the senior team."
"This was not proportionality being offset by income. This was open to be reviewed as per the charter in April."
In response to their rejection of player's proposition of an Easter Camp to offset costs in an effort to fundraise, the county board said a required eight-week notice period was required from Croke Park and they were open to allowing a camp in the summer months.
Players had also expressed their frustration surrounding gear with each player being given one set of socks and shorts for their Division 2 Lidl League campaign which players expressed as "not good enough".
In response, Cavan LGFA said: "As a point of clarity on gear, girls were sized and fitted. This includes playing gear, match day gear and training gear. This is with the manufacturers currently."
The county board had also turned down a request to meet the entire squad and management, saying they would meet player representatives and then management separately, before executive members met with player representatives along with GPA CEO Tom Parsons last Thursday following the release of the We Are Cavan podcast.
"We believed that there was positive engagement from all parties, and a positive commitment to engage further on all the issues that were raised. The proposals which were made were seemingly agreed to by all," the statement read.
"On Friday afternoon, we were contacted for confirmation on the finetuning before the proposals were brought to the full group for clarification that evening. On Friday night, we received feedback from the wider group. New proposals were made by the players."
"Despite our honest endeavour as a committee, and to our greatest sadness, at 1pm on Saturday, we were informed that the players would not be fulfilling the fixtures."
"Croke Park advised us to inform both players and management that the Government Intercounty Scheme Funding, which includes player expenses, would not be fulfilled as per their guidelines."
— CavanLGFA (@CavanLGFA) March 26, 2023