The scrapping of inter-county players’ grants now looks inevitable after the Minister for Sport, Martin Cullen, admitted that he is unable to stump up the €3.5 million to keep the scheme afloat.

Cullen will meet GPA representatives to discuss the future of the scheme, but the body has warned that that “much-needed revenue and status” afforded to players would be lost if the scheme is cut.

The Irish Sports Council will announce funding for the GAA, the FAI and the IRFU today (Wednesday), with the issue of monies available to hurlers and footballers set to dominate proceedings.

The grants, which were approved in 2007, have been axed due to the downturn in the economy and major cuts in government spending.

“The scheme gave inter-county players some much-needed revenue and status, and that status would be removed if the scheme is cut,” a GPA statement read.

“It would be very serious for inter-county players. GAA players are elite sports people. There is no escaping that inter-county hurlers and footballers have been singled out here.”