Friday, December 14, 2007

Opposition to the grant grows

Your Chance to Make Another Statement!

Fellow gaels in north Leinster have arranged a public meeting on the pay-for-play arrangements as follows:

Wednesday 19 December
7.30 pm
Cavan Crystal Hotel, Cavan Town

Let’s see what the south Ulster/north Leinster/north Connacht view on all this stuff is. If you’re from there, then turn up at the Cavan Crystal next Wednesday night. Bring others with you … and tell even more people about it. This is one of the most important things you’ll be asked to do to help reverse the pay-for-play agenda … so let’s have a turnout that makes a statement!

If you’re getting this email you’re a believer. If you’re a believer, be there!
(If anyone sees a bearded gentlemen in a red suit … invite him along!)

After Last Saturday …
After the approval of the pay-for-play arrangements last Saturday - by Central Council only, remember (and in my official guide Central Council is just one of five levels of “jurisdiction” within the GAA, the other four being Clubs; Counties; Provinces; and Congress) - what’s now to stop this scenario:

  • Millionaire A offers County A’s Senior Football Panel members €/£20,000 a man to win the All-Ireland

  • He offers Player B from County B €/£50,000 to come on board … and gives him a job/address in County A

  • All parties sign an agreement stating that they “recognise that the GAA is an Amateur Association and state their absolute commitment to the maintenance of the amateur status of the Association. They state that nothing in this agreement shall be allowed to undermine the amateur status of Gaelic games”. (Does that last bit sound familiar?)

In the new post-8 December world how can the GAA legally or morally oppose such a scenario? It’s performance-based; County panel-specifc; isn’t “our” money; and will be paid/distributed by a third party. And there’s a paper guaranteeing the amateur status. So it clearly isn’t pay for play! (It’s definitely time for that bearded gentleman in the red suit!)

Up Down! Up Tyrone!
Tyrone and Down will meet in next year’s Ulster SFC (GPA strikes etc permitting of course!). Whatever the outcome, we’ll know we have two true GAA counties going head-to-head.

On Sunday Down voted unanimously to reject last Saturday’s pay-for-play deal. On Tuesday night Tyrone voted 152:1 to reject any meddling with Rule 11 via grants or any other sleight-of-hand. Tyrone’s mathematics are interesting in that they almost certainly reflect the proper proportions involved in this whole issue. Don’t let’s pretend there isn’t a “GPA view”. There is. And it has a right to be heard. But for every GAA person holding that view we’d be very confident there’d be 150 who don’t hold it.

To its shame last Saturday made no attempt to reflect or seek the views of the 150.

You’re Growing … and Growing … and Growing!
As of last night, 12 December, there’s 521 of you out there. Thank you for supporting the opposition to pay-for-play.

We believe this is now on the agenda for Congress 2008. And we intend to keep the debate rolling right up until then. To do that we need your help.

Stay with us!

Keep raising this issue!

Don’t accept that the fat lady has sung (she hasn’t even warmed up yet!)

Keep reinforcing what the GAA’s really about!

And come to the Cavan Crystal Hotel next Wednesday night!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Latest from Oppposition to Grants Campaign

Black Saturday
Despite the clear opportunity to defer and go out for consultation, Central Council went ahead and approved pay-for-play on Saturday. Having just driven a horse and cart through Rule 11, it was a wee bit rich of them to then tell the rest of us to go away and examine our consciences about breaches of amateur status at club and county level. Nonetheless there’s something in what they say. This cancer has been eating away at the insides of the GAA for a while. But just because you’ve a cancer in one place is no reason to start injecting yourself with botulism somewhere else!

Doire Abu!
Derry’s County Convention today unanimously passed a motion opposing grants/pay-for-play. They join Mayo as counties fully opposed to where the GAA is being brought to. Conventions are now coming thick and fast. Try to go to yours and make the case against the implementation of what Central Council passed on Saturday.

“Questions and Answers”There may be a bit of coverage of pay-for-play on RTE’s Q&A tonight (Monday). Watch it and see … and get others to do likewise!

Not Our Style
Some of today’s media coverage was not good for our President, Nickey Brennan. We took no pleasure in it. Nickey’s our President, put there by us. In opposing pay-for-play we’re not about rubbishing anybody. What we are about is upholding a core GAA value.

What’s Next?
Some “malcontents” (by the way as of 10.00pm last night there’s 407 of you registered here) in the midlands and south of the country want to hold meetings along the lines of the Elk/Toome event. It’s not yet clear if the meetings will be held before or after Christmas … but as soon as anything’s organised we’ll let you know.