Friday, November 14, 2008

Revealing Comments from Ó hAilpin

It's depressing to read about Frank Murphy's dictatorship versus the Liberation Player Rebels everyday. It's Séan Óg's turn to have a blast today on Setanta.

What Ó hAilpin's comments ultimately reveal is the growing tension between expectations of the elite players and standards in GAA. The GPA has been beating the GAA over the head with the stick that some administrators (officially) and managers (unofficially) get paid so why shouldn't they receive some financial incentives for their participation too. At the same time they are demanding that the game be run like a professional sport and that the conditions under which they train and play--from facilities, to medical advice, to nutrition etc.--should also be as high as any other professional sport out there. That's fair enough, given the time, effort and commitment they put into the game and the money generated from large attendances at matches.

But, if the GAA wants to protect funding for the majority of the people involved at local level, and rightly refuses to officially pay managers, then where are the mangers with the expertise and experience of a sufficiently high standard to meet the elite players' demands going to come from? Many county boards and clubs refuse to pay (and that's still the case with a lot out there despite the current perception...this is based on my own anecdotal evidence, just like the counter prevailing view) and look internally to appoint the best available.

The problem is that the players have deemed McCarthy "not good enough". That's the spark that has ignited this dispute, although it is now being used to settle a long running grudge between Murphy and the players.

How long before other county panels adopt the same attitude?

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