Longford's Mattie Fox: GAA should stop bleating about payments to managers

Mattie Fox


Mattie Fox



Mattie Fox

Longford Leader columnist, Mattie Fox

The GAA is once again preoccupied with payments to managers.

Árd Stiurthóir Páraic Duffy managed to persuade congress to vote for the new playing system, and was highly pleased with the Sky deal, yet did very little to improve the state of the GAA. Not all change is good.

Mr Duffy concentrates a large section of his final report on the payments to managers issue.

It’s easy to say “not all managers are paid”.

That’s maybe true, technically in itself.

However, I don’t know any managers who aren’t paid enough to compensate them for their various outlays, and more importantly, who don’t reap rewards of some kind from their involvement with football.

Some became writers earning good money, others are/were pundits.

Speaking personally, I’ve managed the local club team for many years - perhaps too many in some ways - and I enjoyed it immensely.

Never regretted a minute of the time involved, nor any travel I undertook to make it all possible.

At no time did I ever charge the local club one cent for my time.

Yet nobody, in their right mind, could consider the time involved in managing a club other than their own without being paid.
That’s the kernel of one aspect of the problem.

Nobody can expect outsiders to manage a club team, or a county team without being ‘paid’, given the schedule now involved in handling a team.

There is a scenario where the GAA could operate without payments to managers. Although I’m not sure they’d want to contemplate it.

The GAA should return to its roots, and become again a source of all the societal advantages the GAA once offered to the youth of Ireland, without getting too commercial in its approach, but even then, it couldn’t be a realistic option to start moaning about payments to managers.

It’s time the GAA officialdom got real, and looked at reality as it is.

The GAA talk much about club affairs.

How many players nowadays are playing - in the month of January - probably five nights a week? Plus training when it can be fitted in?

How often do we see players being dragged here and there and running all over the country……..just because they’re desperate to get ahead in the GAA world, and are genuinely deeply interested in the game.

How often have we seen matches still on the schedule, when everyone knows it is raining cats and dogs, and cancelling after the crowd have arrived at great convenience.

Unless, and until, the GAA start looking at themselves seriously, they should stop bleating about managers.

If a local man manages the team, he’s expected to operate at minimal cost. Get a high profile outsider manager and all changes.

Even the GAA official is still suffering from the slavish mentality.

It’s time for officials to stop talking and look at the organisation with open mind and proper concern.

Unless that happens, the GAA should stop bleating. It’s unseemly.

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