Players to be paid in not too distant future

In his recently published autobiography GAA journalist, Eugene McGee is unequivocal in stating that inter-county players will be paid within 10 years, writes Nickey Brennan.

In his recently published autobiography GAA journalist, Eugene McGee is unequivocal in stating that inter-county players will be paid within 10 years, writes Nickey Brennan.

That is not a new assertion from the Longford man. He has been consistent in his comments on the GAA amateur status.

He is not alone in those views. I do not agree but let us assume he is correct. The problem I have with everyone who has proffered those opinions is that they fail to outline the consequences of pay for play.

It is clear to me that he who pays the piper calls the tune. So if a player gets paid by his county to play hurling or Gaelic football then he can say goodbye to club hurling outside of the inter-county fixtures calendar.

The impact on many clubs would be catastrophic. They would be deprived of their best players for most, if not all, the year. I do not need to elaborate on the implications.

How many counties can afford to pay any sort of remuneration to their players? None in my view without completely changing the way the GAA is funded at all levels.

Try telling counties that no further funding will be available for coaching schemes or infrastructure grants and see what reaction emerges.

I believe Eugene McGee when he mentions the level of remuneration being paid to team managers. He also talks about some inter-county players receiving endorsements, including the use of courtesy cars.

He is correct when he warns that such payments rest uneasy with other team managers, and with other players who are not in receipt of such financial rewards.

At present the payment issue is a bigger challenge at club level than inter-county level.

However, I am not expecting anything to change simply because it is impossible to implement the current regulations.

O’Shea back

It would not have been lost on anyone from Kilkenny watching the GAA All-Stars presentation or reading the newspapers the following day how every Tipperary player interviewed is already focusing on 2015.

So too is their recently re-appointed manager, Eamonn O’Shea. He knows that he has only one more year to bring the MacCarthy Cup back to the county.

While the re-appointment of O’Shea was expected, the decision to appoint Michael Ryan as manager designate in 2015 was not foreseen. Only time will tell if it was the correct call.

It was a wise move by Tipperary to appoint Declan Fanning as a selector. The Killenaule man is a shrewd operator. His presence on the sideline will be a big asset .

Daly takes exception

I was not surprised to see Anthony Daly taking umbrage with some Sunday Game panellists in their criticism of Dublin during the Clare man’s reign as manager.

Daly did a brilliant job managing Dublin and brought the Metropolitans to a level not previously experienced for decades. They just came up short of reaching an All-Ireland final having earlier won the National League title.

Dublin did have a few disappointing days and nobody felt those more than Daly. But his Dublin reign should have been more graciously acknowledged.

He was entitled to be annoyed with the comments from some Sunday Game panellists.

Fenians survive

It was a sad afternoon in Freshford on Saturday for famous Kilkenny club Tullaroan when they lost the senior relegation final to Fenians (Johnstown). The winners dug deep when it mattered most to retain their senior status.

Tullaroan chose the wrong day to turn in their poorest display in years. The Fenians were fired-up from the throw-in, while their opponents struggled to get into the game.

There was no doubting the merits of the Fenians victory. They dominated from the opening moments and adapted very well to the inclement weather and heavy underfoot conditions.