Saturday 22 July 2017

Croker and GPA ready to mediate in Erne dispute

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

CROKE Park and the GPA are to step in to try and sort out the stand-off that has seen a number of the Fermanagh's high profile players walk away from the squad in the last week.

Under the terms of the protocol reached between the GAA and the GPA in January there is a mechanism for resolving such disputes and it is understood this was being activated yesterday.

The GAA's operations manager Fergal McGill and GPA chief executive Dessie Farrell have initiated the process through contact with the County Board and some of the disaffected players.

If initial contacts do not resolve the problems then a mediator is likely to be appointed by agreement with all parties.

Fermanagh County Board are expected to give backing to current senior manager John O'Neill today and shed light on some of the reasons being floated as to why so many experienced players have departed in recent weeks.

Four players left the squad late last week bringing to six the number who have gone since the beginning of the league.

It has left Fermanagh in a perilous position in Div 4 of the Allianz league and has plunged the county into some controversy.

Tommy McElroy James and Peter Sherry and Niall Bogue all departed last week. In different cases an inability to give the required commitment or problems with the management was at the core of their decision.

The players are also understood to be dissatisfied with the absence of sufficient medical back up for the squad at training. There was no doctor present at a recent training session when one player got knocked out.

The Fermanagh Board, like so many other County Boards, have had to reduce budgets for their inter-county teams because of pressures on revenues.

Irish Independent

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