We’re going after illegal payments to managers insists Cooney
GAA president Christy Cooney insists that the association remains committed to eradicating illegal payments to team managers, despite the long delay in devising a plan to counteract it.
"We have done some work and, over the next period, there will be more discussions. We've got to see if we can put something in place that's deliverable. There's not much point coming up with something that can't, or won't, be delivered. We would only be codding ourselves," he said.
Paying managers has been a controversial issue in the GAA for many years and it appeared as if they were ready to tackle it vigorously when director-general Paraic Duffy was asked to prepare a discussion document in April 2010. He delivered it a year ago but it has never been acted upon.
Cooney referred to managerial payments as a 'cancer' at Congress last April and promised to call Central Council and senior county officials together within two months to gather their views, after which a set of proposals would be formulated.
So far, no plan has emerged but, speaking in Gold Coast yesterday, Cooney said that work was ongoing. He also reiterated his opposition to outside managers.
"It is a serious problem, not just at county level but on the club scene too. There are clubs paying managers that can ill afford to do so, although the economic climate has sorted out some of it," he said.
"I find it hard to understand why anybody would have to go outside their club for a manager. I would be a great believer in the home-grown product and that we should be developing it as much as possible."
However, it's clear from country-wide experience that outside managers are still an attractive target for clubs and counties, with many casually ignoring the GAA's rules on illegal payments.