Saturday 21 October 2017

'It sets a dangerous precedent' - Pat Spillane on why Colm Cooper's testimonial should be 'the first and the last'

12 September 2017; Former Kerry footballer Colm Cooper in attendance at the Colm Cooper Testimonial Dinner launch at Zurich Insurance in Ballsbridge, Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
12 September 2017; Former Kerry footballer Colm Cooper in attendance at the Colm Cooper Testimonial Dinner launch at Zurich Insurance in Ballsbridge, Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Pat Spillane has become the latest GAA personality to disagree with Colm Cooper's decision to have a testimonial dinner, saying that it 'is another step away from the roots' of the association.

The event to mark the Kerry legend's retirement will see some of the money given to charity and GAA causes, with Cooper also getting a portion. Joe Brolly has been one of many vocal pundits who have expressed their disappointment with the arrangement, claiming that the testimonial flies in the face of what the GAA is supposed to be about.

Writing in his Sunday World column today, Spillane expresses similar sentiments, and hopes that the backlash to Cooper's testimonial will dissuade other players from holding them.

"Hats off to the Gooch for coming up with this gig before anyone else," Spillane said.

"But here's one who doesn't think it is a good idea. It sets a dangerous precedent and at a time when clubs and county boards are struggling to raise money, from any source they can, the idea that a player should benefit like this is nuts.

"It is another step away from the roots of the GAA, and yes, this path takes us towards elitism.

"Unless all the proceeds are given to charity or GAA units, the Gooch's testimonial should be two in one: the first of them and the last of them."

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