Tyrone to pull TV plug
Harte backs move to ban cameras from home games
Published 16/02/2010 | 05:00
Tyrone are going to consider banning TV cameras from televising their home League matches in the future.
Such a drastic measure will be up for discussion when the county's management committee meet next Tuesday.
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte, who has been an ardent opponent of using TV evidence to retrospectively suspend players because he feels it is selectively stacked against stronger teams who feature more regularly on television, hinted yesterday that it was an option for his county.
"It's something we'll have to consider," Harte admitted yesterday. "In fact, our county board have made suggestions that if that's going to be the case then we could reserve the right to decide whether our League games are to be televised or not."
The county spokesman Damien Harvey confirmed that the matter of permitting cameras to televise games will be considered. "We will be examining what our rights are on this issue," said Harvey. "Obviously there are many other games out of our control but it is an option we will consider.
"If we were to go down that road, we would be doing so with regret but the board and the team management feel a level of consistency on this issue needs to be established," he said.
Tyrone have two more live televised games on Setanta over the next six weeks with Cork the visitors to Healy Park on Saturday, March 13, followed by All-Ireland champions Kerry's trip north two weeks later.
Last year they had two players, Ryan McMenamin and Brian McGuigan, suspended after video evidence of League games was reviewed.
Any decision to withdraw co-operation with a broadcaster would leave Tyrone on a serious collision course with Croke Park.
Tyrone were hit with three such retrospective suspensions after last weekend's Derry match in Celtic Park with Justin McMahon, Martin Penrose and Conor Gormley all receiving four-week bans.
Harte suggested that if every League match cannot be televised and scrutinised for misdemeanours, then the current system should be abandoned.
"It's not a fair system. If it's selective, it's not fair. I'm not condoning people who do things wrong; if you do things wrong, that's fine. You have to accept that it's clear that they are being disadvantaged because they happen to be on live television. That's wrong, the system is wrong.
"If you are going to scrutinise every game in the League and go through it in fine detail and come up with all these after-effects, then we'll all live with that. But at the moment it's not right, it's not fair because you are being disadvantaged being on live TV."