Friday 18 August 2017

Two-thirds majority needed to oust Cunningham in Galway vote

A special meeting of the Galway County Board has been called to let clubs decide if they want Cunningham to continue for a fifth year
A special meeting of the Galway County Board has been called to let clubs decide if they want Cunningham to continue for a fifth year
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

A two-thirds majority will be required on Monday night to relieve Anthony Cunningham of his duties as Galway hurling manager.

A two-thirds majority will be required on Monday night to relieve Anthony Cunningham of his duties as Galway hurling manager.

A special meeting of the Galway County Board has been called to let clubs decide if they want Cunningham to continue for a fifth year.

It comes after club delegates heard that mediation between the Galway management and players had not made any progress over the previous three weeks.

"The mediation process has concluded and the independent mediator has determined that despite best efforts there was little, if no, possibility of the parties reaching common agreement on the substantive issue. At this stage all reasonable efforts have been made to resolve the impasse," a Galway statement confirmed.

The Board are now hopeful that Monday will bring closure to a matter that has run into a seventh week since a number of players contacted board officials to express their opposition to his ratification.

But having already taken a decision to ratify him in late September, it will now require two in every three clubs to vote him out, rather than just a simple majority.

Galway Board PRO Mick Curley said that decision had yet to be finalised but it was his view that a two-thirds majority will be required.

With support from some executive members and a mixed feeling among clubs across the county, Cunningham's prospects of capturing one third of the vote looks reasonably strong.

But with a mediator unable to find common ground the players appear resolute in their belief that there should be a change of management.

If Cunningham gets the green light on Monday night, it is unclear how many players will commit to a 2016 squad after sticking to their guns since expressing no confidence in him at a meeting three weeks after the All-Ireland final defeat to Kilkenny. The potential for a split in that scenario exists.

Cunningham has quite a bit of sympathy around the county, after effectively building the team twice and playing two All-Ireland finals, two of which they led by half-time.

But whether that sympathy translates into hard support on the floor on Monday night next or if clubs decide that the quickest way out of it is to remove the manager remains to be seen.

Recent history has not been kind to resilient managers who have faced down dressing-room opposition.

Justin McCarthy retained the support of just four regulars in 2010, while Gerald McCarthy didn't have any of the 2008 Cork squad when he pressed on through the winter, having been requested by the players to step down.

Irish Independent

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