Tuesday 23 January 2018

Colm O'Rourke: New culture of blame spells disaster for Fermanagh

Disputes between players and managers are seeping into every level of the GAA, says Colm O'Rourke

Colm O'Rourke

Colm O'Rourke

I ORIGINALLY thought I could dust off one of my columns about Limerick, Westmeath or Cork and just insert the word Fermanagh instead and, hey presto, another comment piece on the latest power play between players and manager.

However, this time it is a little bit different. After the Cork saga -- which should have gone to the United Nations -- there seemed an acceptance from all sides that these disputes had to be sorted quickly and a joint approach between the GAA and GPA was agreed for future conflicts.

It appeared a reasonable way forward. If the players' representatives and the GAA at central level were able to agree on a method of solving the problems, then the locals should be able to sign up to this, a sort of Labour Court for football. But now the Fermanagh County Board have put a big spanner in the works by basically telling the GAA and GPA to butt out. By coming out strongly behind their manager, the Fermanagh board has dug a big hole for itself and there is no going back now. No going back for the players either unless it is on manager John O'Neill's terms.

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