Wednesday 21 November 2018

Cork players say no

Holland's role still the sticking point as 10 hours of talks fail to find solution

Martin Breheny

IT now looks certain that Cork footballers and hurlers are out of this year's Leagues following last night's rejection by the players of settlement proposals which had been threshed out over 10 hours on Tuesday night.

Player representatives informed GAA Director-General Paraic Duffy and Labour Relations Commission chairman Kieran Mulvey that the proposals were not acceptable, thereby effectively closing the door on the last-ditch effort to avert the most serious crisis to hit Cork since the foundation of the GAA.

It's understood that Teddy Holland's role as football manager was the major sticking point in a document which Mulvey and Duffy had worked out following hours of shuttle diplomacy.

Both the Board and the players had made concessions on their original stands, leading to hopes that the dispute, which erupted last October over the Board's decision to remove the power from team managers to appoint their own selectors, would be solved.

However, when Mulvey and Duffy met six players' representatives last night, they were told that the proposals were not acceptable. It's understood that the players' delegation was comprised of hurlers, Donal Og Cusack, John Gardiner and Joe Deane and footballers, Anthony Lynch, Conor McCarthy and Graham Canty.

It's also understood that the Board had made major concessions including allowing players to have an input into the appointment of future managers. However, Holland's role as football manager was not acceptable to the players who had insisted all along that they would not play under him because he had been appointed while the squad were in dispute with the Board.

The latest setback almost certainly means that Cork are out of the National Leagues, having been granted a deferral of their football opener against Meath. The hurlers were due to play Kilkenny on Sunday but that game will not go ahead either

Duffy and Mulvey returned to Dublin last night, effectively closing the door on what was almost certainly the last of negotiations -- for now at least.

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