Sunday 17 December 2017

Manager money slips off agenda

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Discussion on payments to managers is not part of the agenda for the final GAA Central Council meeting of 2012.

With the next meeting not now scheduled until the second half of January, it looks unlikely any such discussion will take place during the presidency of Christy Cooney.

Cooney intimated after a hard-hitting address to the 2011 Congress in Mullingar on the subject that discussions would take place "within two months."

His words last April were unequivocal as he described the alleged payments as "a cancer running through our organisation which is nurtured and supported by poor or complete abdication of leadership and sometimes carefully orchestrated through supporters clubs or so-called friends of the GAA.

"People very often with an interest in the realisation of short term goals only and no interest or understanding of our rules and regulations."

However, despite the promise of action, the year looks set to pass without any such discussions taking place.

Cooney recently outlined that the timeframe involved in setting up such a forum was too ambitious, because it coincided with championship time, but he reiterated that some start would be made on the matter on his watch.

With the most likely starting point a Central Council meeting, that is unlikely to happen now before late January.

It was at the management committee meeting the night before the corresponding Central Council meeting 12 months ago that the discussion document on the issue compiled by director general Paraic Duffy was first discussed. The paper was wide ranging and followed on from Duffy's own sentiments on the matter expressed in his report to 2010 Congress when he wrote that to "proclaim a value and then ignore it was the least acceptable option."

There had been an expectation that Duffy's discussion paper would be circulated publicly, first among Central Council delegates, but there has been a curious reluctance on behalf of management to do so.

Duffy is thought to have weighed up all options open to the association, including how some payment structure could be legalised. But, 21 months on from the 2010 report release and eight months since the pledge to widen the debate and there is still no sign of action.

Irish Independent

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