Friday 23 August 2019

Revealed: The letter to the county board that tore Mayo apart


One year ago, the Mayo football team passed a vote of no confidence in the management team of Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes. This is the letter they sent to the county board outlining why they voted for a change:.

To: The Mayo County Board.

Date: 1st October, 2015

We, the current Mayo Senior Football Team, wish to advise the Mayo County Board that at a recent meeting of the 2015 senior football panel a vote of no confidence in the team’s current joint managers Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly was passed by the players.  This letter therefore requests that the Mayo County Board take steps to remove Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly from their roles as team managers with immediate effect.

Read more: 'If some egos are not checked, Mayo won't win an All-Ireland': Ousted joint managers break silence on player revolt

We the players have set ourselves extremely high standards in the context of our individual and collective approach, and also in terms of team organization and management.  Whilst we would like to acknowledge Pat and Noel for their services this year, as a squad we do not believe that they have met those standards and for this reason we do not believe that they can or should lead this team into 2016.

Following on from the above request and looking forward to next year, we believe that any process to select and appoint a team manager which is absent player input runs the real risk of repeating the mistakes of the 2015 season.  We believe that the experience and knowledge gained by the players from competing at the highest level in this sport over the last 5 years will be an invaluable asset to the County Board in selecting a successful management team.  Therefore, we will require player representatives which appoints the senior football team’s manager. The number of player representatives on the selection committee should be no more or less than the number of County Board representatives, resulting in a 50/50 split.  We also request that any independent person(s) appointed to the selection committee is (are) agreed upon by both the Players and County Board representatives in advance.

The panel of players has discussed these matters in considerable depth and the contents of this letter are not expressed lightly. Each of the players on the panel is passionate about Mayo football and wants nothing more than to be successful next year and beyond.  However, if the County Board declines to remove Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly as team managers, and if it refuses to allow adequate player input to the selection of a new manager, then with great reluctance, the players feel that we have no option other than to withdraw our services and cease to train with or represent the Mayo Senior Football Team until such time as we are satisfied that these requests have been met.

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The players very much want to resolve this dispute in an amicable manner and out of the glare of the media and the public. To this end, we are willing to provide the County Board with adequate time to consider the matter properly. We believe that a deadline of Monday, the 5th October, 2015, @ 5 pm will give ample time to review and respond to this letter. We wish to avoid making the resolution of these issues any more public or any more rancorous than it needs to be and we encourage the County Board to try and deal with this matter in private and not in the public arena.

As a squad, we believe that the changes sought by us are in the best interests of Mayo football.  We trust that the County Board has the same end goal as the panel and that it will engage meaningfully with us so as to avoid an escalation of this dispute.

Mayo Senior Football Panel 2015

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