'There's no Abramovich with a Castlebar accent bankrolling Mayo' - James Horan defends Mayo's consistency
Former Mayo manager James Horan has defended his county in light of recent criticism directed at the GAA for the association's failure to create a balanced All-Ireland Senior Football Championship.
Sunday Independent columnist Colm O'Rourke lambasted the GAA on Monday claiming that the association 'should fight against capitalist driven changes like the introduction of next year's Super 8's', while fellow Sunday Independent columnist Joe Brolly added that the current championship structure is dysfunctional and elitist.
Horan disagrees with the championship's perceived imbalances and points to Mayo's experience as a major contributing factor in the Westerners All-Ireland consistency, which has seen the Yew County qualify for seven consecutive All-Ireland semi-finals.
"We keep being told that most counties are being left behind," wrote Horan in his column in The Irish Daily Star.
"We keep hearing that there's a handful of elite teams and the rest are left floundering.
"To me, this doesn't really add up. Sure, you can point to Dublin having advantages of population and financial backing or whatever.
"But what advantages do Mayo have? There is no Roman Abramovich with a Castlebar accent bankrolling the them.
"Instead, Mayo are showing the value of commitment and hard work. Most of the Mayo players on show yesterday have been there for a long, long time.
"But they keep coming back year after year, hungry for more, anxious to get better.
"Mayo are in their seventh All-Ireland semi-final in a row. That shows what you can do with the right bunch taking the right approach.
"The teams at the top are throwing down the challenge to the rest. It's up to the others to get their act together."