NEW Tipperary County Board chairman Sean Nugent has voiced strong opposition to the prospect of payment for inter-county team managers.
Nugent was reacting to yesterday's publication of a detailed discussion document on the thorny issue, prepared by GAA director general Paraic Duffy.
One of three options put forward by Duffy in a 29-page paper is that top bosses receive structured and monitored payments, but Nugent believes that would be a dangerous road to venture down.
Instead, the Kilsheelan man, who took over from Barry O'Brien in December, is in favour of the second of three options proposed by Duffy, namely that the current rules are enforced fully and that illegal payments are stopped.
Nugent, however, has welcomed discussion on the matter and believes that it will finally put an end to the whispering campaigns that have dogged the Association in recent times.
Nugent said: "It will be discussed in depth in the near future by the counties and Croke Park and I welcome that. To sort anything out, you sort it out through dialogue and discussion. I don't agree with paying managers, although I do realise that they do a tremendous amount of work.
"They give a huge commitment and it does affect their lives in so many ways, but I don't think payment is the answer. That's my take on it -- the amateur ethos of the Association is hugely important and has sustained us since the GAA was founded. We don't want to lose sight of it.
"I would be in favour of managers being looked after well and that all counties would abide by the rules in this regard. And I would hope that we can cut out the rumour mill that's going around. I'd like to see this get sorted and get it off the agenda. These things tend to feature more on the agenda when the playing fields are not in full swing.
"I know that Paraic Duffy and (GAA president) Christy Cooney are anxious to get movement on it. We've been talking and talking about it at Congress but you can't keep saying something and do nothing about it."
Nugent, who does not deny that managers are receiving remuneration for their efforts, also warned: "The country is in a serious position and counties, and clubs in particular, will find it very difficult to fund payments in the current climate.
"But this is a welcome development -- there will be discussion and dialogue and we can reach some conclusion.
"I think the vast majority of GAA members would be opposed to inter-county managers being paid, but human nature being what it is, there will always be people getting finance for doing a job.
"We're thankful to have thousands of people who do great work looking after our fields and clubhouses for no recompense, simply for the love of it."
After Tipperary officials reported a deficit of almost €220,000 for the 2011 financial year, money matters feature high on Nugent's agenda. And Tuesday's board meeting could see Premier County top brass reveal cost-cutting measures for the season ahead.
Nugent revealed: "We have been meeting with team managements and various sub-committees. We have to change the mindset a little bit in Tipperary. We can't keep spending -- we must control our expenditure and look at new revenue streams to increase our income. But that's not simple."
- Paul Curran has been appointed as Tipperary hurling captain for 2012. Padraic Maher will act as their vice captain for the season.