Sunday 18 February 2018

McGinley hits fairway with view on GAA business

Irish golfer and former Ryder Cup captain, Paul McGinley. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Irish golfer and former Ryder Cup captain, Paul McGinley. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Between the controversy over the inclusion of a business degree, which was later dropped, as a requirement for applicants hoping to replace Páraic Duffy as GAA director- general and the ongoing claims that the organisation has become too commercial, it would be easy to lose sight of some basic realities.

The business degree stipulation was either an error or an embarrassing miscalculation but, either way, it has been scrapped, thus encouraging others to apply before the deadline on Friday.

Mentioning business and commerce twice in the advertisement provided fuel for those who accuse the GAA of becoming too money-orientated. It's as if generating income has suddenly become repugnant, even if some of those making the argument are making tidy sums from their involvement in the GAA.

It was interesting to hear Paul McGinley bring sanity to the debate at the weekend when pointing out that in a competitive sporting world the GAA has to exploit whatever commercial opportunities come its way.

"Organisations have got to raise funds in order to re-invest and stay ahead of professional bodies who are also pawing at the same market," he said.

Spot on. If Croke Park doesn't continue to compete aggressively in the commercial market, it will be a double win for other sports, who not only pick up the financial slack but also use the additional income to promote their games at the expense of the GAA.

That's an obvious fact of modern life, one which no amount of sentimental nonsense can change.

Indo Sport

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