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Farrell in demand for home grown GAA managers

By John Campbell

When Ulster Council president Aoghan Farrell was elected just a year ago he made an impassioned plea for clubs and counties to appoint their team managers from within their own areas.



Farrell accompanied his plea with a warning to the effect that bringing in and remunerating ‘outside’ managers handsomely would prove unsustainable.

Now GAA President-elect Liam O’Neill has confirmed that the pattern of paying managers “staggering amounts” is having a crippling financial effect on a number of clubs and counties.

With this issue expected to be a major topic of discussion at next month’s Congress in Mullingar, O’Neill is urging that “figures should be put on the table” so that the nettle can be properly grasped.

“I would say that the amount of money involved is staggering and just cannot be sustained. Indeed, this won’t be possible in the current financial climate anyway,” insists O’Neill.

While there is no official confirmation that any Ulster counties or clubs are faced with serious cash-flow difficulties, the GAA’s finance director, Tom Ryan, has admitted that the focus right now is on clubs with the biggest debts.

“We are working with the clubs and the banks involved, but there isn’t a route out of it that does not involve property prices recovering or market conditions improving and that’s something none of us can control,” concedes Ryan.

Ulster president Farrell and secretary Danny Murphy have been urging counties and clubs to live within their means with Farrell, from the outset of his reign, having strongly advocated the appointment of team managers from within.

“The GAA is about family, it is about parish. I know there is the temptation to seek a high-profile manager in the interests of achieving a quick fix, but this can come at a price. Every club and county has its own quota of well-qualified coaches and they should be given the chance to prove their worth,” said Farrell.

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