O’Connor: Let clubs spend as they see fit

FORMER Kilkenny senior hurling captain Eddie O’Connor has launched another stinging attack on GAA top brass following the publication of yesterday’s discussion paper onpayments to managers.

O’Connor has told leading Croke Park officials to mind their own business and insists that clubs and county boards should be allowed to spend their money as they see fit.

O’Connor, who led the Cats to All-Ireland glory in 1993, lashed: “Nothing surprises me when it comes to what comes out of Croke Park. It’s a load of hogwash, bulls**t. My own opinion is that if a club is in a position to improve the team by bringing in an outside manager, then it’s nobody else’s business.

“I’ve been involved with a number of clubs and thoroughly enjoyed my time training them. If I get €50 a night for training a team, I’m gone for four hours and I have to cover diesel and telephone expenses. What I do in my own time is my business. If they’re that concerned, the GAA should look at themselves in the mirror. Couldn’t Christy Cooney and Páraic Duffy work for €50,000 and put some of that money back into the players?”

O’Connor also insisted that the GAA should bite the bullet and pay top managers for their efforts.

He said: “To me, it’s high time. It’s up to each county board and one of the GAA’s business.

“If the county board has finance available or a business man backing them, and they want to bring in an outside manager and pay him, that should be entirely up to the manager and board.

“At club level, some have prospered well from within.

“With Glenmore, I won county finals with outside managers and they did wonders for my career and in terms of improving my hurling.”

O’Connor, 47, is also unhappy that a prestigious U21 A club final was played in Kilkenny before Christmas, at a time of year not conducive to good hurling.

He said: “Two weeks before Christmas, the U21 final is played in Kilkenny.

“A county final, one of the prestigious competitions, in December, even though the summer is gone by and fellas like Cooney are talking about burnout. They’re hypocrites and haven’t a clue what they’re doing.

“To my recollection, Cooney has spoken about how he wants to be remembered for doing good for clubs, but they’ve destroyed clubs. Three and four months go by where county players are not allowed to play with their clubs. After Christmas, you have competitions then like the Walsh Cup and players have no interest in them.”

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