Former Mayo star Conor Mortimer believes that the player-generated attempt to remove the county’s joint senior football team managers Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly has been brewing for some time.
But the Parnell’s clubman is reluctant to apportion blame to the pair for Mayo’s failure to win the All-Ireland title.
Instead, Mortimer believes that clubs in the county have questions to answer after appointing the duo in the first place — and he insisted that poor defending and a lack of scoring power cost Mayo on the field against Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final replay.
Mortimer said: “It’s hard to lay blame on their shoulders — they were hired and the clubs voted them in, as well as the chairman. Why wait a year? Why now, as opposed to the start of the year?
“I knew this was boiling up for quite a while but I don’t think it’s down to anything specifically performance related.
“There’s a lot of other stuff that goes on and you couldn’t say in the Dublin game that it was the line that lost it...
“Mayo won their first few games easily this year, beat Donegal and should have beaten Dublin but for mistakes on the field.”
Mortimer insists that the Mayo players must shoulder a huge portion of responsibility for not getting over the line, admitting that he underperformed in the 2004 and 2006 All-Ireland finals against Kerry and that was not down to management.
He added: “Certain players didn’t step up to the mark when it mattered – that’s nothing to do with a manager. I did it myself in two finals and you don’t blame the manager. We didn’t play, it’s that simple.”
But Mortimer accepted that the root of the problem stems back to the controversial appointment process that saw Holmes and Connelly, brother of county board chairman Mike, as -bosses.
He said: “When a manager is appointed, clubs have to pass it, which they did, regardless of whose family member is on the county board.
"They had the chance to speak but didn’t, they voted them in... now the players are looking for a new manager but who’s out there? People are laughing at this situation. Here are Mayo again, airing their dirty linen in public. It’s always bloody Mayo.”
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