Kerry have no issue with Meath’s David Coldrick being appointed to referee Sunday week’s All-Ireland final despite the match official both living and working in Dublin.
Coldrick will take charge of his third September decider after previously being the man in the middle for the 2007 Kerry-Cork and ‘10 Cork-Down finals.
Along with fellow county man David Gough, who has been handed duties for the Kerry-Tipperary minor final, Blanchardstown-based Coldrick has had an excellent season and on performance merits the honour. However, his links with the capital are bound to raise an eyebrow as he becomes the first final referee in 17 years to hail from one of the competing counties’ provinces, the last being Longford’s John Bannon in the 1998 Galway-Kildare match. Kerry, though, have no concerns. “David is the leading ref in the country,” said county chairman Patrick O’Sullivan, “and he has reffed many a big game and Kerry are happy with his appointment and hopefully everything goes well for him.”
Eamonn Fitzmaurice took issue with how Coldrick officiated the last Kerry-Dublin meeting in their 2014 Division 1 opener. However, Coldrick has since refereed two Kerry championship games, last year’s drawn All-Ireland semi-final with Mayo and this year’s All-Ireland quarter-final win over Kildare, in the meantime Fitzmaurice referring to the Blackhall Gaels man as “a top referee”.
Meanwhile, Clare’s Podge Collins claims his comments on the issue of pay-for-play in inter-county GAA have been “misinterpreted altogether”.
The 2013 All Star hurler appeared in an RTÉ documentary Páirc Life last night where he spoke about the possibility of professionalism in Gaelic games. Ahead of it, producer and director Jacqui Hurley said in an interview Podge had mentioned “even the fellas selling hot dogs are getting paid on All-Ireland final day”.
However, the 23-year-old, currently on the mend from a cruciate injury, supports the idea of payment to players who help generate millions for the GAA on All-Ireland final days.
“I think my views on the actual documentary and even on a thing I read last night were misinterpreted,” he told Clare FM. “Like, pay-for-play is not sustainable in 32 counties. Paying hurling and football teams isn’t sustainable.
“What I would say is teams that are filling up stadiums in league games, that are getting to Croke Park and playing in front of 82,000 people every year, your Kilkennys, your Kerry footballers, your Dublin footballers, these lads should be rewarded at the end of the year accordingly.
“And not just, let’s say, the Kerry footballers getting All Stars. They’ll get a small sum, then they’ll get different deals off the back of it like advertisements and all that kind of stuff. But then there are corner backs on that Kerry team who might get nothing. I would say these lads filling out the stadium, the amount of revenue that creates for the GAA, that these teams that are getting there every year should be getting looked (after) accordingly.”
Collins accepts he supports a form of pay-for-play but only for the elite. “Essentially, I would say players would get paid if you’re getting to Croke Park. Like, how much revenue is created from the All-Ireland final? You’re talking about 80,000 people paying €80 a pop (sic). When you’re at that level every year and the amount of revenue you’re creating... these players are doing that bit more to get where they’re getting.”
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