Horan backs payment for inter-county managers

James Horan: Approached by a few counties since stepping down.

James Horan has questioned why inter-county managers are not paid, describing the current situation as "unsustainable".

Of the options listed in GAA director general Páraic Duffy’s discussion paper two years ago, Central Council backed Croke Park to use all their powers to ensure payments are not made to managers.

In a bid to get a handle on unregulated payments, Duffy had also put forward the option of a system of remunerating bosses.

After four years in charge of Mayo where he has also held down a prominent job with Coca-Cola, Horan says the demands placed on managers in a voluntary capacity are too much.

“I don’t think it’s sustainable at the moment, no,” said the 42-year-old, who revealed he had been approached by a couple of counties since stepping down from Mayo.

“I genuinely don’t think it is. Your circumstances need to adapt to... if you want to manage to the best of your ability everything else needs to row in behind it.

“If you’re only looking for 1% or 2% improvement, if you think about it, you’re coaching or managing at a certain level but you’re working as well.

“So if you could get rid of your job you’d be able to commit even more or maybe be a better coach.”

The idea of allowing managers to operate on a professional or semi-professional basis intrigues Horan. “It’s an interesting concept. I don’t know will that ever be the case but it’s a very valid idea. If you think of some of the set-ups at the moment, if you take a management set up a inter-county level, in some of the top teams you have 12 or 14 involved and say some of the medical (personnel) on that team will be paid and rightfully so, they’re trained professionals at what they do.

“But in a lot of cases you have a manager that’s managing that whole group that’s putting in crazy stuff and is not getting paid and that’s the case in a lot of counties. That’s not sustainable. I don’t think it is.”

Regarding claims by Eugene McGee that some managers are being paid €40,000 per annum to take charge of county teams, Horan shook his head. “Nuts stuff. In my time involved I’ve never seen one of these contracts or I’ve never seen... has Eugene got a cheque or something that a manager was given?

“It’s an awful sweeping statement to make because in my experience it’s not the case.”


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