Horan slams O’Neill stance on managers

James Horan

Former Mayo boss James Horan has hit out at GAA president Liam O’Neill for what he believes is a campaign against inter-county managers.

In his first column for The Western People since stepping down, the Ballintubber man has condemned Central Council’s motion to punish teams who field dummy teams.

The GAA are demanding that 26-man panels be released by 9am on the Thursday morning before Championship games. No changes except for goalkeeper or sub goalkeeper can be made or the team will forfeit the match. Managers must also release their teams 20 minutes before throw-in. Any alterations and they concede the game.

Horan blasted: “The motion is to do with the earth-shattering issue of counties releasing ‘dummy teams’. Give me a break; what nonsense! Surely with everything that is going on in the GAA, there must be 500 things more important that the authorities could be focusing on. The theme of the proposal smacks of bureaucratic controlling rubbish and just makes no sense. ! For some time now GAA president Liam O’Neill seems to be on a crusade to row in ‘the cult’ of the manager and how they show ‘disregard for fans’ by releasing dummy teams.

“Right, the whole idea of dummy teams. What exactly is the phenomenon? What are the criteria for such a team? When does a team become a dummy team?

“Apparently it is a growing epidemic in the GAA where those horribly self-serving inter-county managers, according to some GAA officials, display behaviour which shows ‘disregard for the organisation as a whole’. Wow! How serious is it really? How prevalent a practice is it?”


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