John Mullane backs pay for inter-county managers

John Mullane supports the idea of inter-county managers being officially paid for their services and forecasts more will take career breaks like Derek McGrath in Waterford to focus on winning silverware.

In March, McGrath explained he had taken entitled parental leave to concentrate on his duties with the county, estimating he was putting 60 hours a week into his county role.

McGrath is Mullane’s brother-in-law and he can appreciate why he took the steps that he did to devote more of himself to his hurling pursuits.

“It’s a full-time job,” he said. “I see it myself, he’s probably investing 60 to 70 hours a week, probably even more. He has to manage 30-odd lads. Manage everything day-to-day. Video analysis. Look after the finance end of it. Make sure everything is in tune with the county board. Plus, there is an awful lot of pressure that comes with it as well.

“I think it could be the start where you will see many more managers… I do think it’s going to go down that road where managers are going to go into it on a full-time basis.” Mullane reckons there’s a strong argument to remunerate managers when they are giving so much to the cause often to the detriment of their work or career prospects — McGrath admitted he wasn’t doing as well a job as he would have liked as a secondary school teacher in De La Salle. “I actually found I was becoming poor in the classroom,” he said at the time.

Mullane remarked: “100% they deserve to be paid. At the end of the day, the buck stops with the manager albeit when a team wins they get applauded, but you have to look at the other side of it too. When a team loses the manager seems to get all the blame.

“I’d have no problem with any manager getting paid. I think any manager getting paid now — we have to remember it’s 2017. They fully deserve to get paid.”

The five-time All-Star said players, who incidentally are on better mileage rates than managers, shouldn’t be perturbed by the prospect of managers receiving money for their contribution. “I don’t think any players would have any problem with any managers getting paid. At the end of the day, a player turns up, goes training, does his shift. And then he’s able to go home without thinking about it. A manager, it’s never-ending.” McGrath said there are several other managers like him committing extensively to a volunteering position — “I think there are other managers in that scenario as well where they are putting that amount of time into it, just not publicising it like myself.”

Meanwhile, Mullane joked on RTÉ Radio 1’s Sunday Sport yesterday that he will “ride a horse naked” if Waterford manage to go all the way and win a first All-Ireland SHC title in 58 years.


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