John Prenty warns of new player uprisings

Connacht Council secretary John Prenty has warned that further player uprisings, similar to the revolts which rocked the province in 2015, will lead to the creation of a “monster” within the GAA.

Both Galway hurling manager Anthony Cunningham and joint Mayo football managers Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly were ousted from their positions before Christmas following declarations of no confidence from their respective squads.

Prenty, in his report to convention, believes there will be serious implications for the GAA if respect is not forthcoming from all parties involved in an inter-county set-up.

“Both squads of players voted no confidence in their team managers, with no room for discussion or negotiation. It was a simple ultimatum; they go or we won’t play,” noted Prenty.

“Senior inter-county football and hurling is a serious time-consuming business with players, managers and county boards expending huge time and effort in striving to achieve All-Ireland success. It demands mutual respect for the efforts of all sides and there is a need to have consideration for the efforts of our volunteers who have lives and jobs and families outside the games.

“One of the most laudable initiatives by our Association has been the ‘Give Respect, Get Respect’ initiative – we should keep it in mind. Otherwise we are in danger of creating a monster.”

Prenty welcomed Ard Stiúrthóir Páraic Duffy’s report, which attempts to once and for all put an end to the club v county issue by reducing the number of competitions at inter-county level.

“How many times have we heard of these aspirations with no follow on results? If we don’t shout stop the players will stop playing. Let us rebrand our club activity as the cornerstone of our Association.

The county game is quickly becoming financially unsustainable with county team administration costs in Connacht being almost five times the gate receipts for the championship (€747,554). Can this continue? Will there be a time when we can only afford club activity?”

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