In praise of GAA amateur status - Sam Allardyce scandal

Like art, music, and literature, sport has the ability to inspire, enhance, and in many other ways exalt the lives not just of participants but also those of a more sedentary disposition who enjoy the spectacle of performers exhibiting the best of human physical achievement.

Unfortunately, nowadays, it also has the ability to disgust and repulse those who love sport in all its forms.

First it was cycling, with American Lance Armstrong finally confessing to years of using performance enhancing drugs; this was followed by revelations of doping at the Rio Olympics as well as the tickets controversy involving the Olympic Council of Ireland.

The latest revelations concerning the sacked England manager Sam Allardyce, who was covertly filmed advising undercover reporters on how to sidestep Football Association transfer regulations, show just how much money has influenced the sports we love.

Allardyce, who briefly managed Limerick soccer team in 1991, leading the club to the League of Ireland First Division title, was earning £3m (€3.5m) a year as England manager but his greed knew no bounds as he negotiated a further £400,000 from a reporter posing as a businessman.

Thank goodness for the GAA and its amateur status, and the fact we can enjoy the finest sportsmen and women, knowing they do what they do for the love of it, not the money.


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