[indent]Here’s Spillane’s article about the “amateur” GAA
I’ve had 3 cash offers to coach
AS A PLAYER I could endure any amount of pain on the field of play. In contrast, as a private citizen, I find it increasingly difficult to endure the pain being inflicted on the general population by successive governments.
Last week we experienced more of the same courtesy of Messrs Howlin and Noonan, who were merely following the dictats issued by Angela Merkel, the ECB and their cronies in Brussels. It is very much a case of death by a thousand cuts. I’m not an economist, but I think we’re missing something here. Surely when we have little money in our pockets and are almost at rock bottom in terms of morale, a policy of austerity is not the way forward. It’s like taking the few coins out of a beggar’s bowl and telling him that the only way to improve his lot is to cut back!
Anyway, when I look around and see all the spongers in Irish society operating in the black economy I wonder what is the point in trying to be a model citizen. And what has all this got to do with the GAA? Well, I came face to face with the GAA’s flourishing black economy last week, when I received three phone calls from different people all posing the same question. The callers wondered whether, in the wake of my retirement from teaching, I might be interested in managing a GAA team. Incidentally, all three calls
originated in Cork - one from a senior club and two from junior sides.
Now I haven’t the slightest interest in becoming a club coach, but I wanted to satisfy my own curiosity and do a bit of on-the-spot research, so I asked all the callers what was on offer. I was informed that the ‘going rate’ for a club coach at junior level in Cork is €80 per session, while a coach at senior level can command a €100 a session. All payments are made in cash! I was assured that given my high profile I could command a bigger fee.
The conversations merely confirmed what everybody in the GAA already knows; that the black economy is flourishing in the association. The club managerial circuit is not a bad nixer for anyone looking to cash in, as the more training sessions a coach
organises the more he earns. One of my callers informed me of the case of one team coach who had managed three different teams this season; two in Cork and one in Kerry. Better still, he organised numerous challenge games between the different teams he managed. So he was able to claim ‘double pay’ on these occasions. As they say, nice work if you can get it.
On a related theme, I’ve been told certain inter-county managers have cottoned on to a new gravy train during the closed season; they either conduct training sessions or give motivational talks to club teams still involved in the championship.
One prominent inter-county manager was picking up a reported €700 a night for conducting training sessions at a club this autumn; the team are no longer involved in the championship! We already know that some intercounty managers are paid. However, there is much greater abuse at club level, where hundreds of thousands of hard-earned GAA money is handed over annually to these mercenaries.
More than any other issue, the payment of managers at inter-county and club level drives me mad. Furthermore, I hold these individuals responsible for much of the ills of Gaelic football. They have too much power and they are costing far too much. As a direct result of the negative tactics they deploy they are responsible for destroying what could be the beautiful game of Gaelic football.
Worse still, they have assembled what Mick O’Dwyer recently termed a “big bunch of gurus” and incorporated them into bloated managerial set-ups, which is driving many county boards into debt. It is time to cry halt.[/indent]