This issue cropped up on the Walsh Cup page but the discussion does not belong there.
My issues with Cunningham are manyfold but this one is not exclusive to him and I was not having a go at him alone.
It is evident to anyone who can see that a huge industry has grown up in the GAA which consumes a vast amount of money and which many, many people are actually quite dependent on for a living. Far beyond the actually very few administrators (for the size of the GAA, and who by and large do a very good job) you have coaches, physios, psychologists, dieticians,statisticians, doctors initially and then out beyond that people working in army camps and adventure centres, hotels, restaurants, transport companies and so on and so forth that are consuming an increasing amount of a not infinite pool of money.
The GPA has been getting more and more money in recent years from the GAA yet team preparation costs are spiralling ever upwards. The GPA have now hit the jackpot and will claim more than 10% of the GAA’s entire income next year for inter county players. And that is entirely outside what counties will spend on the preparation of their teams which, I believe, ain’t going to come down.
And all of this is going on at a time when people are voting with their feet and not going to games. Championship attendances are declining precipitously. The standard of football is poor and does not justify the ever increasing amounts being spent on it. Which is exactly why we have the money spinning groups (possibly) next year.
My issue is that there is huge, huge waste in the GAA and it simply has to stop. The great failure of people like Sean Kelly, Liam O’Neill, Christy Cooney and O’Fearghail is that they have done absolutely nothing to stop this.
For the first time in my life I am actually worried about where the GAA is going. I am not worried about professionalism because there’s so much money being paid to non players that there’s little enough left for them. But the point of no return is approaching very quickly. The Club Players Association could create a lot of waves for the good but if the GAA sets up against them then God knows what will happen.
One thing is for sure, spending vast amounts of money on things that have little obvious impact has to stop. Army camps for a group of lads, the vast majority of whom are only there because of Cuala,s adventures and injuries (Dublin) or five days “training camp” in London (Mayo footballers last year). This kind of shite has to be done away with.
I’m just wondering how much longer the average club member will continue to pay his subs for this.