Much ado about nothing?

I’m currently en route to sunnier climes for work purposes for the rest of the week and, ensconced as I am at the minute in transit, this gives me time to point you in the direction of this somewhat breathless piece in today’s Irish Examiner about possible ructions involving James Horan and the County Board which, so the report goes, has meant that JH is “considering his position” before committing to the final year of his initial three-year term as manager of the senior county team.

The issues which appear to be causing trouble are, when you sit down and have a hard look at them, not ones that you’d put in the deal-breaker category, involving as they do the provision of training pitches, access to McHale Park and hotel arrangements for matches in Dublin. I can’t imagine that any of them – either separately or cumulatively – could be so serious that they’d result in James walking away from a role in which he’s made such enormous progress over the past two years and where the promise of greater days lies ahead.

This all sounds like a bit of sabre-rattling to me and, quite possibly, a fairly ham-fisted attempt by someone to up the ante on one side or the other by blabbing to the media. My understanding is that while there are issues there to be sorted ahead of next year it’s unlikely in the extreme that any disagreements that might currently exist will lead to James walking away at this point in time. Let’s hope that this is indeed the case and that this story is put to bed in short order.

37 thoughts on “Much ado about nothing?

  1. hope you’re right Willie Joe … But I’m feeling quite sick with the whole thing … Why do we always seem to shoot ourselves in the foot when things going well :'( the Co Board better do all in their power to hold onto James and give him exactly what he wants/needs … No smoke without fire so they say and he did seem to have a dig at them (co board) in his speech at the banquet can’t bring it with me now was said jokingly but something about them having no money …

  2. I’m glad that’s the reason otherwise it could have sent a bad message to players. I don’t think James Horan is a quieter thankfully!

  3. Id love ot know who leaked it to the media? i know what iwould do if i found out who this person was. Clearly someone who isnt reading off the same hymn sheet

  4. This storm (if that is what it is) might be the inevitable fall out from losing an ALL Ireland!
    Dont forget James has been slogging at this for two years and that does take a toll on any manager and their family particularly when you lose a final. He was blamed (perhaps correctly) for getting the match-ups wrong and that might be hard for him to take.
    Added to that the expectations are sky high for 2013 – anything less than an All Ireland could be perceived as failure by a lot of people. Now that is a toxic form of pressure.
    The team and management (and we the supporters as well) just need to forget about winning All Irelands and start to focus on playing the best football they can possibly play and start looking forward to the league and enjoying each game…….and lets see what happens as a result. This is a subtle change of emphasis – but an important one. You can only win an All Ireland if you are playing better football than all the rest. Focus on this and you might (just might) win an All Ireland. Focus on winning the Ireland and all you do is create pressure on yourself that will in all likelihood cripple you at some stage.
    As supporters we need to appreciate what the team and management have done for us – make it clear that we now enjoy going to games and watching them play football and hope they get the reward some day and that above all we are behind them all the way win, loose or draw.

  5. I don’t think anyone “leaked ” anything to the media. The Western were/are aware that by the sounds of it, the Mayo manager is less than happy with the infrastructure he needs to progress the team.

    I for one am sick of the same effing hymn sheet being sung out of key. Its simple really. For the team to get back to where they arrived a few Sundays ago the support system needs to be of a similar standard.

    The ticket rumbling, the New York scenario , the logistics regarding hotels indicate that the whilst the team are on a journey not everybody can keep up with the bus. By this being aired for all Mayo followers to see is the correct way to do it. That way we all see where we are and hopefully where we aim to get.

  6. Steve – that’s a personal accusation I’ve gone well beyond being sick about at this stage and one that I’m not prepared to take from you or anyone else any longer. If you can’t comment within the guidelines, then don’t bother.

  7. Heads better roll if Horan walks away from this team!!! I for one will back up or sign any petition thats needed to remove whoever got in Horans way. Is this the reason Mayo are not in NYC this weekend?
    I am no expert but I imagine a team like Mayo that are in Croke Park so ofter should have a singular base with a gym and pool so players can relax before and after the games.Somewhere they are familiar with and that has proper beds and facilities and a deal should be worked out well in advance, i mean january or february and even if they dont make croke park in that year the option should be there for them.
    McGuinness made sure his lads had every advantage possible, they needed it and so do we.

  8. Willie Joe we might disagree on the first sentence in my post but deleting the whole comment is a bit much. I can’t see anything wrong with the other points made and if that’s the way the site is moderated then the debate is one sided and false

  9. “t’s understood Mayo used a different base for each of their five games in Dublin during the season as they competed in the final rounds of the National League and All-Ireland series.”

    The last three games Down,Dublin,Donegal the team stayed in The Regency Hotel i’m not sure where they stayed for Cork,Kerry league games.

    The story is much to do about nothing however Horan is looking for money that isn’t there in hindsight we shouldn’t have wasted so much money on Mchale park.

  10. Steve – I have to say I lost interest after the first sentence, it’s once too often that I’ve been subjected to this kind of tripe and I make no apologies for deleting comments in their entirety where they begin with lazy-minded accusations of the kind you made.

  11. Did this County Board contact their FBD sponsors before announcing that they were not going to take part in the Final, did they contact their New York counterparts in advance to say they wouldn’t be making the trip, did they communicate with Prenty with a view to finding out what the attitude of the Connacht Council would be, did they consider postponing the trip until later and include it as part of the holiday they are supposed to be going on? I for one dont agree that this is “Much ado about nothing” – – – in fact I wouldn’t blame James if he walked away right now – – there is more to this than “hotels and pitches” – – – – he needs co-operation – full co-operation – not piecemeal efforts and certain people talking the talk but not walking the walk. It’s not all about money and resources either – – – it’s about all the different parties singing from the one hymm-sheet. James is dead right to make a stand – – – I hope common sense prevails.

  12. James Horan has done a remarkable job with our team in two years,it remains to be seen , if he can do the same with the Co Board. If he does, then he surely will be manager of the year in 2013.The kind of six year old rubbish, spun by Kevin o Toole in last weeks Western,makes me sick.I for one, believe, we’re all in this together, team management, supporters and C B. Surely some are not doing their bit.I personally take great offence at the National media, showing a lack of respect to my county,but our C B, on our behalf does the same to NY, in not travelling over.I was lucky enough to be there in 04 and 09 and we got a great welcome, just hope it will be as good in two years time.

  13. I don’t like the sound of this….Considering the effort and dedication JH and the panel exerted this past year, I sense that JH is pissed off with the incompetence of the CB.
    If he can’t call them out, who can? We seem to be listening to and putting up with this shit for years now.

  14. Thanks WJ for your link to the Indo. Christ that piece makes it worse, shades of the dog ate the homework etc. The old adage holds true, when you are explaining…you are losing (not you WJ) .

    Boiled down it comes to this. Since the All Ireland final we have shot ourselves in the foot. Most of it uncalled for and nobody to blame but those charged with the running of the great county. Now it may be misunderstandings, mistruths and mistakes but its also poor communications.

    Issues over tickets, New York and to be frank about it, the piece in the Western two weeks ago was awful, a child would come up with better… bigger and brighter flags for Donegal. etc…come on!

    The kernal of the discontent would appear to be from the management side. I have no doubt that come county board night it will be all hugs and kisses and all sorted out. However to see that the county team had issues with access to their primary training ground raised my eyebrows. That kids under age teams were then dragged into it as an excuse is dire. Dont the Connacht council have a large white elephant outside Ballyhaunis full of pitches and lights for under age finals.

    What has percolated around the last few days may indeed be much ado about nothing but it has taken on a life form of its own. Once more supporters are subject to watching the old washing getting a scrub in the papers and this time we cannot blame Joe Brolly.

    Individually none of those things amount to a sod of turf, collectively they make a small stack and proper…PROPER…organization and communications within the setup would eliminate that. London May 2011 is still in recent memory.

    James Horan has a difficult job.Next season he has to manage raised expectations allied to a testing draw. He has to source and replace a top class coach. He has to assess and possibly replace some of his squad. Starting from the same grid will be Kerry, Cork, Dublin, Kildare, Donegal, Meath, Tyrone and a host of others who will use Mayo and Donegal as examples of how far a journey can be traveled.

    Horan needs the space around him cleared for football and nothing else. I have read nothing about the behind the scenes set up in the above named contenders. The sooner we take our place in the queue with them with our homework neat and tidy …the better for us all.

  15. As someone involved in underage football, it,s very importent that McHale park is available for young fella,s to play in too as they are the future. I,m sure the senior team would love to train on the main pitch every night but there has to be a balance. Young fella,s love to get their chance, maybe once a year if their very lucky, to get a run on our main stage.

  16. I wounder is the departure of Cian o Neill part of the reason for James Horan’s difficulties with the County Board.
    James, has to get what he needs to prepare his team properly.
    County Board politics must not be allowed to hinder our County Team. Was it Sean Flanagan who said ,’ Mayo senior team won their All Ireland’s in 50 and 51, in spite of the County board’.

  17. I heard Des Cahill giving fixtures for next years league, but cant find them anywhere. We are home to kerry in first round.

  18. I think Horan needs to get a bit of balance in this also. I presume that these sort of things are agreed on before an appointment. I also feel that using issues such as hotels and training pitches as a reason for not winning the AI is a bit of a cop out. The County Board has a lot of responsibilities. Whilst the majority of people on this site probably think that winning the AI is the only aim they are responsible for other issues – club scene, underage, pitch protection and finance. Managers can get zoned in on their target but like all things in life that target has to be reached within certain parameters. I feel that in the long term the county board need to invest but in underage structures and especially in the 18-21 age group. They are making inroads here. I feel that the bitching going on between players, clubs, supporters and county boards needs to stop.

  19. Hear, hear, Sinabhuil, well said.

    Hop it – the provisional list of NFL fixtures are on the Mayo GAA website now, available here. I’ll post something on it later on, I’ve work stuff to do in the meantime.

  20. Dublin & Down away on Saturday evening under lights, Kildare at home on Saturday under lights. I’d say all these matchs will be televised? Big pay out for County Board?

  21. well lads and lassies I for one not going to take this lying down if James does decide to leave .. No not this time we all stayed quiet when John O M left (1st time) and while most of were disgusted at the way Micky Moran was treated we still did nothing probably because we had the green and red goggles on with John O second coming ! … A certain name keeps coming up as the main stumbling block to James but until I get further evidence will not mention it … My brother very involved with the NY team and thought at first it was the players that decided not to go and they (NY) honestly didn’t mind … But it has come to light it was someone else … Off with his head I say !!

  22. Sinabhuil, when did Horan use “issues such as hotels and training pitches as a reason for not winning the AI”?
    It is rumoured (the man himself has not said anything in public) that these are areas he feels can be improved upon by the county board.
    That is not the same as saying they are the reasons we don’t have Sam Maguire!
    It is James Horan’s duty as manager to ensure the panel are as well prepared as possible and have the best facilities possible. If he didn’t address issues he felt needed to be improved, he wouldn’t be doing his job.
    Obviously he may not get everything he asks for, but he’s certainly right to try.

  23. To sinabfhuil
    James Horan is not using anything as an excuse for not winning Sam. He and his players and management team were caught by two goals before the game had warmed up, that was their only mistake. After that they were well able for donegal. They had perhaps thought of doing the early goal thing themselves?
    I imagine he is asking for the county board to butt out and leave the football to him while they take care of the things he asks them for to get the job done. Of course nobody in a position of power likes to be told what to do, they will bend to his demands or face losing their positions because Horan will name them if he has to quit his position as manager and Mayo people will love for heads to roll.
    I would imagine a petition would be started to remove the spanner in the works.

  24. As a Mayo supporter all I’m hearing for thw past 50+ years is that the Mayo senior football team is progressing and one day soon it will deliver. On the evidence of the two semi-finals last Sunday that pool of players have neither the wit, imagination or class to deliver. Pathetic is the only word to describe the total inability of the eventual winners to proactivelty play possession football as a ploy to protect their lead – both held on by sheer luck. Continuing to play 50/50 balls in pursuit of unneccessary scores is lunacy and has cost Mayo football dearly but then I wouldnt expect an appreciation of that in this county. The coaches concerned should consult with Jim McGuinness – a real coach

  25. This mornings article in the indo doesnt make this any better….its just airing our dirty laundry for the whole country to see. Bickering, incompetence and now, its the kids fault! WTF?

    Does anyone know if they had the meeting? was there even an agenda? what was discussed? were the issues and problems clearly laid out..? Were the issues clearly articulated and were there solutions discusssed and agreed upon? Seems JH has more to be concerned with than managing the CB as well.

  26. Who is in charge of the senior team in Mayo? is it James Horan or is it SOME of the County. Board?. We always blame the board. The board try to keep us right you know . They have us warned that next year (God willing) when we are in the final we must bring larger flags!

  27. He must think these problems had some effect on the AIF. The talk is of resignation. He must think it is serious. FFS there was a problem with the hotel and there were underage matches in McHale Park. Its hardly Saipan. You are not denying them expenses or asking them to pay for gear or anything. We live in an imperfect world. Sickens my you know what listening to people whinging over nothing. Its a logistics problem. Let them talk it out and move on. Everything has to be a big drama.

  28. Who’s making the drama out of it!? Horan hasn’t said a word to the media about this as far as I can see.
    “Let them talk it out and move on” – well that’s one thing we can agree on.
    I think this whole thing has been blown way out of proportion by media looking for a story.

  29. sinabfhuil,
    you are right about the talk it over and move on, but only if they sort out the issues.
    horan seems like a reasonable fella, he should not have to worry about a place to train his panel, in this day and age. I have seen junior teams train under lights on proper pitches at the Neamh Mearnog club in dublin over a decade ago and here we are having a discussion about where to train a high profile county team!!
    its as bad as saipan, except horan is not mccarthy, he demands better and will do a keano on it if they try him on for size.
    somebody with vision needs to be put in charge of mchale park, it could make money if it was used right. concerts and events are money, get the ball rolling.

  30. I think you got the title of this thread spot on. A bit of shadow boxing is all that is going on here. Nothing to worry about in my humble opinion.

  31. I dont know where all this is coming from but one thing is very clear to me – the County Board and the Senior Team management do not seem to be communicating too well with each other. Sit down together lads and sort it out and quit the bull**** is what I say!

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