No white smoke from crisis talks

Where the fog are we

Tonight’s review meeting between County Board officials and players at MacHale Park has broken up without any comment from either side.

As this report in the Mayo News confirms, around 30 players attended the meeting with the County Board reps, which lasted no more than ten minutes. That piece states that the players made no comment when they left and Angelina Nugent of Midwest later confirmed via Twitter that the County Board spokesperson had said there’d be no comment tonight from their side either.

Tonight’s meeting clearly wasn’t any kind of extensive clear-the-air discussion. Given its brevity, it can only have involved the players reiterating their position, perhaps followed by a short exchange with Board officials as to why they felt compelled to take this action.

That Mayo News piece linked above states that the crisis will now be discussed again by the County Board executive over the weekend. As this report in today’s Irish Examiner confirms, there was also an emergency meeting of the executive last night ahead of tonight’s get-together with the players so it’s clear that the Board aren’t exactly sitting on their hands in relation to the issue.

Following tonight’s brief session, the focus is sure to remain squarely on Noel and Pat. The longer they insist in holding the increasingly forlorn position of remaining in post, the longer this whole sorry mess goes on. As An Spáilpín Fánach put it so well earlier on today, the only way to limit the damage is to end this affair as quickly as possible.

There’s only one way this can happen and so the sooner Noel and Pat do the decent thing and resign, the better. I’d say that this was the message that came across loud and clear from the players in the course of tonight’s brief meeting with the County Board officials.

167 thoughts on “No white smoke from crisis talks

  1. This is a sad time for mayo football. The players and management have made an enormous contribution to mayo football and it’s sad to see noel connelly who was a fantastic captain and servant to mayo football to have his reputation tarnished in this way.

  2. Maybe the Conn Telegraph might be able to tell us what happened at the meeting and sure if they dont know they could always make something up

  3. That pic from the abandoned league game V Dublin a few years ago is very apt. This kinda shit never ends well. Sad for all involved.

  4. If Jeremy Corbyn was made new manager at Arsenal, it could not beat Mayo GAA for controversy!

    Surely all this could have been sorted behind closed doors.

  5. The problem with Mayo football is that too much has been conducted behind closed doors. Good to see the players stand together tonight.

  6. Silence is the last thing we need. I wish everyone involved would just hammer out their problems and come up with an acceptable solution ASAP. Announce what the problems have been, announce what’s agreed and if that be new management then so be it. Everything needs to come out now. The last thing we as supporters need is a drip feed of so and so said this and so and so did that. Having no facts is journalists gold, column filler, a license to print bullshit.

  7. A bit over the top in my opinion. 25 players turning up was nothing more than a stunt… I think this is going to turn out badly for this team…

  8. It was great to see the unity of all the players turning up tonight. Great to see that Henry’s attempts to divide or undermine them didn’t work.

  9. I would not even mention his name Mick. That’s what he wants, attention. I stopped buying that rag after the disgusting attack on JH.

  10. What ever happens, its important all the playes stick together.One for all and all for one, .. Noel and Pat have to go, how possibly can they stay on now? .Dont let the County board try and isolate any player. Look we are all interested in whats good for Mayo. Noel, Pat and the County Board, we cant have the best without, this team of excepional and united players. The County Board are not irreplacable, that ultimatly is up to clubs and their members. A clear out of whole lot might be whats needed. It may well.end up bad for everyone, but it need not!

  11. good on the players, now just stand back and let the management make their move. they have got to go or else i m afraid we will see a very weakened Mayo take to the pitch in january if indeed any Mayo player would have the courage to wear the jersey in the circumstances. I think the players have a manager in mind, surely, they are too intelligent not to have this talked out before their move. And the bastard that named the players who opted to stick with the management should be banished to siberia or roscommon or somewhere else of that grade, he is a low down dog.

  12. Wouldn’t happen in Sean Flanagan’s day ! Politics and sport never mix .What’s a worse case scenario here ? This CB could remain defiant and stick with PH and NC . current Players refuse to play. Some give in about 11 players come back citing the love for the jersey . PH and NC pick new players for the league . Fans arrange boycotts . Wouldn’t surprise me

  13. Will the lads ever just cop on and go. Are they holding out for some kind of financial compensation or what? They’re not wanted by the players so just head on home lads and put an end to this farce.

    This team has a massive chance of making the final next year, the players know this too, thats why, imo, they want a change, it will be the last chance for a few them. The players obviously are even more hungry now than ever, they are being ruthless in disposing a managment team, they deem incapable of landing the big one. In my eyes, this team is now ready to kick down the door and win the fucking thing next year. I see all this as a massive positive, these boys are going for the kill now and will take out anyone in their path. Now they’re ready to be kings.

  14. This was a very brave and determined move by the players last evening. They have carried themselves with the utmost dignity and professionalism. We have to be totally convinced that they only have what is best for Mayo football on their minds.

  15. Poor treatment to Pat and Noel who have have been two good servants for Mayo over he years, Whoever is the next manager will be under huge pressure to deliver the AI in the first year and failure to do so what then?

  16. I think the players did right. If the vote was 27-7 there was obviously A LOT of discontent for a long time. These lads are not drama queens like some seem at pains to suggest, and I’d imagine they voiced their concerns all along. Though they did very nearly get past Dublin in the 1st semi-final and were probably overall the second best team in the country this year – they were definitely not the same team we saw in the last two years under Horan. Holmes and Connelly didn’t get the best out of the players and at times tactically they were all over the shop. Fundamentally, if management don’t have the trust and backing of the players and the players don’t feel the problems can be overcome – Holmes and Connelly should step down gracefully or the board should tell them its time to go. But considering we have a family link between board and management – I’d say they’ll put up some fight.

  17. Mayomagic, I cant see there being any chance of winning Sam next year. I agree Noel and Pat were/are great servants .
    My first memories of Mayo football was the 96 run .The buzz and excitement around the county , exiles returning from overseas, flags ,banners everywhere , as a kid at the time it seemed everyone you met was talking about it . I’ll never forget the feeling of disappointment after the final 🙁 Connelly was the captain . Himself and Pat always seemed gents anytime I met them on the street . I remember meeting Pat in a café around the 01 league win , always approachable and willing to talk football . I met afew of the previous managers and they wouldn’t look at a person … Too Focused maybe
    I’d imagine a lot of the current players over 25 the team of the late 90s were hero’s to them too .
    No winners in this at all and to be honest I’m surprised so many people are pro players .

    Another thing , I found it abit weird the previous manager after stepping down last year was a media analyst this year and often gave thorough assessments and his opinions of Mayos performances this year .I thought the honourable thing would be avoid it for a year ..

  18. County Board Chair and Managers need to step down now. They need to listen to Team and Fans. Hon Mayo!

  19. What a mess. Really saddened following this. Pat and Noel need to go if the players feel they arnt up to scratch. We don’t know what went on this yr. I really don’t think a group of players with this much experience would throw their toys out of the pram without good reason. The management would be mental to stay knowing the players don’t want them and probably won’t play under them. The county board are an absolute farce. What a bloody mess 🙁

  20. Out of the country hiking in north Spain, no wiffy and back to this. Hours of reading last night.

    Pat and Noel for the love of Mayo football please go.

    Willie Joe you mentioned that one of them was willing to walk. Is there a family member on the voard that is making it hard for the other?

    The end here is inevitable. I think this management got lucky in 2015 but tactically we were at sea bar a simple tweak vs Donegal. The county has been full of negative talk since day 1 but what went on matched Pat’s first reign and much of their 06 – 09 reign where despite a great All Ireland win there were so many missed opportunities. Those teams did nit achieve potential

  21. To borrow a phrase from a different time in European history sadly it’s a case of ‘Lions led by donkeys’ (I’m NOT referring to N&P)

  22. I’d say the players are absolutely disgusted with the leaks to media the other more information of talks need to go public.p and n will step down in a couple of days and new man will be given a much support the new man gets to get the job done from the county broad should be the big question.if I was the players reps l would get what ever deal is agreed in writing. Sorry but just my opinion can’t trust this county board and to be honest sick of hearing talk shit.

  23. Reading various bits and pieces on social media since this broke there is not much sympathy out there for the team from other countys but I for one have even more admiration for them after this. Every year you heard the same old story Mayo just haven’t got it in them, they have no belief, they’ll never win All Ireland. What the boys have done shows us they have huge belief.

  24. I think that this will be good in the long term for Mayo Football for the following reasons

    1 If there are problems in the camp then this is the time of year to have them sorted not in the middle of the season

    2 The Players are not talking to the media . The story in the Connaught Telegraph did not come from the Players

    3. Too many times in the past issues have been swept under the carpet for example McStay application for the managers position

    4 The County Board have a history of clapping themselves on the back .Nothing negative ever when sometimes it would be better to admit mistakes. The is nothing wrong with admitting mistakes as once identified there can be a process put in place to ensure they do not reoccur.

    4 The County Board are armatures who give their time free but they need to move with the times and hire professionals in certain areas foe example Fund Raising.

    5 It should never have been the case that the Chairman of the Co. Board is also the Liaison Officer between the players and Management especially when one of the Management is also his own brother

    6 A more open system needs to be put in place when Officers and Management positions are appointed . I

  25. I agree 110% O’Sullivan. The players are doing a mighty job. Somebody tried to muddy their names and divide them in the Connaught during the well. Well, be it the County Board or the management it has come full circle now and last night’s show of unity really speaks volumes. They are not for turning and they are not giving up their dream of winning an All Ireland for Mayo.

    The poll results here speak volumes. Pat and Noel must go. Sad for them but they were part of a process last year that was always going to bite back. There is no reality to them staying and maybe this is all about the chairman protecting his position now?

  26. Does anyone actually know what problem the players have with the joint managers?

    Does anyone actually know who the players want to manage them?

    I would suspect the answer to the above questions is NO. Loads of people think they know and they heard of such a person a rumour etc.

    The idea that the players made a brave and courageous move in what they did seems strange. Surely the more courageous move would have been to meet with H&C and the county board and trash it out. Secret meetings in a clubhouse never give out a good impression and nothing good ever comes from them.

    The meeting last night once again didnt seem to go too well. All it has done is left supporters wondering how this has happened and when might it get sorted. Our dirty laundry is well and truly out there for the country to see. As one of my Dublin work colleagues put it “We are like the Dutch football team” great talent but never united.

    I think the players should now tell us what they are unhappy about. They set this ball rolling. A video clip of them leaving last nights meeting and driving off tells us nothing. I was actually slightly embarrassed watching it. All this guessing and snippets of gossip is doing Mayo GAA no good. It would appear that its not just one side at fault here. I would imagine there were mistakes everywhere but I just wish someone would let us know the full truth.

  27. Disagree Mayo madness. 100% behind the players. All with be revealed in it’s own good time.

  28. Appropriate that this WJs piece has a picture of fog as a graphic. A lot of what goes on at executive level and behind the scenes by the county board is shrouded in fog. I won’t bother reminding anybody of the workings of the board, not just this year but over the years.

    The players have stood up manfully and while it’s unfortunate that the current managerial duo are in the headlights , already some issues are crystal clear. One being, why and what do they hope to achieve by staying put. Irrespective of the rights and wrongs of it, they are simply not wanted by the players. It’s akin to my youth, when the pretty girl said “it’s not you Johnny, it’s me” that told me to start looking elsewhere.

    The fog symbol is appropriate on the blog. Bluntly all this particular mess goes back 12 months to the ham fisted knuckle trailing method that the managerial process was carried out. Karma dictates that Roscommon establish a top managerial team and Mayo are caught up in intercinine warfare on the same day.

    An Spailpin correctly wrote that civil war kills all. This current managers could have resigned with their dignity intact and allow the next 12 months decide their place in history. They chose not to. The county board could and should have seen this coming. They should have told the managers go, however unpalatable. They chose not to.

    In what appears a selective issuing of information to two Mayo media organs and the fortuitous appearance of Marty Morrisey and s surprisingly trenchant Martin Carney in McHale Park , the county board seem to have chosen surprise attack as the preferred method. Listening to the Co Secretary on Newstalk saw me seeking refuge with my doggy behind the sofa.

    Let’s get to the nub of this. Mayo over the decades have produced excellent players. Unlike belatedly Dublin, always Kerry and since 1997 Tyrone, we have not kept pace at executive level. Fuck up after fuck up has occurred. Whether we like it or not, whether it’s true or not, Mayo boards over the long years have been associated with this political party or that. Mayo football also seems on the hands of a select cabal that over the years has passed this great county to whom they deem worthy.

    Personally I threw in the towel after 2013. I felt we huffed and puffed too much. Now I see the sacrifice and pain this group of young men endure to give us great days. I always believed that the greatest impediment to final success lay at county board level over the years. The great Eamon Mongey stated the same.

    The players , trailed by a media mob last night deserve better. The clubs in Mayo need to sit down, call meetings, then call an EGM and tell this board that it’s time has run and to go. Each day this attempt at a forced marriage between the players and manager continues , the stupider we look. We need decisive leadership . We aren’t getting it.

    If the county secretary admitted that the first he heard of it was the morning the ultimatum was issued and it was a “bombshell” then we are in a bad place. The same secretary informed Newstalk that the Couny Chairman was also liaison officer to the team. If this is true, how on gods earth did he not pick up the mood.

    We can change managers until the cows come home, we have done it. Our players have picked them selves up time and time again Cork ’93, Leitrim ’94, Kerry ’04, Longford ’10 . Regardless of who takes over this county historically produces fine warriors. So let’s for once look at the root cause of Mayo travails since the 1940s, the county boards.

    The players have stood up. It’s past time the clubs stood with them. A window is open. Climb through .

  29. Lot of interesting comments in the above. Nearly all fair I have to say….but I still feel no good can come of this. At the end of the day the County board is stuck between a rock and a hard place in that picking a new manager is a real problem for them unless they get effective “sign off” from the players. How can they pick someone now without knowing the players approve – if this is the case, I’d be surprised if anyone on this site think it is a good policy that players are picking managers, even if it is just from a rubber stamping point of view.

    The scenario I am envisaging is the players are saying we need x,y and z from a manager. The county board go off and try and fill this criteria, come to the point of appointing someone – do they have to check in with the players that they agree. Even if they do, does the new manager feel constrained in some ways by the terms of such an appointment? I think it is all a bit problematic and surely a clear the air talks with players and management would have been better?

  30. Mayo51 – I’m sorry but I can’t allow that comment to go up. I’m not saying you can’t criticise but this has to be done in a fair-minded way, not using that kind of language.

  31. I think that the players involved in all this can and should go to their own club reps and delegates and get them to exert influence on these proceedings.

    These players after all are some of the highest profiles in the respective clubs. Look at the clubs involved – most of them are the major urban hubs around the county.


    In addition then are Ballintubber, Breaffy and others

    Between them these clubs should have a serious amount of clout to get action and some sort of resolution.

  32. Lots of good can come from this if they get a new manager, they have already wasted a year with with this management and reached a semi with most of the players unhappy.

  33. Cantini, I couldn’t disagree more with your last post. You are advocating that the C.B. should have autonomy on picking the manager.

    What qualification have they for this task? Very little.

    The players rightfully should be involved in the process, they should be given representation on the selection panel.

    If you look at the likes of Cillian O’Connor (played college ball in Dub and Ulster), Aidan O’Shea (Dublin), Kev McL (Dublin I think?), Jason Doch & Ger Caff (Galway), Rob Hennelly (Dublin), Andy Moran (Sligo, Ulster), these guys will have worked under numerous coaches and rubbed shoulders with a huge number of players who have worked under different coaches, these are our guys on the ground who know what different managements are like, different successes their colleagues have had with guys, these guys HAVE to be represented in selecting new management.

    No disrespect intended to Mike Connelly but the University of Ulster, DIT and DCU are a long way from Hollymount.

  34. I want to question this gathering “County Board must go” line.

    Why should they go? Not because of last year’s appointment process, which was conducted under the previous chairman. This Board (I know with many, though not all, the same faces as before) was since elected at last December’s Convention and, if they want to stay on next year, the club delegates have to vote them back in again at this year’s Convention. Why should they resign before then?

    Should they go because of their handling so far of this crisis? I know Vincent Neary was an embarrassment on the radio but that was a case of the wrong man being pushed out front to deliver the message. Mike Connelly handled himself okay on TV and Aiden McLoughlin was on the radio the following morning and he came across fine. (Aiden also said, by the way,that the reasons for the players’ unhappiness needed to be known to prevent something like this blowing up again, regardless of whether or not Noel and Pat stay on, which I thought was a significant point to make.)

    As I said in last night’s post, the Board aren’t exactly inactive at the minute. They had an emergency executive meeting on Tuesday night, the officers met the players last night and further meetings are taking place over the weekend. Those are the meetings we know of and most likely plenty more is happening behind the scenes. Is it fair, then, to conclude that they’re trying to get a solution? Is the conclusion that they want an outcome that sees Noel and Pat still in situ and player power smashed accurate? It might but there’s little proof of this.

    If they do resign now, what I’d also like to know is where’s the shiny, new, competent, capable, efficient and effective replacement Board that many are calling for? I don’t see that there is one out there and my fear would be that the cure would end up being far worse than the disease. I’ve heard one name mentioned again and again as a possible new Chairman were Mike Connelly to step down and all I’ll say is if you think the current situation is bad, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet if that particular scenario came to pass.

  35. PJB

    I’m not saying players can’t have some input and a selection committe should be made of a range of experiences including existing and former players. But I don’t buy we should listen to a 24 or 25 year olds because they played with top players or colleges etc….I remember when i was that age myself and playing in the environments you mention – I absolutlely thought I knew every thing and would love to have input into every team i was involved in from a management persepctive – but with the benefit of hindsight and anther 20 years experience i realise i knew feck all. Holmes and Connelly were top players themselves, played in all ireland finals – managed an u-21 side to win one. Its not as though you are talking about pulling a name out of a hat on this…..anyway i’m digressing.

    If you can cite even one example where players picking a manager or taking over control of how a manager is appointed etc….turned out to be successful for that team, in any sport – i’m happy to reconsider.

  36. JPM, I agree with you there, but I’d go further. It is in the interest of all clubs to listen to players concerns. You never know where the next Mayo star is coming from. Maybe he’s already there from U16 to U21. You don’t have to go very far too find some minors and their parents not very happy with the current minor management. Now was the handling of that appointment done in a fair and transparent manner? .

  37. I agree with WJ’s sentiments regarding the current CB. I am more aware than most of their failings but I think we have enough to deal with at the moment without trying to select a new executive. What I would be in favour of though is a number of clubs putting forward motions for the county convention asking for the “strategic review” to be implemented. This would involve approaching Liam Horan (most likely on our knees) along with the other participants and asking them to update their fantastic blueprint.
    A poster earlier put it very well when he said that changing the CB is like turning an ocean liner, a slow pondering process but it eventually happens.

  38. Well balanced post WJ, county board are there to support all aspects of the game within the county, not just the higher profile inter county stuff. I have seen at first hand the abuse these guys get for offering up their own time with nothing in return. As you say, there’s no instant remedy or new personnel who will transform the issues of finances, club versus county, fixtures and alamgamations of clubs with the wave of a wand.
    The county AGM will occur in a few months time, as JPM suggested, get onto you clubs and veto the change that way

  39. While I think management are better to leave at this stage I think it was badly dealt with from the players. It is a poor reflection on them as a unit if they cannot see their own failings in this years campaign, Jimmy Guinness, Jack O’Connor or anyone else is not going to bring this team to the All Ireland , why do any of ye think its going to be any different next year with the same players?
    Was it really C&H that lost it for us this year?
    And who was to blame in the previous years, Horan?, the players?
    It is not a good thing that the players are picking who the manager should be, maybe they should be reflecting on their own weakness and believe me if looked at with a cold eye there were plenty.

  40. Bold statement by the players turning up together. Gives off an impression of solidarity which is not being portrayed in the media. In fact the opposite is being peddled by the media.

  41. I think the Spailpins piece is spot on and the only way out of this mess. A really well considered, balanced piece of writing. Call a halt to the sorry mess, bring Horan back for one more year – I think it’s what the players want – and during that year while giving it everything we can to win the big one, do the succession planning a the new manager.
    Horan is the only one who can come back into this situation right now. Once he’s completed his stint a new man will be able to take over.

    I have great sympathy for Pat and Noel but the players are putting their necks on the line and there’s only one workable outcome. They should resign as soon as possible.

  42. I have also heard a name bandied about as a replacement chairman. The sight of a brightly coloured car belching smoke pulling up at McHale park, the doors exploding off and Bozo the clown tumbling out would immediately spring to mind at the mere mention of this mans name.

  43. If there are ‘management issues’ they could not have arisen overnight. As the Co Board chair is also the teams LO, beggars believe what he was doing for the past year. Co Sec claims it came as a complete ‘bombshell’. The Co PRO has suddenly got a severe dose of laryngitis. Maybe there is much more ‘under the carpet’. Its now up to the clubs to get answeres.


  44. Well said Willie Joe – you hit the nail on the head re the County Board.

    I think a mediator is needed and s/he is needed fast. The longer this goes on the more it will fester, and it will be twice as painful for whoever has to back down in the end. Not to mention the blood, sweat and tears we will all have shed by then.

    Mediation is a well accepted process, if people will forgive that word, of untangling difficulties between people from the workplace to marital or relationship difficulties.

    Reading between the lines, there seems to be an absence of genuine dialogue, which is necessary to move the situation forward. I can understand that the players feel reluctant to engage in a ‘negotiation process’ with the County Board, because in a sense they can’t win that. And the grievances, as I heard them discussed by Mike Finnerty and Malachy Clerkin aren’t really negotiable in the strict sense, so may be best teased out in mediation.

  45. Perfectly valid questions Willie joe and justified criticism

    I thought this was supposed to be a blog no ?

  46. In fairness, Noel, (and saying this as someone who could never be accused of being Aiden McLoughlin’s biggest fan) the PRO was on RTE radio, interviewed on Morning Ireland, on Wednesday morning so that’s not exactly hiding. He did okay too – the interview is here (it’s the 8.40 Sports News segment, the relevant bit starts at around the 5.35 mark).

  47. The players really should get the issues out in the open. They will lose small %’s of support per day if it is just this Mexican standoff of silence.
    There wasn’t enough listed in Clerkins article. There isn’t the backing for the issue being “It was felt there some slippages”.
    – The squad was fit and lean
    – There injury rate was as close to zero as possible
    I have a backing for what the players have done but it’s on the understanding the whole setup was seriously untenable from week to week and month to month.
    If it is one very specific thing/decision/tactic or whatever then get it out in the open.
    They won’t hold the support of the public with the relatively weak stuff that has been highlighted so far. A late bus to Derry, not the same medical staff.
    The injury rate was close to zero remember.
    Now if it is that they were having to organise themselves to get their medical treatment and this was untenable for them then state it.
    Horans budget that went up to 900k reportedly and down to 870k, unfortunately for the squad that was indeed not sustainable.
    Pat and Noel cannot magic up probably even 800k for this senior squad.
    – Late bus to Derry nothing major
    – Players role and input in the setup different than under Horan … no mgmt team is obligated to have the same style
    – The medical team changes … come out and state if it was having impact financially or physically or both
    It’s simple logic, their support will drift if they do not present strong conclusive reasoning.

  48. I don’t think it’s fair to criticise the players for their silence. They will no doubt have told Pat and Noel of their concerns and they do not support them. It’s a simple as that. Supporters or officials or nobody else matters here. The squad do not support their managers and without the players the management have nothing. It’s cruel but reality.

  49. JP, the opposing view is that we shouldn’t wash our dirty laundry in public. You could definitely argue that’s already happening to a certain extent but I don’t think that’s coming from the players. They met mgmt in private to inform them of the no confidence vote. I doubt it was them that made it public, there hasn’t been anything said in public by the players so they are possibly trying to make this as quick and clean as it can be.
    If it drags on and others continue to drip feed elements of the media, then I’d imagine the players will be left with no choice other than to make a public statement on the matter.

  50. Cantini, Cork hurlers did it in 2002. Went on to win 2 AI’s in the next four years and got beat in the other 2.

  51. This is a very tight, close knit group of players that have been through hell and back together. The “dressing room Omerta” is paramount to these lads and so, I imagine, they would have expected their decision and subsequent talk to management to remain silent, for the short term anyway. By someone leaking this info to the public, most especially the Connaught Teleshite, they have attempted to betray the players as spoilt brats when, in essence, all the players have done is to be honest and seek further improvement. Their show of strength last night by turning up in such numbers, and all attired in the Mayo gear I note, was further ramming home the point that they are not for turning.

  52. Willie Joe, the amount of rubbish spun in the media by pro-H&C camp has been mind boggling, I think we can all agree that.

    Why should the players give any more info on the issue to this group knowing that it will just be spun in the press every which way.

    The players have their reasons, there is no doubt, and that is enough for me. They should solidarity last night in having no confidence in the management. H&C, take the decent option and step down.

    I’m embarrassed by our County Board right now and the pro-H&C camp. Turkeys tend not to vote for Christmas.

  53. Just wondering where does the GPA appear in all of this. Have they or Dessie Farrell made any comment? Would players have consulted them before they made their stance and do they support their action?

  54. I’ve said it before and I feel it at a cellular level that Cillian O’Connor is indeed the real deal. He and Keith have pulled the group together to challenge the authority of the county board in a most professional and dignified manner. When somethings not right, it’s wrong.

  55. Has anyone mentioned our dirty linen in public? I don’t think anyone has mentioned that yet

  56. Haha, MayoMark, got a chuckle out of that. Ya I think it has been mentioned once or twice 🙂

  57. Have Pat and Noel not gone yet?.

    What about Vincent Neary? I presume he resigned after the last night on the radio?

  58. the team isn’t just the players. The team is the players, the management, the coaches, the medics, the back room and everyone who has a part to play. And at this level nothing but the best is expected and demanded from all on that team. Doesn’t matter if it’s the forward kicking for a point or the dietitian arranging the pre-match meal or the maor-uisce doing his or her thing – if there’s a weak link then don’t expect the peak outcome. I think in this case the the players are around long enough, and know what it takes to be competing at the top table, to recognise a problem when they see it. And if they highlight this we should give them credit and less of the ‘no to player power’ stuff. They aren’t doing this for selfish reasons but for the county and the holy grail.

    Agree with An Spailpin it needs a quick resolution – taking sides over what management have or have not done now or in the past is irrelevant as is the debate over player power. It’s broken. Fix it. P&N are fine Mayo men and no one can question their commitment to the cause but for reasons we don’t know fully it’s not working. And it’s that simple. As the PRO said the CB need to know why to make sure it doesn’t happen again but it has to be with new manager (singular). The CB, who in fairness give their time and have a job to do, do have a history of circling the wagons when controversy arises but that response or dilly dallying is not the way out of this particular mess.

  59. However there is one complicated middle ground of all this.
    What if we don’t have the finance to do a top level training setup anymore?
    Then how is a new manager meant to fix any issues that require money to fix them?
    Not siding with anyone there just highlighting the elephant in the room of us being in poor financial shape.

  60. One of two things happened last night. Either the players read a statement which I doubt was allowed or they were kept waiting and told to go away because only two were supposed to attend which is more likely.

    The county board as usual playing the long game justifing their position and their process for such an event.

    Won’t be over soon folks.

  61. JP – I think you are right; this is the elephant in the room.

    Finance may well be an underlying element in the discontent – medical back up pared back and so on. It was, as I understand it, a definite source of tension during the Horan regime and one reason why the County Board wouldn’t want JH back.

    But, if it is the real reason, it’s one that can be brought into the light and addressed. Do we all need to put our hands in our pockets? No problem, for me at any rate, if it is demonstrably clear and supporters can shell out knowing that the money is going to be properly used.

  62. @PJB

    Not sure you are comparing apples with apples there PJ. The Cork hurlers went on strike over more far reaching issues and my recollection was they were adamant that they did not see it as their function to have any say in the selection of management or selectors? They made that clear even while they were on strike. They were also All Ireland champions just 3 years previously – so it wasn’t like it was a final push to try and get something for this team – most of them already had all ireland medals.

  63. id have no problem with contributing €10 a week to the county boards finances to train the team if the county board got its act together and put into place a proper strategic plan for now and the future im sure there are plenty more like me that would contribute weekly if it wa sran properly, ok it would mean giving up a few cans of Coke and a pack or two of jaffa cakes a week but it would be worth it to help the team

  64. Willie Joe, the fish rots from the head down. County Board need to step down and get someone that does not allow this sort of farce develop again by addressing the players issues

  65. All The Way says:
    October 2, 2015 at 10:45 am
    I think the Spailpins piece is spot on and the only way out of this mess. A really well considered, balanced piece of writing. Call a halt to the sorry mess, bring Horan back for one more year – I think it’s what the players want – and during that year while giving it everything we can to win the big one, do the succession planning a the new manager.
    Horan is the only one who can come back into this situation right now. Once he’s completed his stint a new man will be able to take over.

    “Bring back Horan, give the players what they want, this is the attitude that will never win us anything.
    Bring back is not conducive to moving forward, Horan had his chances, he left positive legacy some great times but also his shortcomings were shown up too.

    “give the players what they want” again being Horan, so now we would have the tail wagging the dog, as Horan is matey with them and had previously being their leader.

    I dont see this working, fair enough players have their say, full credit to them for saying Pat and Noel aren’t, the required standard we would like someone who we feel could lead us to the promise land but you dont let them select who they want.
    Sure have Cillian and another on the selection committee and interview committee but players shouldnt select who their leader will be.

  66. Listen to the Irish Times Second Captains Podcast folks – it’s an excellent piece. Fair play to Murph and Mike Finnerty – cut right through Martin Carney’s poisoned chalice view of managing this team. It’s far from it. It was so heartening to see the lads show in up unbelievable force last night. They could not be more serious about this and it has sent out a real message for all to see. It was a great move.

  67. my understanding is that the players wanted k. mcstay as manager last year .but he was not even interviewed for the position to put forward his plans to mayo county board.i also understand the players were looking forward to working with liam mchale. they were not acceptable to county board who pushed H&C IN AS JOINT MANAGERS.Pat holmes had stated he did not have the time to manage mayo .KEVIN mcstay is still the man to manage mayo in my opinion

  68. Well said as usual john,although I disagree over mcstay I must say I was surprised last year with the lack of interest from outside managers in the job, maybe they knew what was afoot.i feel really sorry for pat and noel who were great servants for mayo football, but their race is run,if they have lost the players they have nowhere to go,so they must resign and let whoever the players have chosen take over .The county board must put whatever resources that the players need in place,and then step down and let new blood take over, look at the long term,put resources in place to get four or five players fit and ready to step up every year,get the minor and under twenty one set up right so we have players ready to take over when players retire or lose is not rocket science, if the board are not capable appoint people who are, and let it not look like a political convention like some of people I have seen after some meetings

  69. How can the County Board say that they didn’t realise what was happening and how can they pretend that this has come as a bolt out of the blue.
    It’s very admirable or perhaps politically correct to say that they need to know what the players issues are so they can resolve them moving forward for which ever management team is too be in place in the future.
    Noel knew during the season there was internal problems. Anyone that has ever managed a team, would know, let alone someone with his experience .Now surely Noel talks occasionally with his brother the Chairman?
    The chairman is also doing his job as Player Liaison Officer or whatever title you wish to call it. So in effect what they are saying is that Noel never speaks to Mike. Mike doesn’t meet any of the players for liaison. The player don’t speak and let Mike know there is anything wrong! Mike therefore doesn’t see the need to let Vincent know, who in turn doesn’t bother letting Aidan Know.So how could anybody possible know any problems ever existed? Nobody was talking to nobody and the garden was nice and full of Roses.In the meantime the poor old Carpet sweeper was flat out woking their socks off in Mccale Park.
    My word you couldn’t make it up if you tried.

    In several of our matches this year we had a poor structure. Some of the good system type players that we have, seemed to be uncertain of their roles in the side.
    Compared to Dublin everyone seemed to know what their role was including the subs. Structure/game plans are the responsibility of management.
    I’ve no doubt that this great intelligent bunch of players voiced concerns about what was going on throughout the year. it is clear management wasn’t good enough to respond,or even stick with a system or let alone devise alternative systems.They were making it up as they went along and hoping for the best. As others here have said it was the player themselves in spite of management that got us so far this year.

    So in the meantime let Noel+Pat stay, let the County Board remain as is.Put together another panel of players who are happy to play for them and everything will be nice and quiet in Mayo,with no meetings required and nobody needing to talk to one another again.

    I doubt if we would even get a sniff of Connaught let alone Sam!

  70. I’m appealing to all sides involved in this debacle please please stop it before it destroys us. Even for not your sake but for the sake of the men who have worn the jersey and coached and trained county teams over the years. The highest honour is to wear the mayo jersey not too many people get the honour and I think people on both sides are forgetting this fact. I appeal to all sides players, county board officials and management to Man up and Grow up. Stop all sides pondering to the press. Go to the back of beyonds the whole lot of them and sort this fiasco out. Whether an independent meditator with industrial relations expertise needs to chair this so be it. Players , management and county board air their grievances the time for bullshit has passed. Man up and explain the problems everyone has. No one walks out every one is shown respect . At the end of the day based on the mediators analysis of the issues his or hers recommendations are binding. Whether it be county board officials, the management team or certain players that have to leave the mayo set up then so be it. This fiasco has to be sorted to a final conclusion with no ramifications in the future. I am not making these statements as a mad dissolutional mayo supporter but as a man who wants to see a mayo captain climb the steps of the hogan to pick up Sam in my life time. If any of the parties involved read this blog please please put mayo football’s interest before your own.

  71. Liam there is no need for a mediator, there is no need for negotiation. This is done and dusted. Read John Casey. As he says Pat and Noel cannot walk into a dressing room where the players don’t want them. It’s up to Pat and Noel now. Do the decent thing or walk away. Otherwise the County Board must fire them. Either way the result is the same. Just get it done and begin the process of getting our new manager. There is no point fannying about. There is no way nice of ending this. Pat and Noel were given the chance to go quietly but they decided to let it play out in public and have very little support.

  72. JP re your comment “”What if we don’t have the finance to do a top level training setup anymore?”””

    That is one of the reasons we need to get much more professional.

    One thing that is for certain is that the cost of competing at the top level will only go in one direction “UP”

    So do we as a county trow the towel in and forget about our attempt to win SAM or do we
    get more professional in our fundraising as well as other aspects . As time passes the cost of keeping up with best teams will grow. Nothing stands still.Do we always want to be known as been second best

    The Top Teams have a well run and thought out fundraising system not a box on a chair at the door of a pub.

  73. This is a terrible mess. Interference is an embedded situation which has lasted since 1940 with a brief interruption from 1947 to 1955 during the interregnum of Flanagan and Mongey. It was tried even before they left and lost us Dan O’Neill. It is my experience that people in a decision making position rarely change once the decision is made even when the decision is patently wrong. This applies in all walks of life, in politics and none more so than in Mayo Co. Board.
    Bringing back Horan would be a retrograde step as he has already failed and made too many mistakes which he never rectified and I cite those examples:
    1.Going into the 2012 final he identified a defensive weakness and made positional switches which bombed with disastrous consequences for Kevin Keane. He persisted with the same personnel and had his nose rubbed in it v. Dublin and twice v. Kerry last year. His successors followed in the same failed path this year with the same results.
    2. When he took over Tom Parsons was the best midfielder in the county and he used him for less than 40 minutes last year and all the while Parsons was the best .midfielder in the county, as he so ably demonstrated this year. It is a tribute to the resilience that he waited around for Horan to depart. How must he have felt when he saw some of the people who were ahead of him in the pecking order?
    I may be wrong but, as far as I can recall, only Ghandi was man enough to declare ” when I am persuaded by the evidence I change my mind”. The evidence is now very persuasive, is there anybody man enough to change his mind?
    Maybe we should consider Joe Brolly?

  74. Bill, you’re wrong on the Parsons point.
    Horan dropped him alright but whether he was the best midfielder in the county at the time is a matter of opinion, there’d be plenty who’d disagree with you there. He had great potential, but didn’t have the workrate of physicality in my opinion.
    Horan brought Parsons back into the panel last year, and he was injured for practically the whole year – he didn’t simply choose to leave him on the bench.

  75. WJ, we, especially those of us living abroad – in my case 44 years, owe you so much for giving us a window on what’s happening in Mayo football, both on and off the field over the last number of years. Go mbeidh an dea-shlainte agat chun e a dheanamh ar feadh blianta fada le teacht.

    I know it’s stating the obvious but this can go either way. It could all be forgotten in a few weeks and a new management team and probably some new county board members in place, eager for another attempt at winning Sam in 2016. Or Mayo football could be fractured for a generation to come.

    It all depends on how the players handled the situation. If they had genuine grievances and exhausted every other means open to them to get their message across and were left with no other option but to issue some kind of ultimatum, then it’s hard to disagree with what they did. However, if they went straight to the ‘last resort’ action they took, without trying to resolve their conflict in other less extreme ways, then the fallout from this could lead us back to the grim pre-James Horan era in a matter of months.

    I think we can say that the players have proved that they have the best interests of Mayo football at heart, if we can say the same about the County Board members then surely the issues can be resolved as quickly as possible.

    I feel sorry for Noel and Pat, it seems they didn’t really want the job, they only stepped in as a favour, and the thanks they get is to be the meat in the sandwich.

  76. Sorry Mo Maguire, but if H&C only stepped in as a favor, then they shouldnt be in the job at all.

  77. The players cannot have decided to take this action without coming to the conclusion that change is needed to deliver SAM. Taking this decision cannot have been easy knowing what they were facing into with the media, county board etc. after a long grueling season entertaining us which ultimately ended in disappointment.

    Having decided to take this action, I believe the players have approached this in a very mature way:
    1)Taking a secret ballout
    2)2 player reps meeting with Noel and Pat to present the situation
    3)Not speaking to the media
    4)Showing solidarity and turning up in force to meeting the county board

    County board on the other hand seem to have taken it on themselves to try to alienate the players, suggesting that they are letting down the fans etc. etc. which is total nonsense.
    Similar story in the media where some Mayo people have not done the county any favors with there comments/articles and have ulterior motives.

    These players have given a lot more than anyone to Mayo football in the last 5 years and I think the best things we can do is show some solidarity toward them.
    While we all want to know what is happening and this site is a great source of information and discussion, I think the best thing we can do is get 100% behind the players (as I have little faith in the County Board). We need to look at how we as Mayo fans can show our support in what the players feel is required in the quest to land the SAM Maguire.

    So how can we the fans show solidarity towards the players?

  78. All this hysteria and still we don’t know why the players were unhappy with PH and NC!!! Who will take over if they fall on their sword??? Remember Fiitmaurice was a tactical genius in 2014 and a dunce in 2015! Is the Jim McGuiness the same one who oversaw the slaughter by Mayo in 2013 and 2015? Keep in mind the saying ‘today a rooster, tomorrow a feather duster! Let’s s hope the players have not painted themselves into a corner!

  79. I have to question PJBs judgement when he says the players should pick their manager. This is absolute nonsense, and something you would never see in a million years in any other serious GAA county. There is no positive ending if we go down that road. I agree that H&C have to go now, but if its Cillian and Keith and co picking the new manager (as more than one poster here seems to be in favour of) then forget about achieving anything serious.
    If people are worried about the county boards credentials for selecting a new manager – fine then. Find a few ex-county players to form a committee and pick one. People like John Casey, Billiejoe, James Nallen etc. That would resolve the concern about people picking a man for the job who know nothing about top level football.

    One of the fundamentals of management at elite level (indeed all levels) is authority and respect. If you guys cannot see that the authority of a manager selected by his own players would be compromised when tough decisions have to be made, then I really cannot take you seriously.

  80. To anser Keep calms question how we can show solidarity with the players? surely the anser is keep playing the players lotto fund maybe WJ you can keep the link up to the fund as you did all year.
    Two men that have kept their counsel through all this Donie Buckley and Barry Solan you would wonder what they would read into all this and what differences there were between the 2 managements…how long will they stay the longer this goes on.
    I would say there could be a development over the weekend and Noel and Pat will stand down hopefully we can move on from this in the next few weeks.
    I was also impressed with show off strength & togerness from the squad last night.

  81. TheMaestro, agreed. Managing a team that would not be satisfied with anything less than winning the All Ireland was a massive job. The team objected to one half of the McStay/McHale partnership and the County Board couldn’t find anybody else to take over the baton from James Horan. Noel and Pat probably felt they had to step in – bad decision as it turned out.

  82. People in authority (in this instance the County board) find it very hard to admit they made a mistake-there are very few modern Ghandis! One can only reasonably assume that the players made the vote of no-confidence as a last resort. If the County board were not aware of issues then that is a sad indictment of them and the liaison person. There is only one way forward now and that is for a new manager to be appointed. The quicker this is done the better for all concerned. It is unfortunate for Noel and Pat but the seeds of what has happened were sown last year in the manner of their appointment. They have done their best but it has not have been enough! Time to move on. All concerned should forget egos and put the county first.

  83. Just a quick point on the players lotto fund. It was asked at a CB meeting a number of months back was the money from this fund ring fenced solely for the teams at different levels and not for loan repayments etc. The mumbled response was that it wasn’t solely for the teams as advertised. Now I know ultimately all money raised by the county goes into the black hole, but the players lotto was advertised as solely for the players and that’s not accurate.
    Just another in a litany of half truths and outright lies peddled from the top table.
    1. The non existent development academy (despite the fluff piece in the western people, it doesn’t exist).
    2. The non existent fundraising committee in New York.
    3. The failure to address the shocking injury levels of the 2013/2014 minor panels.
    4. The underhanded appointment of the minor manager (under who’s management those alarmingly high injury rates occurred).
    5. Taking control of all physiotherapist appointments from next year. Despite whatever spin they put on this, it’s about getting the cheapest and not the best person for the job.
    6. The current debacle

  84. I agree with An Spailpin Fanach to a point. He assumes James Horan will take position for 1 year. That is a non runner and if I was JH I would stay away. Looking at all this fiasco it now is time to get rid of some players as well. Some lads didn’t show up and others made silly mistakes. When we should be asking the question why did players make those mistakes we get a answer ” those great superstars should not be questioned”. Some blogger said Noel Connolly was from Hollymount and what would he know as “the superstars, Aiden,Andy.Alan. Cillian, Robbie, Sheamie, Tom P and a whole lot more had trained under such great mentors”, Then why did the same players make such sill mistakes in Croker. Because the players choked so often in Croker and they know they will never win an AI and also their race is coming to an end some lads cannot take it and its best we blame someone. Also past people of the County Board and other hangers on are also at the blame game. Its time to sit down once and for all and get our problems sorted out . Sort out the present mess and whatever or whoever has to be sacrificed let it be done in a dignified way. The way its now is like County Board and delegates pick a management team and before they can be appointed everybody has to have the ” superstars” approval as they had XYZ from the last management team, and let this new management not interfere with what we are used to. Mabye some of the team has reached their sell by date and this new GPS data loggers are letting the management know this but the player refuses to believe it. Anyhow it will be sorted one way or another

  85. People mention the words decency,integrity and dignity as reasons for the management to go now. Is it not unreasonable for someone to look out for his own personal integrity, personal decency and personal dignity before making the inevitable decision of going. If the initial reasons or explanations for wanting a change of mangement are unsatisfactory, a man that values personal integrity decency and dignity woukd probably stay until this happens. At this stage, I woukd imagine that a manager woukd place these ahead of Mayo Football.

  86. I wish the players the best through this. It’s brave of them to raise heads above the parapet. Eugene McGee and other snipers are taking some easy shots now, but these boys know what they want and are willing to risk quite a bit in their quest for ultimate glory. Good Luck Mayo Football Players!!

  87. Bill Connelly, sure Horan made plenty of mistakes. I have wrote about what I saw as his mistakes on this very blog, but the players seemed to be happy with JH. As for last year and Tom Parsons, my understanding is that Tom was living in Wales. It’s great credit to Tom to have himself in such good shape last year to be able to line out for Mayo last year at all. But it’s hard thing to say that Horan under used him. He couldn’t have been training with the rest of the team that much, its fine margins but with Tom back living in Ireland I think its fair to say that he is probably a better player for it. For what it’s worth I voted TP a my player POTY here. Now I think with other players Horan could and should have given more playing time to. Freeman &Feeny come to mind. But that’s water under the bridge now!

  88. Quincey – you were asking why your post hadn’t gone up, the reason for which was that I hadn’t seen it. Now that I have, it’s still not going up as it involves trash-talking the players, contrary to rule 8. Please acquaint yourselves with the house rules (here) before posting again.

  89. Unlikely that the CB will make any major decisions until they have a full meeting – that way there will be more people to share the blame with. No doubt other County Boards and the upper echelons of the GAA hierachy are prompting them not to give in to player power. For the good of football in Mayo, Pat and Noel should end this particular stalemate and step aside which would be the first step towards effecting a speedy resolution. The Chairman Mike Connelly seems a fair and reasonable man – – to prove he is fair I think he should temporarily absent himself at discussions where the future of his brother Noel is being discussed – – a definite conflict of interest here. Also cannot understand why he was selected as liaison officer between the team and the board – – how could that be right? According to that logic if a player had a difficulty with the manager – he would inform Mike – who would then inform the board.(of which he is chairman!!!!) Personalities and egos need to be left to one side this weekend for the greater good of Mayo football – delegates need to stand up and make their opinions very clear to the top table – Keith,Cillian and this focused and well driven team need your support. “Be there”

  90. The fact that here are so few top class candidates for the Mayo Manager reveals a lot –
    The Process of Selection.

    No, of course going forward the players should not be in a position to select their manager. However well-informed players should be in a position to formally recommend the attributes and qualities required in the manager. These attributes and qualities put forward through an official CHANNEL by senior players would form the core of the job specification of the Mayo manager job.

    Now that the players (with detailed and intimate knowledge the competition in AI series) have made the CB aware of what is required in a manager the COB could initially select the short-list of qualified candidates. Then pass the CVs over to an independent selection committee expert in interviewing and selection of management at this level.

    This process can be executed in a thorough and professional manner by Human Resource experts from Mayo either on a voluntary or paid basis.

    This all-inclusive professional process means that more top class candidates will emerge with real competition for this high profile position. We need good candidates and in order to attract them we need a clean process.


    I have no personal knowledge of this matter and this is not necessarily my opinion “but the perceived problem with Mayo football around the Country (media, experts, other football counties, business community etc.) is not necessarily the personnel but the outdated processes and modus operandi of the CB”.

    This unselfish move by the players is the catalyst for Mayo to move to the next level.

    Funding will always come to talent that has the systems and processes to execute!!

  91. Interesting listening on the Last Word on Sport on Today FM. John Casey, Martin Carney and Conor McCarthy were on it. John said that 28 players turned up last night, 2 are abroad and 4 made apologies for not been able to turn up. They reckon that the team have shown great solidarity and are really united. John and Martin reckon that Noel and Pat’s positions are now untenable. They could be gone by Sunday. It was speculated that the team might not be releasing the details of why they don’t want the current management team to continue as it could embarrass the management team. Conor McCarthy from Cork was involved in the Cork football team strike and said that maybe the Mayo players have learned from their strike and have tried to not make this personal, hence their silence.

  92. Thanks WillieJoe for providing this forum. Could you put a like button on the comments so we can back the many excellent contributions above. For what it’s worth I’m fully supportive of the players, I think they’ve handled the whole scenario perfectly so far and don’t see how else they could have done things once they had lost confidence in the management. From what I’ve heard they lost faith in the management early on and it was tantamount to their attitude that they performed as well as they did during the year. I’m not convinced JH returning is the answer but Donie Buckley could be a possibility as a number 1 or number 2. Noel and Pat need to go soon to protect their legacy as prolonging their departure will only damage their reputations the longer this drags on. It’s sad given the circumstances but I’m looking forward to next year already.

  93. Noel and Pat are gone, see below from the County Board about last night’s meeting…

    Tonight Friday 2nd October at 7.00p.m. at Elverys MacHale Park a meeting took place of the Mayo GAA County Board Executive. The members of the executive were briefed on the meeting which took place on Thursday evening 1st October between the Mayo Senior Footballers and officers of the County Board. The Mayo Senior Football Team Joint-Managers, Noel Connelly & Pat Holmes, then joined the meeting where they gave a detailed review of the season just gone. They then issued the following statement:

    “It is with heavy hearts that we wish to announce that we (Noel Connelly & Pat Holmes) are stepping down from our role as joint managers of the Mayo Senior Football Team with immediate effect. We took on the job on a three-year basis and had been looking forward to building on what had been achieved this year. We are passionate about Mayo Football and it is deeply disappointing not to complete our project. By resigning we wish to remove any obstacle that the players might perceive as preventing them from winning the All-Ireland. We would like to thank the back-room team for their superb effort and commitment. We wish to thank the Mayo County Board for their support and for all the funding and resources they provided for the team. We would like to thank the players for all their efforts during 2015. We would also like to thank the people of Mayo for the huge support and messages of goodwill throughout the year and in the last week. Mhaigh Éo Abú.”

    The statement was greeted with a round of applause and standing ovation from the members of the executive before the joint managers departed the meeting.

    Members of the Executive then spoke where the joint Managers of Noel Connelly & Pat Holmes along with their backroom team were sincerely thanked and praised for their dedication, commitment and hard work over the last year where it was also noted the very difficult last few days that they experienced along with their families. Noel & Pat are both decorated footballers and managers and owe nothing to Mayo Football and both along with their families are wished all the very best in the future whatever that may hold.

    There will be no further comment from the executive or management until the next statement is issued from the Mayo County Board.


  94. Who’s fault was it that Donal Vaughan started in replay v Dublin ? Surely player and medical staff share blame? Or is this management’s fault too?

  95. They had to go.
    Time for an outside manager I nelieve with proven pedigree.Not Rochford or Horan or Maughan please

  96. Well done to the lads for a classy statement. Overall, bar some snakey, horrible journalism by people who you would think would be on Mayo GAA’s side, this was all handled fairly well in my opinion and quite swiftly too.

    Last night was obviously just due process and did not need to be any longer than 15 minutes.

    I am genuinely sorry that it didn’t work out for Noel, Pat and the players this time as I was a massive supporter for them to get the job initially.

  97. Classy statement. I feel for them and they leave with great dignity.

    Time to get the house in order now for next year. The players won’t lack motivation anyway. I hope the county board don’t mess them around. It is in all our interests to land Sam

  98. Sad end for noel and pat…was never going to be an easy task and can understand players reluctance to face another year if they saw the writing on the for part 2..

  99. Best of luck to Pat and Noel. I feel sorry for them for what they have been put through the last week. Lessons need to be learned from this farce and a proper grievance procedure put in place that people are not humiliated in public like this again. The players have got their way now it’s up to them to prove everyone that they were right. I wish them and hope that they achieve their goals

  100. Gutted for Noel and Pat

    Taking the best team in the land to a replay was no mean feat at all and a 5th Connacht title in a row. What could have been

    A sad day for Mayo GAA

    Very best of luck to them in the future

  101. We should all thank Noel and Pat, cannot be an easy time for the pair. I’m sure they have their best. That’s the first part of a possible resolution, now we need to find a manager that fulfills the criteria of the players. Easier said than done!

  102. These players legacy is five in a row and counting in connaught for the first time in a hundred years or the first time ever.

    JM is not the answer.
    He was twenty years ago when he realised fitness and belief was the problem and fair plate to him, he came closer than any manager since 51′ but it would be a backward step to get him involved again now.

    We need a recent all Ireland senior winning manager now to take the reigns whether that be at club level or county and yes not JOM either.



  103. Fair play to the two managers for ending this fiasco sometimes things do not work out I am sure these two lads had the best of Intensions for mayo football and I for one would have good respect for both of them have to say the players have put a bit of pressure on them selves hope a good replacepemt is found the less media interviews from players the better looking forward to a good ending to club campaingn

  104. Noel and Pat have handled this very well, putting the future of Mayo football first and their own hurt second, They deserve great credit and gratitude from all of us for not prolonging this period. Dignity is the word that comes to mind.

    Let’s hope we can make the right managerial decision now so we can all look back on this week as a nasty but necessary hump along the road.

  105. Thanks to Noel and Pat. They are great servants to Mayo GAA. Unfortunate the way things worked out. Very dignified departure by not prolonging things. I just hope that buck that likes to print untruths does not try to tarnish and make this situation any worse.

  106. Current betting odds with Paddy Power to be the next Mayo manager:

    Stephen Rochford…….8/11
    James Horan……………11/4
    Donie Buckley…………..7/1
    Jack O’Connor………….8/1
    John Maughan………….8/1
    Jim McGuinness………..9/1

  107. If you’re on the the old vino we might cut you a bit of slack tonight WJ – besides – any loose talk and that moderator fella will come down hard on ya !! Enjoy

  108. Jim Flag…that would be ideal s d should have happened last year if things had been conducted properly but instead the co board made a cock up of things and it’s their fault that we are that this stage again. Add it to their never ending list of mistakes.

    From what I hear Horan will be back in

  109. And yes it’s a pity this has turned out as it has for H&C but it wasn’t too difficult to predict this outcome.

  110. Anyone calling for McStay – get real!

    He was treated shabbily and has done public interviews about his new roll. The man has more
    decency than you suggest and this is not SSN

  111. There were a lot of people saying on here last year that H&C could or should not take the job given the way circumstances prevailed etc, but they did. Hindsight is great, yes, but this mess was brewing since this time last year. As others have said, the quicker this is resolved the better so hopefully an appointment is made quickly. I would imagine the players will have a large say in who they want…2016 will be the last hurrah for many of them, especially the bulk of the 2006 u21crew.

  112. Kevin Mc Stay and Fergal O’Donnell as managers plus Liam Mc Hale, David Casey and Stephen Bohan will be formally ratified by the clubs next Tuesday night. I understand they’ve been making plans re training, trial matches, backroom team( supposed to be impressive) for weeks now. They knew weeks ago they had the job. Initial 3 year term, with option of a 4’th year.. No point mentioning Mc Stay again for Mayo job, and i think we can safely exclude Mc Guinness and O’Connor as well.

  113. Very strange tweet by kiltimagh gaa – sad day for mayo gaa but would continue to support team with a heavy heart – can someone explain this to me

  114. I think management has made the best decision,the players were right to stand up and speak out,big question now is who will take over.

  115. Holmes and Connelly did huge work over the years for Mayo and in the manner they chose to leave they augment that reputation not diminish it.
    Meanwhile, as the storm swirled tonight, a high profile player was talking to kids at a Foróige meeting and answering their questions.
    Not the press.
    That’s the work of a leader by any measure of the word.

  116. Hatchet job done on two fine servants of Mayo football.

    Their statement is classy and reflects very well on them so best wishes to both Noel and Pat. You can both walk away with your head’s held high.

    Don’t no why Paddy Power is offering odds on who in next Mayo manager as it is obvious now that step 2 in the hatchet job will now kick in with JH back again as that is what the players have decided.

    It is Sam or bust now in 2016 for this panel, they have heaped a lot of extra pressure on themselves now. The only difference is that this time next year they will have no one to blame, they will be fully accountable. Let’s hope they do it.

  117. The players are playing a dignified game
    The managers have left with class.
    Time for us to be restrained and leave space to sort this out

    Maigheo Abú

  118. Let the civil war begin BREAFFY / BALLINTUBBER v ?????, there’s guys here who think they should win an AI, but can they? The power struggle begins. Let’s hope it’s mayo gaa that wins. CHROIST LINN.

  119. It’s time for everyone to take a rest and see what happens over the next few weeks. A manager outside Mayo might be the outcome as there will be a lot of hurt and anger among many mayo people at the moment.

  120. Very strange tweet from Kiltimagh GAA a few minutes ago.

    Kiltimagh GAA
    Sad sad day for Mayo football. Bad move by Mayo players We will continue to support them but with a heavy heart. @MayoGAA
    10:15 PM – 2 Oct 2015

  121. A special thanks to Noel and Pat. They have been our hero’s on great days and bad in the Mayo jersey. I feel sorry for them and the way this has turned out. I will be eternally grateful to them and their backroom team for the 2005 to 2009 period. These were fantastic days to follow Mayo I never missed an underage game during this period. Some people who commented on this era of Mayo football during the week clearly did not follow these teams during this period. They faced great teams from Galway and Roscommon All Ireland Minor winning sides in Kiltoom and Charlestown and ground out a win they had no right to. The great players we have today were forged in the closing minutes and extra times of these great contests The rapid demise of the U21 grade since they departed have amplified their achievements. We did not have good minor teams during this period but they managed our resources really well. I rate them as serious football people with a lot to offer Mayo football. I feel they had no choice and that their actions were motivated for the good of the Mayo team and Mayo footballers. Class is permanent. I agree WJ that the players management and COBO have handled this sad situation very well so far . The media is the enemy in these situations. Time now for straight talking and straight thinking. The media can tell their story when everything is sorted

  122. Hope the players will be happy with new manager when he is appointed, they might even sit on the interview board, or maybe they have picked him already.goofd luck Pat and Noel.

  123. Kiltimagh cop on! ridiculous. I think Mayo need James Nallen as manager but backeoom team vital.

  124. Well done P&N. You ve opened the door but what are we going to find inside? Hopefully this whole episode will have driven home the myriad of problems that have surfaced since when and that all parties involved can come to terms and resolve the issues with dignity and equal respect.

    The whole world wants this team to land Sam. Surely an enlightened CB can see that the team needs the best of what ever is going, whether that be resources or respect shown. It’s far from an easy job but whatever assists they need,they ought to employ them at whatever cost.

    A great step was taken this evening and for that we have to thank the whole team. Now, onwards and upwards to show what we really can do!

  125. Remember that the former County Board Chairman Paddy McNicholas, who put Noel and Pat in place as joint managers is from Kiltimagh, so maybe that has something to do with that tweet.

  126. Now that Noel and Pat have decided to step down, we appear to be feeling almost apologetic for even voting the way we did. For feck sake what do we want? We must assume the players were best placed to make that call, and from where I’m sitting they appear to have done that in a very dignified way. Pat and Noel took on this brief in seemingly difficult circumstances, which didn’t help their cause. The fact that it didn’t work out is neither here nor there, in the eyes of the players they just didn’t cut it, end of story – not the first and won’t be the last to fail.

    The big test now lies ahead, and it’s very much in the hands of the Co Board to insure the whole process of finding a new Manager is done in a very professional manner. No room now for pulling stokes, they have luckily time on their side, so hopefully they will use this time wisely. Managing these guys will be no poisoned chalice as has been stated, this is a well travelled and very driven bunch of footballers and all there looking for is a leader they can believe in.

  127. Well said pj, all mayo people respect what h&c have done for Mayo football, but these players demand excellence and know what that entails.
    My respect for this panel of players has increased.

  128. Best wishes to Pat and Noel. They gave it their best and it did not work out. Nobody’s fault and it is to their credit that they have moved on without dragging the situation out.
    The last thing we need now is an outside Manager. As I’ve pointed out before the only outside Managers who succeeded were Mayomen, John Maughan with Clare and John O’Mahony with Leitrim and Galway. Mick O’Dwyer, Paudie O’Shea and Mickey Moran [with Mayo only] were moderate successes. Some high profile managers like Joe Kernan were total disasters. We need somebody who knows Mayo and Mayo football. Anybody proposing Jack O’Connor or Jim McGuinness needs to cop on, they are not available and will not be.

  129. Real classy statement from the lads, very hard to read that without feeling a massive dose of sympathy- for two top servants of Mayo football- on a human level

    I hope we can get a replacement in place asap however and build for 2016. All this off field stuff aside there is a super opportunity for Mayo to make an All Ireland final

    Up Mayo

  130. While we are all twisting our knickers, Paddy P has us in from 6’s to 5 – 1.

    Not renowned as being terribly thick that Mr P

  131. @Ciaran

    Agreed. Now it is time for the players to walk their talk. No more excuses about location, ref, managers etc, etc, etc………..

  132. I’d love to see Billy Joe involved in some way in the new management team – could even be considered for manager. Having read and heard him, I don’t think the lack of experience would matter, but I know this will probably prevent him from even being looked at. He reads the game very well and can think a little more laterally with his analysis than others. He’s young and would definitely be enthusiastic, exactly the kind of person we need at this trying time to reenergise things. He’s his own man too which is vital.

  133. Well done and thanks to Noel and pat ,, they did the right thing ,, anyway time to move on and get the best available manager in place ASAP ,,, it’s not just about next year but the next 3/5 years … As I have said before here I had great time for James Horan but feel its time to look elsewhere ,,

  134. not a pat and Noel fan but sickened at what went on the last few days I hope a new manager comes in and get rid of some of the dead wood around the panel

  135. Do I know whAt I’m talking about? No. But there’re leaders in this team. Who are they? To long have the small clubs have been ignored, no longer. These guys know who they want as manager.

    Ps I never said that they don’t believe , I said they think.

  136. Willie Joe . Thank you for this forum, I think your site is fantastic that allows people to express their views democratically. I have just heard Pat and Noel have resigned to-night. I wish to thank them for the last year and wish them well with their future . They gave time and commitment to Mayo Gaa and this week must be very difficult for them and their families. The players must have issues. Could those issues not have been resolved in a different manner ? We must remember the players played each and every match on the pitch , management was not on the pitch . In my humble opinion the players themselves lost each of the semi- finals. Did they not believe in themselves? By blaming management are they atrying to excuse themselves from loosing both semi finals.? I also think politics and nepotism should have no place in Mayo Gaa . P Horan should notf have been giving his opinion over the last year as he had retired and should have left the new management team to do it their ways . Finally I wish to thank Pat ,Noel CB and players for all their hard work over the last year and wish everyone the best in the future . A word of advise if I may I hope the players have not got big egos and they should be very thankful they are on the County team ( a lot of youngsters aspire to playing for their County but never get chosen) The last week has been a shambles and divided so many people opinions. All I hope is that people learn from this and apply it to different walks of life. Always talk and sort out issues before they fester and get bigger .

  137. The true will come out someday . I like the idea the players respect pH and nc that’s why they’re not releasing statements .

    Forget about mcgunniess and O’Connor . no outsider should manage Mayo .

  138. Good man Quincey, glad to see you’ve got it all worked out having been here less than a wet week. Wouldn’t it be great if we all had your stunning insight into how things are?

  139. If I was in that room I too would have given that statement a standing ovation.

    Pat and Noel owe Mayo nothing.

    All that said, the players show of unity last night was very impressive. And, it’s been quick – that’s the real bonus in this, if there can be a bonus. The wounds will not be as deep.

    Whoever the new manager is, the players won’t lack motivation for 2016. That might be another bonus.

  140. Well I hope the new management don’t kick 4 consecutive wides, plus drop 2 short into the keepers hands, in a semi final. Or, turnover the ball twice and drop another short in a semi-final replay, just when the game is there for the taking. Or, kick from low percentage areas of the pitch on their weaker foot! Or, cough up 5 and 7 point leads in the dying minutes of a match!
    Fair play to Holmes and Connolly for their dignified exit. Fair play also to the players for their silence. I hope the reasons for their vote remain confidential out of respect to the former management who, all 3, were warriors for the cause. Connolly and Collins especially were better defenders than most of our current ones and would walk onto most teams in their day.
    This whole thing doesn’t sit well with me as all parties involved, over the last 4 years, have contributed to the failure in winning Sam. The players as much as anyone. You win AND lose together, as a team. We can only trust the players judgement on this occasion and wait to see what happens. They’re running out of excuses now though!!!

  141. A first time.
    Deep respect for all comments, insightful and above all sincere over the last few days.
    Deep respect for players for their solidarity and saying nothing to press.
    Ditto Noel and pat great servants as players and mentors and dignified in withdrawal.
    Now. We need a good, clear, untrammelled process to appoint next mgt team, no stupid phone calls or hostages to fortune, need professional expertise and a professional process. A timeline, a specification. Question: can CB do that?

  142. Inspiration – as a Galway man I can still recall the way Noel introduced each member of his team, clapping each one on the shoulder with pride as he introduced each one to Pres! Reaction – hairs stand on the back of your neck!!. He and Noel were new into job. Did not one leader on the team say – let’s help out and do the hard yard for this lads? From an outside perspective, I thought Keith was cut from the same cloth.. Hopefully, he won’t disappoint me…

  143. Yes I agree with those of you who feel that the Manager selection, deployment and evaluation process is one key ingredient in moving Mayo to the next level.

    CB: a clean professional process to identify, select and appoint a new manager.

    CB: hand over to the new manager a high level execution plan based on the player’s intimate knowledge of what is required. (the players will hand over control to you)

    MANAGER: new manager to craft a detailed plan for execution.

    CB: to review and approve the detailed execution plan (verify that it matches the player expectations of what is required to win AI’s in perpetuity)

    CB: a clean simple process to appraise the new manager’s execution game by game.

    CB: evaluate the manager; support the manager OR get a new manager ASAP.



    Leadership comes from the top. Define the goals and objectives in a plan, appoint the RIGHT personnel to execute the plan and hold the personnel accountable – CB must be well informed to do this. If you need help ask for it!

    The Mayo players did the right thing bringing this kind of thinking to the attention of the Mayo CB. Intelligent well educated players all over Ireland already know all this stuff – from school, college, work experience; so it only natural that they expect professional leadership from those that hold themselves out as their leaders, in sport.

    Should CB develop a reputation for having a clean professional process in place; rest assured Mayo will have a rich vein of highly qualified candidates for the Mayo Manager in all future years.

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