Should we have professional hurling and football? - boards.ie
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View Poll Results: Should we have professional hurling and football?
Yes 15 20.00%
No 60 80.00%
Voters: 75. You may not vote on this poll

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29-02-2012, 13:51   #1
mickmcl09
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Should we have professional hurling and football?

Just like the heading says, should we, and your reasons for saying yes or no?
Maybe one of the mods could put a poll at the top of the thread.
Hurling should have a pro game. Yes/No
Football should have a pro game. Yes/No

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29-02-2012, 15:43   #2
UnitedIrishman
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Don't think it's feasible but would like to see player compensated in some way for their efforts. Expenses are one thing but when you're getting 50c a mile and the price of petrol these days is through the roof, it doesn't really compensate players all that much for time spent a week training/playing.

For example - a player I know well had this routine recently.

Pre-league: Monday - weights training/skills tests; Tuesday - training; Wednesday - gym; Thursday - 2 hours of training; Friday - rest day. Saturday or Sunday - all day training session split in to two 2 hour sessions with fitness training followed by analysis, tactics etc or conditioned match.

All those trainings/gym sessions are usually 1.5 hours or 2 hours and an hour travel to where it's on. So we'll say 17 hours+ of time spent training a week. Add to that a 30-35 hour working week and there's not much breathing room for doing much. Luckily the same lad is closer than most lads to where they train and when he was in college he had a 200 mile round trip to get home for it.

There has to be some way the GAA can compensate players better than what they're getting at present. Everyone knows guys don't and won't just play for the money/expenses. So give them some sort of grant/pay, whatever is possible.
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29-02-2012, 16:02   #3
bruschi
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Should we - maybe
Can we - no.

the money just is not there to sustain it. People have at times compared the Aussie Rules model, and as an example, with only 18 teams, spent over $140 million on wages alone. Never mind the costs incurred directly by clubs for the day to day running of facilities, coaches etc. If hurling/football was to go professional, or even semi professional, I think it would cripple the whiole set up int he long run. Ireland is too small to get the level of TV competition and advertising etc to generate enough money for it to be sustainable. Clubs depend on the organisation as a whole to help them. Co Boards are already in debt and under financial pressure in the majority of counties as it is. I just cant see where the bottomless pit of money could come from.

I'd be for it if someone could show me how you could generate money to sustain all the counties in each sport and if you could show how it wouldnt be detremental to local clubs losing players and if you could guarantee you wouldnt have players leaving small counties to go to better ones because they would be able to pay a bigger wage.
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29-02-2012, 16:06   #4
Clareman
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Can't have 2 polls on 1 thread by the looks for things

I'll put 1 up poll to start with anyway to cover 2 sports
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29-02-2012, 16:37   #5
premierstone
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Agree that players put in a huge sacrifice and obviously the closer to the top of the game you arte the greater the sacrifice, but to make the GAA professional would ruin both codes at every level except the elite intercounty senior, would be financially unsustainable as teams would spend beyond their resources to keep pace and ultimately the strong will just get stronger and the weak weaker.

Look at the Seanie Johnson case at the moment, if GAA was pro we would have one of these every week, infact under employment laws I think the parish rule and county rule would be lost forever as they are against employment laws, thus meaning the end of GAA as we know it.
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29-02-2012, 17:06   #6
hisholinessnb
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No no and no. This would destroy the GAA, clubs are struggling as it is without starting to pay players salaries.

There are so many reasons as to why this would be disastrous I really struggle to understand how anyone with a deep understanding, and love for, the GAA could possibly suggest it could be anything other than a disaster.
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29-02-2012, 18:41   #7
mickmcl09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by premierstone View Post
Agree that players put in a huge sacrifice and obviously the closer to the top of the game you arte the greater the sacrifice, but to make the GAA professional would ruin both codes at every level except the elite intercounty senior, would be financially unsustainable as teams would spend beyond their resources to keep pace and ultimately the strong will just get stronger and the weak weaker.

Look at the Seanie Johnson case at the moment, if GAA was pro we would have one of these every week, infact under employment laws I think the parish rule and county rule would be lost forever as they are against employment laws, thus meaning the end of GAA as we know it.
Agree with you entirely.

But if we were to have a pro game, would it make alot more sense to keep it entirely separate from the GAA as it is. Clubs and counties are struggling financially as it is, there is no doubt. Inflicting a pro game on the GAA as you say, would destroy it as we know it. That's my arguement for it being run as an entirely separate entity to the GAA and the GPA for that matter.

Numbers wise I'd say 10-15 teams with 7-10 of those being Irish based, with other teams based in Asia, Australia, New York, Boston, Chicago, Canada, London and maybe a European based team.

Financially, I've no doubt that it would be feasible in a Super 15 type format.

I see one problem in all of this, similar to the Rugby Union Vs League in the early days. The GAA would have their noses out of joint if there was a break away organisation running a professional hurling / football league.
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29-02-2012, 18:48   #8
FirePower
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Professionalism is inevitable.

Anyone who thinks otherwise has, in my opinion, a serious case of headinsanditis.
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01-03-2012, 15:38   #9
WesternZulu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickmcl09 View Post
Numbers wise I'd say 10-15 teams with 7-10 of those being Irish based, with other teams based in Asia, Australia, New York, Boston, Chicago, Canada, London and maybe a European based team.

Financially, I've no doubt that it would be feasible in a Super 15 type format.
How are you in no doubt that it would be feasible?
How could you expect to get crowds at Chicago, NY, Boston or any European city that could make this idea work?

I wouldn't be totally against it, just look at rugby...if the games went professional then the standard would no doubt improve as players fully concentrate on their sport.
Considering how good Gaelic Football and Hurling are to watch at the minute the thought them being even more entertaining would be mouth watering but I cannot see in happening in the next 20 years.
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01-03-2012, 16:38   #10
mickmcl09
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What sort of crowds would you think yourself, would come to these games?
I think that it would not be beyond the realms to expect 7.5-15k people on average at the games @ €10 / head.

A 15 team league. Home and away is 210 games.

That's a minimum turnover of €15m before you go into franchise sales and tv rights and endorsements, not to mention team sponsorship which would be in the region of 300-750k per team. Based on that, if teams were limited to €2m per team of which €1.4m made up wages.....we're not far off the mark then in terms of feasibility.

Something that surprises me on the thread is that some seem to think that we're talking of making the inter county scene professional, that is simply not possible.

A pro game if it were to happen has to be a completely seperate organisation to the GAA as we know it.
I also think that a pro game would take hugh pressure off the inter county scene in terms of commitment both personally for players and financial for county boards. Seems like a contradiction, but players that are obviously good enough could justify their commitment if they were paid Pro's.
The existence of a pro game would also alleviate the pressure on county boards to spend 5,6,7 hundred thousand and more on senior teams.

One other positive, top inter county teams would suffer most from the introduction of a pro game, making the current All-Ireland championship more open. In effect the pro game would act as a leveller for the inter county scene.

Most Pro's in hurling would inevitably come from KK, Tipp, Cork, Galway which would mean teams like Waterford, Clare, Antrim even could fancy their chances to win an All Ireland. Same goes for Football.
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01-03-2012, 17:08   #11
adrian522
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I really don't see how this would be feasible, in hurling anyway I don't see how you would get those sorts of crowds.

At present only about 10-12 games per year would be over 15,000 in attendance and you are talking about over 200 games?

Also if you are getting away from the county/province setup fans would have no loyalty to new regions so there is no real incentive to support a team. I think you are being overly optimistic with your attendance estimate. You also need to take into account the overall hostility to professionalism in the GAA.

So would you have players moving between teams, similar to soccer where there is no loyalty to the area they are from? Sounds horrible to me. Also are players meant to shut up shop and move to all these cities around the world to set up teams also? Are you expecting 15,000 people to show up in San Francisco and all these other cities to support these new teams?

I don't see it happening and as pointed out elsewhere it would kill off the club game and the inter county setup.

I certainly hope it never happens anyway.
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01-03-2012, 17:46   #12
bruschi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickmcl09 View Post
What sort of crowds would you think yourself, would come to these games?
I think that it would not be beyond the realms to expect 7.5-15k people on average at the games @ €10 / head.

A 15 team league. Home and away is 210 games.

That's a minimum turnover of €15m before you go into franchise sales and tv rights and endorsements, not to mention team sponsorship which would be in the region of 300-750k per team. Based on that, if teams were limited to €2m per team of which €1.4m made up wages.....we're not far off the mark then in terms of feasibility.

Something that surprises me on the thread is that some seem to think that we're talking of making the inter county scene professional, that is simply not possible.

A pro game if it were to happen has to be a completely seperate organisation to the GAA as we know it.
I also think that a pro game would take hugh pressure off the inter county scene in terms of commitment both personally for players and financial for county boards. Seems like a contradiction, but players that are obviously good enough could justify their commitment if they were paid Pro's.
The existence of a pro game would also alleviate the pressure on county boards to spend 5,6,7 hundred thousand and more on senior teams.

One other positive, top inter county teams would suffer most from the introduction of a pro game, making the current All-Ireland championship more open. In effect the pro game would act as a leveller for the inter county scene.

Most Pro's in hurling would inevitably come from KK, Tipp, Cork, Galway which would mean teams like Waterford, Clare, Antrim even could fancy their chances to win an All Ireland. Same goes for Football.
you've obviously thought about this quite a bit, but to be honest, it sounds like awful pie in the sky. you can call me a 'diehard' if you want, but I'd prefer to be realistic about it.

the 'pro game' wouldnt act as a leveller, it would drain counties of their best players, and it would take the few decent players from weaker counties, whilst the ones who already have deep talent would just be that much more better. and it would make the hurling championship absolutley redundant. There arent even 10 good teams in the AI championship now, and you think we could have 15?

and where do these players come from? do they develop through clubs and then poached from the intercounty teams? who will support these teams? I know if a super league team was set up in my region, I'd still prefer to support my local club and county than some glorifed money making exercise.

and where do they play these games? if they are not part of the GAA, then they would surely need to build their own stadiums.

If they are to be professional players who train daily, they will need facilities. They will also need full time doctors, physios and coaches. Who pays for these?

your scenario above would give players on average, what about €40k per annum? hardly anything to get worked up about.

who pays the overheads insurance, travel costs to jet around the world to the other franchises?

actually, I cant believe I'm getting duped into making a logical response to this. fair play for at least thinking outside the box, but bloody hell, the box is fairly far from reality!
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02-03-2012, 11:17   #13
J Cheever Loophole
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No point in reinventing the wheel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruschi View Post
the money just is not there to sustain it. If hurling/football was to go professional, or even semi professional, I think it would cripple the whiole set up int he long run. Ireland is too small to get the level of TV competition and advertising etc to generate enough money for it to be sustainable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by premierstone View Post
if GAA was pro we would have one of these every week, infact under employment laws I think the parish rule and county rule would be lost forever as they are against employment laws, thus meaning the end of GAA as we know it.
What these gents said x 1,000,000.
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02-03-2012, 17:16   #14
hisholinessnb
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Originally Posted by FirePower View Post
Professionalism is inevitable.

Anyone who thinks otherwise has, in my opinion, a serious case of headinsanditis.
Not at all, we are just aware of what would destroy the GAA so would be against it.
Just because it is new or different, doesn't make it right.
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02-03-2012, 17:33   #15
mickmcl09
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Originally Posted by hisholinessnb View Post
Not at all, we are just aware of what would destroy the GAA so would be against it.
Just because it is new or different, doesn't make it right.
I wouldn't be saying that you suffer from 'headinsanditis' myself but if it's completely separate from the GAA how would it destroy it? And I do agree that just because somethings new or different doesn't necessarily mean it's right. I just think the possibilities should be explored. One thing is inevitable though, whether it happens soon or in 20 years, inter county players will receive some form of remuneration, well at least I'd be surprised if they don't.
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