Writing in the Irish Times today, Jim McGuinness has furthered his cause as the great thinker of the GAA with a column that is sure to draw plenty of attention.
The kick off point for the article is, unsurprisingly, the veritable cakewalks we saw at Croke Park this weekend which resulted in Kerry and Dublin marching through to the All Ireland semi-final. Kerry's win over Kildare was embarrassing for almost everyone involved, that much is clear but it was the relatively tight encounters between Dublin and Fermanagh, and Tyrone and Sligo which worries McGuinness the most.
Not for the first time this year, the travelling support to Croke Park was going there in the hope that they wouldn't see their team steamrolled by Jim Gavin's side. As it turned out Fermanagh performed valiantly to only lose by eight points but that is exactly the problem according to the former Donegal boss.
It was the reaction of their supporters that made me take notice. They were 10 points down with 15 minutes go to and you would think they were the team winning. They were jumping up and down in the stands and the team was applauded off the field.
The cause of this problem is, according to McGuinness, the manner in which development is addressed in various counties. Why is it that Kerry can churn out forward after forward but very few other sides can?
It's not genetics.
Don’t try and tell me that every child in the country doesn’t have the potential to solo and kick with both feet. Are we really trying to pretend to ourselves that kids in Kerry are born with that facility? It is absolute garbage.
So what is the cause? Perhaps most telling is the following;
My feeling is that, nationally, there is a culture of mediocrity.
The bottom line is the bottom line. In other words, it's all about the money. Tyrone have been able to stay in touch as a result of their extensive fundraising efforts, the money flowing through Dublin GAA is well discussed, while the Kerry Group gives the Kingdom a very welcome helping hand.
According to McGuinness it's down to the GAA to ensure similar sums are flowing throughout the country so that development in other counties can keep up with what we've seen from Kerry and Dublin. Even if it means the unthinkable.
If that means putting on an extra 10 concerts in Croke Park to gather the money, so be it.
As tends to happen when McGuinness gives his well reasoned opinion, it seems he has once again created something of a stir. The majority of published opinion seems to be very much in line with his thinking.
Excellent McGuinness column this morning. https://t.co/yHXObvXaZG
— Eoin McDevitt (@EoinMcDevitt) August 4, 2015
Excellent points from McGuinness. The Championship itself doesn't need restructuring, the financing does. https://t.co/TN4bEouBER
— Freedom Littleseal (@TheShiftyShadow) August 4, 2015
Excellent by jim mc Guinness. Every child has potential if coached. GAA need to invest and stop paying lip service. http://t.co/QTb2C7vJ58
— Sean Mc Auliffe (@RealSeanMc) August 4, 2015
However, the former Donegal boss is a divisive figure and some of the responses to the column on the Irish Times site have been indicative of the fact that not everyone agrees with the thinking that McGuinness has brought into the game.
The rubbish that you and Donegal brought to football has spread and this gives teams a false hope of beating the big teams without doing the work.
I would not be giving the gaa any more justification to increase revenue. I have lived abroad the last 8 years and was sickened by this gaago/sky rip-off. I now listen to games on the radio(online). The gaa have in fact alienated supporters abroad despite their claims to the contrary.
Jim, you are all fine words and hard cash. There are plenty dandy footballers who cannot commit to the type of regime that coaches like yourself invented. You and your contemporaries have destroyed this pleasure as well as a lot of natural abilities. (Edited for length)