Former Cork All-Ireland winning goalkeeper and manager, Billy Morgan has told the Southern Star that Cork football is the "poor relation" in the county and that the county board overlooked two suitable candidates for manager last year.
He told the paper that Peader Healy was "parachuted" into the role when more qualified alternatives were available.
"Last year there were three candidates for the job of manager. Ephie Fitzgerald has the best track record and Ronan McCarthy has been through the mill and won the county with Carbery Rangers this season. I thought they were two very credible candidates but they weren't wanted and Peadar Healy was parachuted in at the last minute," Morgan said.
Morgan added that he could instance a reason why Cork were so poor last year but that he shouldn't say so in public. His follow-up suggestion - that Cork should bring in an outside coach if they don't fancy the options on the table - suggests he isn't 100% behind the current manager.
This year was extremely disappointing. I could give reasons but shouldn’t be saying it in public. I do think Cork should bring in an outside coach if they feel there’s nobody in the county up to the task.
How does the report card look?
In the 2016 championship, Cork lost to Tipperary in the Munster championship for the first time in 72 years, a result which came to look less shameful as the year progressed.
They advanced through two rounds of qualifiers, beating Limerick in Thurles and then Longford in Pearse Park. Many observers believed them to be vulnerable to an upset before the Pearse Park match but they came strong in what might have been a nervy second half.
A second half surge from Donegal saw them exit the championship in the last 12.
Taken in the round, it was not a disgraceful championship effort and hardly any worse than the 2015 season, which finished on a very sour note with a hockeying at the hands of a mediocre Kildare side.
But add the League to the mix and it casts a further pall over the year. For the first time in several years, Cork will be playing Division 2 football next year.
Cork's last All-Ireland final win feels longer ago than six years and even their National League dominance, which ran from 2010 to 2012, feels as if it belongs to another era. They now haven't won Munster since 2012.
Morgan is baffled and frustrated at Cork's regression. Only a few years back, they had the measure of Mayo in big games and now they're not on the same planet. Ultimately, unless Cork football changes tack, Morgan can't see Sam coming back in the immediate future.
When I see Mayo coming within a whisker of winning the All-Ireland, there’s no reason Cork shouldn’t be there. There was nothing between Cork and Mayo for years, but we seem to have slipped back badly now...
Hopefully, we’ll see the Sam Maguire in Cork again in our lifetime, but it will take a lot of changes and a lot of hard work. Surely, Cork football is worth that effort?