Joe Brolly finds it faintly amusing, if a little depressing, that club players have had to found a club players' association. That should, after all, be the business of the GAA itself.
In his interview with Miriam yesterday, he returned to the theme of the drive towards commercialism and professionalism in the GAA. This has become unstoppable in the past decade, according to Brolly. He cited the example of rugby, where the elite professional game is thriving but the club game is suffering. He's not the only person to point this out.
Last year, Fergus Slattery wrote an article in the Irish Times in which he expressed deep concern about the state of the club game, and called for the introduction of a charter. Brolly believes the GAA is far along this road and the club game will suffer.
Interestingly, Brolly believes that the GAA took a wrong turn in early 2008. He said the association would be in a better position today had they appointed Pat Gilroy as Director General rather than Paraic Duffy.
Brolly suggested that it was extremely 'GAA-ish' of the GAA to select a school teacher for the role of CEO ahead of an actual CEO.
I think that if Pat Gilroy, who managed Dublin, and who had huge commercial expertise as well, was a running a large company, if he had been given the Director General's job at the time...
Paraic Duffy is a very good man, I like Paraic very much, but only the GAA would have given the CEO's job to a school-teacher rather than someone who was a CEO.
I think that was a big mistake at the time. And the last ten years, the acceleration towards professionalism and commercialism has been scary. We've seen what's happened to rugby. Although the elite game is prospering, club rugby has collapsed entirely.
Gilroy, a student at Trinity at the same time as Brolly, was still striving for an All-Ireland club title with St. Vincent's in 2008. He is a company director with Veolia Ireland and is president of the Ireland-France Chamber of Commerce. Impressive credentials.