Speaking in his column on RTE.ie today former Tyrone defender Phillip Jordan called the standoff between Kildare and the GAA a “PR disaster” and claimed that an incident like this wouldn’t happen in the FA Cup.
The debacle between the two sides has been the talk of the GAA world with both releasing statements over the last number of days as they search for a resolution.
Jordan said that this is a further case of teams outside of the top tier being left behind and that this argument has been brewing within the game for quite some time.
“We’ve seen plenty of annoyance among those outside the top three or four at being left behind and the GAA is perceived to be not doing enough to help them.
“This particular battle is one that’s been coming for a while.
“When Cian O’Neill and his players heard the draw yesterday, they were surely delighted with the home draw and were already preparing themselves psychologically for the home game in Newbridge.
“Then to have that taken from them with such little consultation – I think it’s a case of them saying ‘enough is enough’.”
The former Tyrone footballer was also quick to criticise the “health and safety” reasoning that the GAA provided for the venue change and interestingly compared the situation to that of the non-league teams in the FA Cup in England
“It seems to me that the reasons offered for the switch don’t hold water. And I think health and safety can be too easily used as a catch-all explanation in these instances.
“Their ground at Newbridge is obviously small but we have to accept that not every fan can get to every game. We mightn’t like comparing ourselves to soccer but look at the FA Cup for instance.
“If Manchester United get drawn away to Sutton United, they don’t move the game to a neutral venue just because Man United would bring a big away crowd. That’s the beauty of sport that it throws up things like that.”
He continued by mentioning the repercussions of this incident from a PR perspective saying that “if the GAA do retreat, it will set a precedent for future years.”
Little has been made about the fact that Cavan will also not have home advantage in their game against Tyrone, as that game was moved from Kingspan Breffni Park due to the pitch not being available.
Jordan feels that “the question is far more fraught for them,” adding that they could have gone closer to Cavan for the alternative venue with somewhere like Clones or Enniskillen perhaps being more appropriate.
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