As the fallout from Davy Fitzgerald’s on-field outburst on Sunday continues to dominate headlines in the GAA world, the Wexford boss is still anxiously awaiting to hear what his punishment may be.
The idea that Fitzgerald put forward after the game when asked about the incident has been condemned as “rubbish.”
He stated that his taking to the Nowlan Park field to remonstrate with the referee and clashing with two Tipperary players before returning to the sideline was planned out as a ploy to lift his players after they conceded a goal.
Daithí Regan, an All-Ireland winner with Offaly, was on Newstalk’s Off The Ball on Tuesday night and spoke of his disappointment in Davy, and how the Clare native should be ashamed of himself.
“I think he’s let Wexford down. It’s back to typical Davy.
“To come out and say it was premeditated and that he went on the field to give his players a lift, that is rubbish.
“A lot of it down to basic manners and a bit of respect.
“To run out on the pitch and get involved, my own view when I saw it was the first Tipperary player should have left him on his arse. If you are a manager and you go out like that, that is what you deserve.”
Acknowledging that the situation could have had much more severe consequences had the Tipp camp’s reaction to the incident not been so level-headed, Regan went on to point out the sheer stupidity of the former Waterford and Clare bainisteoir’s actions.
“This is serious stuff. Lads out there giving it everything they can, and an opposition manager coming on and antagonising players on the field. I guarantee you there are lots of other players who wouldn’t have had the discipline the Tipp fellas would, and would have absolutely left him on the flat on his back.
“He is inciting opposition players on the field and that’s tantamount to really dangerous stuff. If a player struck him across the head with a hurl, where do we go from there?”
Fitzgerald’s attempts to downplay his behaviour were not taken lightly by Regan in his analysis of the situation. The Offaly man pulled no punches in his assessment, with some choice words for the 2013 All-Ireland-winning boss.
“I hated the attitude afterward. You’ve done so well since you’ve got down there, you’ve raised the profile in Wexford, you’ve got a bunch of players of outstanding professionalism and who believe in what you are telling them what to do, and in what they are trying to do to represent Wexford. You then take so much away from that with this carry-on, imbecilic, childish carry-on, that was self-indulgent.
“And to try and brush it under the carpet – ‘I’m getting my players going’. No, you’re not.”
As the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) did not issue a proposed penalty yesterday, having studied referee Diarmuid Kirwan’s match report, it is believed that the Model County are confident their man will only receive a one-match ban.
However, the prospect of an eight-week suspension, which would see Davy banned from the sideline for two championship games – including a potential Leinster semi-final with Kilkenny on June 10 – is also quite real at this stage as we wait to hear confirmation of the punishment.
Be sure to check out the latest episode of our GAA podcast, The 16th Man.