Offaly Senior Footballers Championship Thread

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Re: Offaly Senior Footballers Championship Thread

Postby Lone Shark » Fri May 18, 2018 1:31 am

greenairfield wrote:Tommy Byrne should step down immediately or be removed just like Boland before him he has en ego and is on a power trip in his role. Jackass!


For Tommy Byrne to step down with no-one there to replace him, and with no club asking him to do so, would be to do Offaly GAA a dis-service.

If the clubs of Offaly ask him to go and he ignores them, that's another matter. But until they do, ideally presenting an alternative candidate, then it would be better for Offaly GAA if he stayed put surely.
Kevin Egan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Offaly Senior Footballers Championship Thread

Postby llkj » Fri May 18, 2018 3:25 am

In my opinion that sly punch is enough for his dismissal. It was cowardly and potentially very dangerous. The county board were right to oust him at the earliest opportunity.

Brian Gavin is not a journalist and this week we saw the difference between a fan with a microphone and a journalist. There are plenty of good journalists working locally and nationally that could have been contacted by media outlets to discuss the story. Gavin’s input was not helpful.

Offaly’s record regarding managers is dismal. CLUBS need to get their act together now to plan an alternative t. What we have is not good enough.
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Re: Offaly Senior Footballers Championship Thread

Postby bracknaghboy » Fri May 18, 2018 6:25 am

If the county board had allowed Wallace stay on then the same people calling for Byrnes head would STILL be calling for it saying "how can he allow a fella stay on as manager after that sly punch he threw". Equally, if Wallace was ditched a few weeks ago after that video appeared the same guys would be saying "how can Byrne fire a man without a proper hearing" and so on. The county board were in a no-win situation here and there are anti county board elements waiting to pounce regardless of what they do. Their job is made 10 times harder when the rumours and fake news is being made up deliberately spread by someone within the county whose motive remains unclear.

We can probably believe very little of whats coming out from all sides now at this stage as all are trying to save face and the media are happy to literally print anything as the last week has shown.

Can you imagine if someone had been out of the country for the last week and not keeping up with things only to come back say today and be met with all this!!!!!
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Re: Offaly Senior Footballers Championship Thread

Postby azoffaly » Fri May 18, 2018 10:01 am

Lone Shark wrote:I think it's fair to say that there are a lot of people that come out of this with their reputation(s) damaged. However can I just pose the following questions?

(1) Is it so unreasonable to look at what Stephen Wallace did in that video and say that if it is confirmed that he was the person who threw that punch, that he's not fit to manage a county team? By no stretch of the imagination was that a "heat of the moment" punch. The man in the clip had no altercation with he guy he hit, and blindsided his victim.

(2) If you feel that a dismissal is a reasonable response to the above, then surely it follows that you have to wait until the disciplinary process is complete to act? After all, Stephen Wallace is supposed to have assured Tommy Byrne that he would get off any punishment here. The Offaly CB could hardly let him go before a final determination of guilt was made.

(3) If that finding was made at the weekend, then surely this week is the time to let him go?

(4) Moreover, regardless of guilt or innocence, Wallace is suspended for twelve weeks - i.e. the full championship. If nothing else, surely the match on Sunday proves that not having a manager isn't going to work - a new man must step in?

(5) Finally, Tommy Byrne is not good at interviews - however the crux of his points on the radio seemed to me to be that (i) the Offaly CB couldn't act until the disciplinary process was complete, (ii) the players' letter (which is either unanimous, or the act of a small group, depending on who you listen to) was not factored into the equation, so players were not part of the reason why Wallace was either hired, retained or fired, (iii) that he won't be stepping down just because a management appointment went badly, even though he accepts the buck stops with him. I can't disagree with any of that - am I alone?


LS, can I ask you one question? If Offaly beat Wicklow, do you think he would have been let go this week?

My take on this is as follows. And this is just my take, based on talking to a few people, but having absolutely NO inside information. I have no dog in the fight, other than really wanting Offaly to succeed.

1: I absolutely think that Wallace's actions in Kerry are grounds for dismissal, it's not a good image for a senior county manager to be involved in something like that, and when the video came out I think that action should have been taken then. If that is him in the video, which is the ONLY question that needed to be asked, then he should have been gone then, end of story. As Tommy Byrne said, it is not a disciplinary matter for Offaly GAA, so they are not bound by any rules relating to appeals process, unless they themselves felt they wanted to wait. They could just have easily taken the tack that this was an unwelcome diversion, and the video was damning, therefore we need to proceed without the sideshow. There's no contract in place, no payoff, nothing like that, so it would have been understandable if they had taken the bit between their teeth and said 'Sorry Stephen, this is not a situation we are comfortable with, and we feel it will affect preparation, so we're going to go elsewhere for the Wicklow game'.

My sense is they *didn't* do this, not because they wanted to wait for disciplinary action in Kerry, but because they didn't want to get the blame for 'rocking the boat' at that time.

2: I think that the managerial decisions on Sunday were very strange. From selecting players they obviously didn't trust, or want to use, or weren't ready to use on the bench, to taking players off and bringing them back on when they were obviously not in the right frame of mind, or were very tired. From strange substitutions to not having nominated 2nd and 3rd free takers. I'd love to know when Niall Darby was told to go on frees. However in fairness to Stephen Wallace, all of that is in some way understandable given it's his first Championship match, he's banished to the stand (illegal earpiece or not), and he'd probably learn from it. I don't think Sunday in and of itself was a 'sackable' moment.

3: I think we have all heard about some tension or unhappiness in the camp. Now, how much of that is overblown, I don't know, but it's rare for there to be complete harmony in a camp, especially a camp where results have been patchy at best. The body language on Sunday, especially when those decisions were taken, was not good. The leaks and public posts from the camp since then wouldn't make you think mutiny was about to break out, and while I'm sure there's an element of 'we're not the ones causing the trouble here' in that, I think if there was a genuine movement to remove Wallace, none of that would have come out. I also think Anton Sullivan's interview was fairly clear cut, and I don't think he'd have given one like that if the players genuinely were about to revolt. That said, I didn't get an overall feeling of regret from him that Wallace was gone. Compare and contrast with Ciaran McManus' statement and questions when Gerry Fahy was hard done by in 2003/2004.

4: I think the County Board's history in regard to managers and how they have handled their transition between managers is appalling. From Paul O'Kelly, through Gerry Fahy, Pat Flanagan and numerous others in between, they have shown either very poor faith in their long term projects, or shocking management nous themselves in how they deal with people. To that end, I am very suspicious of how this story has played out through the media, and of the intentions of the board before sunday. I absolutely think Brian Gavin has made the situation worse by his sensationalist contributions in the media, and I know he knows better than that, so I have to think there is method to that.

I believe it's quite simple. Offaly CB regretted appointing Stephen Wallace as soon as the video from Kerry emerged. He hadn't enough credit in the bank after a very patchy league campaign, and there were rumblings in the camp. Both of those factors were not enough to get rid of him, but the incident in Kerry made up their minds that they would do so at the first opportunity. As I said, I would probably have handled it immediately, by asking Stephen if that was him in the video. Straight question. And if it is, you have to get rid of him immediately if you feel that is what needs to be done. If you feel that it's not a sackable offence, then stick with him through the process, and work with him to ascertain how the situation will be managed during the likely suspension.

I believe they didn't have the chutzpah to do that. And so they waited in the long grass until a moment came when they had an opportunity, and then they went for it. They used strategic leaks to make the camp sound in a worse state than it was, and they used the appeals process as a crutch for not doing what they wanted to do immediately.

In my opinion, Stephen Wallace forfeited his right to be manager of a senior inter county team the moment he threw that punch down in Kerry. But when the video emerged, that was the time to make that call, one way or another.

To answer my question to you LS, above, I personally don't feel that Wallace would have been sacked if Offaly had beaten Wicklow, and that leaves a sour taste in the mouth, largely because of the CB's past record in this area.
Shane Gavin. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Offaly Senior Footballers Championship Thread

Postby greenairfield » Fri May 18, 2018 10:52 am

Lone shark yet again defends the CB!!

Recently the secretary of the County board walked he was replaced after a number of weeks...Byrne should go and no doubt someone will step up to the job
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Re: Offaly Senior Footballers Championship Thread

Postby Tar Man » Fri May 18, 2018 11:42 am

AZ Offaly - I would probably have handled it immediately, by asking Stephen if that was him in the video. Straight question. And if it is, you have to get rid of him immediately


And what if he denied it was him? After all he did appeal. I saw the video myself and I couldn't hand on heart be completely certain it was him. I think that you have to let the appeals process run it's course. When the ban was upheld then that was the time to take action. The only problem was that was a few days before the Wicklow match. I think that CB were caught between a rock and a hard place on this one. There was no perfect solution. I would have no great confidence in our CB and it's chairman but it was a difficult situation. What I possibly would have done was once the suspension started (if I have got this right - it started 2 weeks before the Wicklow match) was asked Stephen Wallace to stand aside for the duration of the process, appoint someone else or one of the current selectors until the process had ran it's course. But again all that's very messy.

I had heard on Friday night that it was an unhappy camp. The fact that current players had liked Alan Mc's tweet also proves this point that it was an unhappy camp. In my opinion all the propaganda this week with the players statement, Nigel's tweet and Anton's interview is just trying to say "It wasn't us". I think the whole situation created the perfect storm. I don't know what Brian Gavin's intentions are but I feel that he has done his job in reporting it to the fans. Sweeping stuff under the carpet has gone on too long and the results have gotten worse and worse every year.
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Re: Offaly Senior Footballers Championship Thread

Postby azoffaly » Fri May 18, 2018 12:05 pm

Tar Man wrote:
AZ Offaly - I would probably have handled it immediately, by asking Stephen if that was him in the video. Straight question. And if it is, you have to get rid of him immediately


And what if he denied it was him? After all he did appeal. I saw the video myself and I couldn't hand on heart be completely certain it was him. I think that you have to let the appeals process run it's course. When the ban was upheld then that was the time to take action. The only problem was that was a few days before the Wicklow match. I think that CB were caught between a rock and a hard place on this one. There was no perfect solution. I would have no great confidence in our CB and it's chairman but it was a difficult situation. What I possibly would have done was once the suspension started (if I have got this right - it started 2 weeks before the Wicklow match) was asked Stephen Wallace to stand aside for the duration of the process, appoint someone else or one of the current selectors until the process had ran it's course. But again all that's very messy.

I had heard on Friday night that it was an unhappy camp. The fact that current players had liked Alan Mc's tweet also proves this point that it was an unhappy camp. In my opinion all the propaganda this week with the players statement, Nigel's tweet and Anton's interview is just trying to say "It wasn't us". I think the whole situation created the perfect storm. I don't know what Brian Gavin's intentions are but I feel that he has done his job in reporting it to the fans. Sweeping stuff under the carpet has gone on too long and the results have gotten worse and worse every year.


Surely he can make himself out?? If he lied to them, and said it wasn't him, and it turns out it was, then that's grounds for dismissal straight away. The appeals process in Kerry has no bearing on what Offaly need to do, or have to do. And if that is what happened, and they really did want to wait for the Kerry appeals process, then I'd have no problem with the County Board saying 'We asked him if that was him in the video, he said it wasn't, so we decided to allow him to continue. It has since transpired that it was him, so it's not appropriate for him to continue'. This waiting for the appeals process in another county is chicanery in my view.

As for Brian Gavin, the problem is he *didn't* just report stuff. He also reported false stuff, unless you don't believe the players.

I'll ask you the same question. Do you believe Wallace would be sacked if Offaly won on Sunday?
Shane Gavin. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Offaly Senior Footballers Championship Thread

Postby The Biff » Fri May 18, 2018 12:38 pm

I would say that I agree with AZOffaly's assessment of this debacle. Those new interviews with Anton and Stephen Wallace have a lot of detail in them, whereas Tommy Byrne's contributions have contained quite a lot of "stone-walling" (IMHO). Now I know that as Chairman, he would to be careful about what he says as he is expected to represent a whole committee's views when he speaks and acts as Chairman. That is not always easy. I don't know the man at all, but as has been mentioned before, this is not the first time that his role as CB Chairman has drawn controversy.

https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/gaelic-football/offaly-seeking-15th-football-manager-since-last-leinster-triumph-36919378.html

This summary of our Football Managers history this century is quite embarrassing. I too remember the feelings when Paul O'Kelly was removed. I know he was very well liked by the panel of players back then. He had quite detailed development plans ready to roll out, and I heard from a few people (much more knowledgeable than me) that he was viewed as real progressive Manager. But the "County Board" thought otherwise. It was not good back then, and this current episode is not good either, in fact probably worse.
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Re: Offaly Senior Footballers Championship Thread

Postby Lone Shark » Fri May 18, 2018 1:36 pm

azoffaly wrote:LS, can I ask you one question? If Offaly beat Wicklow, do you think he would have been let go this week?


Honest answer, no I don't - but in my view it would have been the wrong call to keep him on. Taking the severity of the strike into account, combined with the fact that this is your manager, the guy you recruit specifically to keep a cool head and to oversee events and take a wider view rather than getting stuck in, would suggest to me that once a determination of guilt has been found, he has to go.

Unfortunately, and I've said this before, the Offaly county board's version of public relations is this - say the absolute bare minimum possible at all times, and if you can say nothing at all, then that's ideal. I agree wholeheartedly, the thing to do was to come out and ask him straight if it was him in the video. Now Wallace was very evasive when Ger Gilroy did this, while at the same time saying that he regretted his "misdemeanour" but that's in a media setting. In a one-on-one conversation, Byrne should have pushed until he got a yes or no answer. If the answer is yes, let him go there and then, and if the answer is no, come out and publicly support him, and see that he has the full backing of the county board, on the basis that it's not him.

If that had been done, there would have been nowhere to go this week.


I accept too that events of Sunday would suggest that he was in over his head in the role, or at the very least that he had an awful lot to learn - and while I take the point that he shouldn't lose the gig for that, there is also a practical aspect involved - why should Offaly football be this man's apprenticeship, only for him to up sticks and take on a role elsewhere by the time he actually knows what he's at? I've no doubt this factored into the decision - even if it's probably not right that it should have.
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Re: Offaly Senior Footballers Championship Thread

Postby Lone Shark » Fri May 18, 2018 1:42 pm

greenairfield wrote:Lone shark yet again defends the CB!!

Recently the secretary of the County board walked he was replaced after a number of weeks...Byrne should go and no doubt someone will step up to the job


I don't know Niall Gleeson in the slightest - I don't think I'd recognise him, and I've no idea if he's good, bad or indifferent when it comes to administration. However he now has a very important role in the Offaly county board, and I'd wager that the first time his name came up in most club meeting rooms was when county board delegates came back to say he'd got the job as fixtures secretary. In fact I'd wager his name still hasn't come up in a lot of club meeting rooms.

And to my mind, that is not how this should work. Again, that's not a reflection on Gleeson, who I'm sure is nothing more than an honest, loyal Offaly native stepping up to help out his county at a time when he's needed.

I've no doubt someone would step up to the mark, but let's not forget that the most likely candidates would be one of the two that lost the election to be county board chair last year. The clubs of Offaly deemed Tommy Byrne to be preferable to either of them by a country mile - and suddenly now they should just have one of those foisted upon them?

Again I say that the Offaly county board is a democracy - if someone wants Byrne out, the right thing to do is to say so at a county board meeting, to call a motion of no confidence, and to propose an alternative. Not this schyte of throwing stones from behind a hedge while staying under cover all the time.
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Re: Offaly Senior Footballers Championship Thread

Postby LooseCannon » Fri May 18, 2018 11:28 pm

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Re: Offaly Senior Footballers Championship Thread

Postby greenairfield » Fri May 18, 2018 11:46 pm

Is that a good appointment ? Don't know much about him
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Re: Offaly Senior Footballers Championship Thread

Postby Tar Man » Mon May 21, 2018 11:00 am

AZ Offaly - I'll ask you the same question. Do you believe Wallace would be sacked if Offaly won on Sunday?


I honestly don't know. If as some people have alluded to that Brian Gavin was doing the bidding of the CB then it makes sense that a plan was in place to get Wallace out, as things moved very quickly after the game.

Do I believe he should have been sacked - win or no win. Definitely for 2 reasons - 1) He was to be banned for a further 6 weeks (or 10 weeks depending on reports) so we needed to do something in terms of getting a manager in place (imagine if we had beaten Wicklow and had to face Dublin without a manager in place). 2) Like others I believe he gave up his right to be a Senior Inter-county Manager with his actions in Kerry. The other thing I'll add which leaves a sour taste in the mouth is his appeal of the ban and the lack of an apology. I think that he said he regretted the situation in an interview but that was hardly a sincere apology.

So in short the CB may have gone down the wrong road on this but I think they made the right decision.
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Re: Offaly Senior Footballers Championship Thread

Postby LooseCannon » Mon May 21, 2018 9:26 pm

Good to hear that Johnny Moloney is back, and Brian Darby has returned from retirement.

PJ Daly from Cappincur and Thomas Mooney from St Brigid’s also. Eoin Rigney will be back from next Saturday.
From the We Are Offaly podcast.
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Re: Offaly Senior Footballers Championship Thread

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Mon May 21, 2018 11:02 pm

Another factor in the 'would he have been sacked if they won?' question that I don't think has been mentioned here (I think) is that there would have been just two weeks between the Wicklow and Dublin games, had they beaten Wicklow.
Tar Man wrote:
AZ Offaly - I'll ask you the same question. Do you believe Wallace would be sacked if Offaly won on Sunday?


I honestly don't know. If as some people have alluded to that Brian Gavin was doing the bidding of the CB then it makes sense that a plan was in place to get Wallace out, as things moved very quickly after the game.

Do I believe he should have been sacked - win or no win. Definitely for 2 reasons - 1) He was to be banned for a further 6 weeks (or 10 weeks depending on reports) so we needed to do something in terms of getting a manager in place (imagine if we had beaten Wicklow and had to face Dublin without a manager in place). 2) Like others I believe he gave up his right to be a Senior Inter-county Manager with his actions in Kerry. The other thing I'll add which leaves a sour taste in the mouth is his appeal of the ban and the lack of an apology. I think that he said he regretted the situation in an interview but that was hardly a sincere apology.

So in short the CB may have gone down the wrong road on this but I think they made the right decision.
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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