Cork GAA chairman Ger Lane expressed his disappointment that Kieran Kingston has chosen not to continue as Cork senior hurling manager in 2018 – but said suggestions his decision was related to Kingston having to pay for match tickets was “utter nonsense”, writes Tony Leen.
“We were obviously very disappointed that Kieran chose to step down, and that some of his selectors went with him. His decision was based purely on personal and work reasons.”
Mr Lane dismissed speculation that there was a disagreement over the Cork manager having to pay for tickets at one stage this season. “I am aware of that rumour, but it is utter nonsense. I met with Kieran on a couple of occasions and discussed these rumours. Kieran bought tickets for the All-Ireland hurling final in the same way as any of our inter-county managers or members of the executive purchase tickets. I suspect the person he was providing them for might have been more put out at having to pay for them than Kieran.”
Lane will step down as Cork chair this Sunday but will continue as a Cork delegate to the Munster Council, and vice chair of his club Bride Rovers. He accepted that one of the key issues for the incoming executive in Cork next year was one that is largely out of their hands – the club fixtures programme.
“With the revised format what we will have is a definite (club) programme, but it will be later in the year. Up to this year we had a built-in period in the first two weeks of July where club players could safely book family holidays. In 2018, that changes. We will start our county championships in the last two weeks in April and first weekend in May for clubs. Before that, we will play the divisions and colleges section which will be run off to produce two teams for the mainstream (senior) championship. That’s one reason we haven’t committed to an early start in April – when the divisions are playing, the clubs can’t. The other is that a club could lose twice in April and be gone from the championship.
“From May 6th to the end of June, (and beyond depending on our progress) we can’t see any clubs with inter-county players being in championship action. That’s essentially the ‘holiday’ period. But we will play games where there are teams with no county players involved.”
This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.