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‘We have never paid managers’

Tommy Lyons
Tommy Lyons

‘We have never paid managers’

Mayo GAA Chairman denies Lyons’ payment ‘offer’ claim

Edwin McGreal


THE Mayo GAA Board have never paid anyone to manage their senior football team, according to the current Chairman, Paddy McNicholas.
“It has never been the policy of Mayo GAA to pay a manager and I hope it wouldn’t become the policy either,” he told The Mayo News last night.
McNicholas was responding to comments made by former Dublin manager Tommy Lyons last week that he was told to ‘put in an envelope’ how much he wanted to be paid when he was interviewed for the position of Mayo senior football manager in September of 2010.
Lyons was one of six candidates interviewed for the vacancy after the departure of John O’Mahony, and speaking on RTÉ Radio 1 last week, Lyons claimed that he was told to name his fee by a ‘senior’ county board official.
“When I was there (Mayo) and interviewed for the job I was asked to put in an envelope and give to the treasurer what I wanted to get paid for doing the job and I told him what part of I did not want to get paid did he not understand?”
However, Paddy McNicholas, who sat on the preliminary interview committee which spoke to Lyons, John Maughan and James Horan, said that the only discussion about payment centered around expenses.
“Money was never mentioned in the interview stage I was involved in,” McNicholas said last night. “I was on the preliminary interview board with the then three main officers of the Board [Chairman James Waldron, Secretary Seán Feeney and Treasurer JP Lambe] and the issue of money never came up and I believe it didn’t come up in the final interview stage either.
“What did come up was a question of where Tommy Lyons would be claiming expenses from, Dublin or Louisburgh, where he has a holiday home. He said that he would be mostly coming from Dublin but would overnight on some occasions in Mayo.”

HOWEVER, when contacted by The Mayo News last night Tommy Lyons stood over his comments and said that the envelope discussion he referred to happened outside of the formal interview process. He added that he has never taken any payments for his involvement in taking charge of teams.
“Anyone who knows me, and I’ve taken a lot of sessions for clubs in Mayo, knows that I never took a penny off any club or county. My record on this is without fear of contradiction,” he said.
He added that as a consequence it was ‘hypocritical’ of Mayo County Board to vote in favour of rigorous enforcement of the GAA’s amateur status when it came to the issue of payments to managers.

HAVE YOUR SAY email antonmcnulty@mayonews.ie with your comments

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