Player power a 'worrying trend', says Cooper

15 July 2017

Fermanagh manager Pete McGrath

Colm Cooper has voiced his concern at the growing influence of player power in the GAA.

The Kerry legend was reacting to reports that player unrest forced Pete McGrath to step down as Fermanagh man last night, just a week after his reappointment had been ratified by the county board. 

"It's very surprising news," Cooper said on RTÉ Radio's Saturday Sport.

"Considering they were in an All-Ireland quarter-final quite recently (2015), you'd think he was doing a reasonable job there. But, again, we see what looks like player power coming to the fore. There seems to be a bit of discontent among a number of players and it looks like he won't be in charge next year.

"It'll be very interesting to hear from Pete because it appeared that he and the county board had an agreement to continue, and this has been torn up in the last 48 hours."

The 1991 and '94 Down All-Ireland winning manager won't comment publicly until Monday on the reasons behind his u-turn, but Cooper feels player power is getting out of control.

"When I was playing in Kerry, the player's job was to play. The administration was for the county board," he continued.

"It appears that is changing, maybe faster in some other counties than in Kerry. I just could never see it getting to that stage in Kerry. Whenever a new Kerry manager was appointed I was never consulted.

"For me, this is a worrying trend that seems to be happening all over the country."