Fermanagh great criticises 'handling' of McGrath exit

August 12, 2017

Fermanagh manager Pete McGrath

Marty McGrath believes the circumstances which led to Pete McGrath's departure as Fermanagh manager last month could have been avoided.

The 1991 and '94 Down All-Ireland winning boss claimed that senior players forced him out, just a week after his reappointment had been rubber-stamped by the county board.

"The negative headlines surrounding McGrath's exit could have and should have been avoided," former All Star midfielder McGrath wrote in his Impartial Reporter column.

"It has been stated that the county board were informed about certain issues in the panel before McGrath was reinstated. If this is true then the county board have a lot to answer for. Could the issues not have been sorted out behind closed doors before the appointment was made?

"The way it was dealt with has brought nothing only discontent for everyone involved; Pete McGrath has left our county with a sour taste in his mouth, the players are being blamed and supporters are very disgruntled. The handling of the situation is the reason it has become so nasty. It did not need to come to this."

McGrath admitted he had fully expected his namesake to step down after this year's disappointing championship campaign.

"When I shook hands with Pete as he exited the field in the Athletic Grounds in Armagh, I seriously thought that was the end of his time with Fermanagh," he continued.

"He played his part; he took the team as far as he could, he brought back a bit of confidence that had disappeared in the few years following our Ulster Final defeat. I got the vibe he was getting ready to part company with us and that confidence had whittled out this year with the loss of so many players for one reason or another.

"I think this was the general consensus and was therefore surprised when his reappointment was announced."

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