Kildare are in a right corner now

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Bloody hell, this was a storm nobody saw coming 24 hours ago. But, following the Round 3 draw this morning which saw us pitted against Kildare next Saturday, events have unfolded at dizzying speed.  So much so that at this stage it’s impossible to tell for sure if the tie will be played at all.

Let’s aim for some clarity in terms of what happened. The draw this morning handed home advantage in the tie to Kildare, as they were first out of the hat, but venues and times for all ties have to be okayed by the GAA’s CCCC.

Immediately the CCCC recognised there’d be a problem with capacity at St Conleth’s Park. With the fixture forced to be an all-ticket one then, as this piece in the Irish Times confirms (which is worth a careful read, by the way, in particular by those who’ve been quick to pronounce judgment on the rights and wrongs of the decision to move the tie to Croke Park), the capacity at the Newbridge venue would be just over 8,000.

Any eejit can recognise that a ground that could only take 8,000 punters, at least 7,000 of whom would be standing on the terraces, isn’t big enough to cater for a match like this. There were over 8,000 at our Round 1 match against Limerick and more than 11,000 at the Tipp match last weekend. In both cases the vast bulk of those supporters were ours.

Clearly, we’ll be assembling an even bigger crowd for next weekend. And you’d imagine it’s a game for which Kildare would attract a fair bit of support too. That piece linked above confirms that the GAA expects that at least 18,000 would attend the game.

All of which makes the Kildare GAA statement – which is here – so difficult to understand. They claim that they’d have “no difficulty” hosting the game at St Conleth’s Park but are only able to support this claim by referring repeatedly to how they’re “entitled” to do this. Nowhere in the statement is the 18,000 into 8,000 mathematical issue addressed .

Then a besuited Cian O’Neill went on prime time TV, on RTÉ’s Six-One News, to double down on Kildare’s position. He stated he could see no logic in the decision – despite citing the interest of fans as one of his reasons for playing the game at St Conleth’s Park – and insisted that they’d be togged in Newbridge on Saturday evening.

The GAA clearly weren’t buying any of this guff when they came to the conclusion that St Conleth’s Park wasn’t a runner. They could see the venue could cater for less than half the potential attendance and so, like they’ve done so often in the past for other qualifier ties, including to facilitate Kildare, they moved to Plan B.

Kildare, though, wouldn’t nominate an alternative, despite the fact that O’Moore Park in Portlaoise would fit the bill pretty much perfectly (for us as well as for them). This led inexorably to the logic of playing the Cavan/Tyrone game (which couldn’t be fixed for Breffni Park, as it’s closed for redevelopment) and our match with Kildare as a double-header in Croke Park.

Yes, it’s an arrangement that suits Sky Sports down to the ground and, absolutely, there’s no justification for the ticket price-hike that always goes hand-in-glove with matches being fixed for HQ. But, as that piece above makes clear, it was Kildare’s intransigence that, first and foremost, resulted in this outcome.

Which inevitably leads to the question – why? More particularly, why now?

It would be one thing if Kildare GAA had a consistent line to defend here. But they don’t. They sold their soul for grubby cash years ago and, like the rest of Leinster, have for years happily trotted off to play at Croke Park at every available opportunity. For Heaven’s sake, they even played Dublin at Croke Park as a home game in the League a few years back.

And how come this is being held up as some kind of exemplar about the GAA selling its soul more generally? That particular train left the station a long, long time ago, with far less attendant wailing at its departure too. Probably because Twitter hadn’t been invented then, I guess.

So this poor-old-us routine from Kildare GAA doesn’t cut it, I’m afraid. What have they done to develop Newbridge as a venue suitable for matches like this? That’s right – absolutely nothing. The place is an embarrassment and the only surprise is that the GAA still allows them to continue playing League matches there in this day and age, never mind championship ones.

So, as things currently stand, Kildare will be warming up at St Conleth’s Park on Saturday evening while our lads will be doing likewise up at HQ. It’s a ludicrous state of affairs.

But it’s not one that can, despite what the usual suspects might claim, be laid at the door of our County Board. This is a spat that involves the GAA and Kildare, we’re just collateral damage.

It goes without saying that we’ll play wherever we’re sent next weekend. Newbridge would never have been ideal for us but we’d have gone there had we been ordered to do so. Some of us – a fairly small minority but, hey, who’s counting? – might even have managed to get in to see the game.

It’s hard to see the GAA back-tracking now. Indeed, if the CCCC caves on this then they may as well dissolve themselves altogether and let fixtures venues be decided instead on the basis of the popularity of Twitter hashtags or some kind of similar metric.

Hopefully, sense will break out and that this occurs sooner rather than later. It doesn’t help, of course, that Kildare have painted themselves so badly – and in such a public way – into a corner on the issue.

There’s no easy way out for them now, just like there’s no easy way to jam 18,000 fans into a venue that holds 8,000. But try telling that to Cian O’Neill and his fulminating fellow-travellers. What a mess.

315 thoughts on “Kildare are in a right corner now

  1. My only worry as a season ticket holder is if Kildare decide to not play in Croke Park and Mayo win by just being there, is having to travel to the game just to get attendence and then back. Can someone explain what happens there?

  2. Fair enough WJ except from the outset HQ also knew the difficulties now laid out before us would or could happen, a conversation about capacity health and safety etc from the outset might have been helpful and for clarity and above all out of respect for the visiting team,

  3. The more this goes on, the less sympathy I’m having for Kildare on this one. They are in a corner now and I don’t see the GAA backtracking on their stance.

    It will be interesting to see how it plays out now. Mayo should just stay ready for Saturday and keep their silence. We’ll take the walkover if that’s the road they want to go down, absolutely no problem with that.

  4. This narrative that Sky decided this needs to be nipped in the bud. It came from absolutely nowhere. It’s clear now that Kildare were offered the chance to nominate another venue, so the notion that Sky dictated this is utter horseshit.

  5. You’d have to wonder if it’s a motivation or a distraction to kildare at this stage.Hard to know what’s going to happen now.Whatever the rights and wrongs (I’d tend to side with kildare on this) it’ll be very hard for either side to back down given their statements this evening.

  6. Kildare had option to pick alternative venue that would suit them .That declined . Their problem .Not ours . As I said earlier , the lads will recover/prepare for a match Saturday . Venue/ logistics is not the players problem, just to be in the best shape possible . There is a team behind them that will/can plan to play in either or alternative venue .

  7. Pretty brave (or stupid) to come out against Kildare on this when the general GAA public seems very much behind them. Personally I’d keep my council and let Kildare and the GAA have their bun fight. Nothing in it for Mayo or Mayo people to go sticking their oar in. Ultimately it’s a home game for Kildare and I think they are entitled to want it played at home. Even if it’s a reduced capacity ground. Not that the bean counters at HQ care for such trivialities.

  8. Think on this.
    A player will get dropped from a panel for drinking a pint.
    Now Kildare are planning to put themselves out of the championship for a misplaced sense of twitter proven injustice.
    Dividing the tickets 4k a piece would still be a scandalously small volume of match attendees.
    Surely players on that panel who put up with all occlusion goggle techno joy removal systems are privately bulling that they are now to be eliminated based on #ScandalousNonresearched

  9. The cccc according to that times piece have made this venue change soley based on health and safety grounds.
    Why the fu*k if their so concerned about health and safety are they dragging the mayo supporters across the width of the country for a 7pm throw in. Surely in the interests of health and safety, would it not be much safer to have given Mayo a 2pm time slot so that all fans could be at home base by evening time and not have exhausted fans driving through the night.

    They say they are concerned about thousands of extra fans showing up. If the game is announced as a sellout people aren’t going to waste their time or petroel driving to a match they know is sold out. The problem isn’t health and safety.
    The problem is the gaa cannot squash another 12000 fans in to that ground. That’s alot of green backs.

    It’s papering over the cracks. Multiply 25 euros by 12,000 and that’s why the game is been shifted. The cccc will beat the amateur in to yea and you’ll play wherever the money is.

    If the gaa had estimated that the Galway mayo game could have drawn 60,000 fans, you can bet your bottom dollar it would not have been in Mchale Park.

  10. It’s really hard to see how this game goes ahead at this point. So Mayo GAA need to now take action to look after our own supporters interests.

    We need a final decision in the next 24 hours in terms of whether or not the game goes ahead. If it does not, we need clarification of what this means for both match ticket holders (tickets have been on sale all day) and season ticket holders.

    Will match ticket holders from Mayo be refunded if there is no game (in this regard how can a Mayo supporter who is not a season ticket holder be identified for this purpose as not a Cavan or Tyrone fan since that game may go ahead)?

    In terms of season ticket holders, will any money charged to their accounts be returned if Kildare don’t show? Will attendance be credited given that it is unreasonable to expect Mayo supporters to travel 300-400 miles round trip to a non-existent football match?

    Kildare’s issues here are their own, I have some limited sympathy but nobody else batted for us over the Limerick debacle in 2014. Our CB now need to ensure that our own supporters interests are looked after (as well as those of our players of course).

  11. I agree with Kildare on this. Home advantage to the first drawn team. Fair is fair. It would be an all-ticket affair, thus keeping the attendance within the ground capacity. There’s no need for anybody to go to Newbridge without a ticket as entry will be denied. So that takes care of the H&S issue. Because there will be more demand for tickets than the ground can facilitate is rubbish. Demand far exceeds supply for an All Ireland final, but there not playing that in the Phoenix Park to accommodate a couple of hundred thousand people. Also, if Rochdale drew Man Utd in the FA Cup, the FA will hardly turn around and say, “sorry lads, but this one needs to be played in Wembley because your Stadium capacity might not meet the expected demand for tickets”, It’s bull and Kildare have rightly dug their heels in over the ethical issue that is here. They need everything going for them and home advantage is a huge coup and there’s nothing wrong with hosting an all-ticket affair to manage the attendance. If there is more interest on our side to attend, that’s our problem to manage, not theirs.

  12. Will someone please let me know if there is a game on, I have to travel from Donegal, as an aside, it should be played in a venue of Kildare’s choice, they are the home team and why, if it is being played at Croker, there is not a 3pm and 5pm start for both games, frigg it, I like a pint on a Saturday night after a Mayo win !!!

  13. Willie Joe, You make a good argument but I fundamentally disagree with your position. This is bigger than Kildare (regardless of their previous) and ourselves (regardless of our fan base). We have all sat here for years in a quiet rage about the advantages afforded to Dublin because of money. This game hasn’t been moved on health and safety grounds or to facilitate the Mayo supporters: it has been moved for money. It’s not that the GAA don’t care about us, it’s just they care more about profit. Think back to the Dubs playing Carlow in Portlaoise and Laois in Nowlan. It was wrong then and just because we’re involved doesn’t make it not wrong now. The season ticket holders can still be facilitated in Newbridge (it won’t kill us to stand). The integrity of the competition is paramount and that’s why it’s wrong that Dubs played the guts of a decade on home turf in championship. A scandal that has been normalised; so normalised that there is only a murmur of discontent about them playing their ‘neutral’ game at Croke Park in the Super 8. An absolutely disgraceful decision. Finally a county (for whatever reason, be it selfish or on principle) stands up to the GAA and it is our duty to back them, or at least not hinder them. Again, this is bigger than the two counties involved, it’s about the direction the GAA is driving the championships in. Another thing, the idea that this was organised via email and that nobody picks the phone up to each other is moronic. Sure, confirm what you said in writing but speak to each other for fuck sake. Don’t let it come to this.
    It’s a shame we’ve been dragged into this but now we have I think we should have a long hard think about the bigger ramifications of the fallout from this week, and not just focus on our own short-term self-interest.

  14. Kildare will not back down and the GAA cannot back down. I can see Mayo standing on the pitch in Croke Park at 7 and receiving the win because Kildare are somewhere else.
    A walkover bar a miracle

  15. “The season ticket holders can still be facilitated in Newbridge (it won’t kill us to stand).”

    I know the above was just a throwaway comment in the middle of a bigger post but it’s actually something that affects people I go to games with. Some older spectators actually could not stand for that long (it literally would kill them). They need the facilities that the better grounds offer in order to be able to attend games which is one reason why they have season tickets.

    As you say, we do need to think about everyone here and not just our own personal interests. But that includes looking after our own less able supporters also be that due to age, disability, injury, whatever. We have spent big on making sure McHale Park is up to the job, and it is. St Conleth’s on the other hand is a kip and should not be hosting league games, never mind championship. This is the fault of Kildare GAA and in that respect they have brought the issue on themselves.

  16. You have nailed it 100% WJ! I’d Love to know where all these dissenters were during the SKY sellout? The GAA said it wasn’t about money, it was about “promoting the game” but, when Tipp put a motion to make all games Free to air, they said they “couldn’t afford to lose the revenue”. Unfortunately, it’s exactly as you put it though. 18000 into 8000 just doesn’t go.

  17. Fair point, Declan. I went to Semple with a friend (he’s only in his mid-50s) who can’t go to games unless he’s guaranteed a seat cos his back can’t take it for 70.
    I guess my issue on that would be that the GAA shouldn’t be making guarantees to season ticket holders which potentially compromise the integrity of their competitions. We are the collateral damage on this one but at some stage something has to give and this should be the week that it does.

  18. I would 100% take the by in this one….. The GAA will bend us over every chance they get and it matters not one jot if every last one of us weighed in behind Kildare. A break at this point in the qualifiers, especially against this bruising team, would be a gift from the gods.

  19. We should in our hole stay silent and go along with this. What sort of a time is 7pm to have a game at Croke park! An 8+ hour round trip from Erris would have people with young families on the road til 1 or 2am in the morning!! What planet are these fixture committee on! The same shower that had us sent down to Limerick a few years ago and practically giving Kerry home advantage!! The same organisation gat buckles under pressure on and rescind Diarmuid Connolly’s red card. I could go on and on about how we have been f**ked around for years. Enough is enough.
    We should be backing Kildare GAA and calling this exactly what it is. Money grabbing!!
    A stance has to be taken and by standing by Kildare we are standing up against those greedy hoors in charge.
    If not, we will continue to be walked all over. Enough is enough!
    Yes we will have a considerably less crowd attending and I realise that Is not fair on those season ticket holders who have been travelling up and down the country for years and years following this team. I don’t know how It would work. Maybe a lottery to determine which season ticket holders can go? Doubt this shower in charge are that organised though to work that out..
    Anyway. This only thing would be to ask for the game to be played earlier in the day (2 or 3pm?) to allow for Mayo fans travelling.

  20. Every single event has to get advice from the Garda for cooperation etc , they advised 7pm for newbridge (it’s in the Kildare statement ,due to horse racing , traffic congestion ) so let’s put that to bed there.

    Where the GAA lack in all of this is, they fook up continuously by not setting out criteria for grounds .

  21. Erris head, I read some drivel on here but you are right up there with the best of it.

    Your top line being ‘we should be backing Kildare GAA’. We are days away from a big game and you suggest we should be supporting something outside of ourselves.
    Kildare are making complete fools of themselves , dividing their fans and players and starting a battle they can and will only lose. Let them not turn up and let us get a free ticket to next round, not even we can pick up an injury then.
    Mayo need to focus on mayo, Kildare will make their decisions based on what they want, not being concerned by mayo and in turn I am not supporting them, hence why I am on mayo discussion board

  22. What is there to be said for having a provincial venue in each province, none of these venues to be croke park, would solve a lot of problems regarding attendance, health and safety, neutrality. This is a storm in a teacup in my opinion, but maybe brings up some very valid points. My only question is would this have happened if Kildare were drawn against a less high profile team??

  23. I think the article describes the stalemate very well. In the first instance, this game couldn’t possibly have gone ahead in Newbridge. As well as the small capacity of the ground there is a large scale race meeting in the Curragh, the two together would have been chaotic. Kildare had a way out in choosing Portlaoise or Tullamore, but decided to dig in for a non runner. They are trying now to become martyrs and the victims. If we are to look at this objectively and pragmatically Newbridge is a non starter. There was probably a bit of opportunism on behalf of the GAA bringing the game to Croke Park, Kildare marching their men to the top of the hill by insisting on a dude of a venue made it easy for them.
    Cian O Neil’s performance on the news was mind boggling and showed very bad judgement. If the party line had to be towed, then it should have been left up to the county board to tow it, and let him concentrate on preparing for the game.
    Finally this is not our fight. We were treated as a shower of whingers when the game was moved to Limerick in 2014. I suspect the real reason Kildare are in a strop is that they know Mayo is a Croke Park team. Kildare had the opportunity to manage this in their favor and bring us to Portlaoise rather than Tullamore and they chose to take an unreasonable path. Let them now live with the consequences. THis game could be in Tullamore or Portlaoise yet, but I think the ship has sailed to Croke Park

  24. This needs to be sorted today for logistical reasons.

    The blog is on fire WJ – an enormous amount of comments in 24 hours.

  25. Even if the game were to be at Newbridge it would be at 7pm ( horse racing at the Curragh being sited as one of the reasons ) With the hot weather forcasted I do believe that there could be a health and safety issue for some people standing for so long in the heat.

  26. You’re some man WJ to be able to resolutely and persistently refuse to see the bigger picture here.
    Even taking this issue on its own merits – just because the anticipated crowd is bigger than the ground capacity doesn’t mean a team should forfeit home advantage.
    Would you be in favour of Mayo losing home advantage in Super 8 game against Dublin if it looked like 40k Dubs wanted to attend?
    You’re ignoring points you can’t answer and saying “that ship has sailed”. Well to use another glib response, that just doesn’t cut it.

  27. Mayo could put on an A vs B game exhibition for the travelling mayo supporters in croker at 7 when kildare dont run out of the tunnel. Donie Vaughan could get miked up and have a half price shoe sale. Alan Dillion could get his political campaign underway. Loads of options for fans to get their money’s worth.

  28. It kildare afraid to play mayo in Crocker why not play in portlaoise and for the sky haters we over here in UK get to see games on sky we can’t get Irish channels over here . Suit mayo to have another weeks rest if it’s a walkover

  29. The funny thing is Willie Joe this routine from Kildare does cut it with the majority of GAA people around the country and many here as well. It’s their home venue, poor grounds , absolutely, but they are entitled to host at a limites capacity, the gardai are happy, but the authorities are looking at thd cash, the chance to make a quick buck of Mayo people. The rules should have been set in stone and dont say they are otherwise why have we this mess. As stated if they drew Armagh or Clare etc no issues, but the GAA are seeing the chance of the money to be made out of Mayo.

  30. I could equally make the same vapid accusation at your charge, Tubberman. Bigger picture? Match venues have been shifted in the qualifiers often before – Kildare even got a match shifted out of Newbridge when it suited them – so there’s little new here. We’re well capable of hosting a Super 8 match because we’ve a ground that can host – and seat – a big crowd. Newbridge can’t. Thousands of supporters would be inconvenienced, mostly Mayo supporters, if it were to be played there. But that’s alright because the holy principle – one that Kildare sold down the river for money repeatedly down the year – would be upheld. Jeez, give me a break.

  31. But, Hego, all those decisions about Dublin were made by the Leinster Council where Kildare GAA were at the table. Every single time those decisions were nodded through. No principled stands there – it was money right down the line, every single time. It has been for years. It’s a bit late for them to be discovering their principles now.

  32. That may well be, Tuamstar, but it doesn’t mean there’s much logic to it. It’s the bare-faced hypocrisy of Kildare GAA, having taken the shilling all these years, that gets me. Croke Park was a second home venue for him when it suited them (and when they had a decent following) but now, when it doesn’t suit them it isn’t. Croke Park doesn’t massively suit us but a sensible alternative, which Kildare wouldn’t entertain, would have suited both counties. I agree that the GAA could have done better to make the rules clearer in advance, especially with the Super 8s around the corner, but no precedent has been set here, not even in relation to a Kildare game (they shifted a qualifier tie against Limerick to Portlaoise a few years ago when it suited them), so the reaction to this – typical Ireland! – is wildly OTT, in my very humble opinion.

  33. There is a big picture Tubberman – the big picture is that this is not Mayo’s fight and should be left to Kildare CB and GAA HQ to sort out. The big picture for any Mayo supporter is “what helps us win this fixture?”. Croke Park suits us and that’s the only reason Kildare are digging their heals in.
    If the fixture gets changed to Newbridge the momentum swings back to Kildare. They have gotten themselves into a game of high stakes poker and bet the farm … Mayo should say nothing publicly but use all backwater channels to insist the fixture stays in Croker …and then let the team give the lilywhites a right spanking

  34. WJ If Kildare are in the same group as Dublin is it possible that the Dubs could have home, away and neutral matches all played at Crime Park????

  35. I stand by my comments JC. Fair play to Kildare for standing up to these money grabbers. The same shower who have given Dublin two home games in the super 8s. Where is the level playing field there?
    A stance must be taken at some point or every other county outside Dublin (us more so than anyone given our track record) will be taken advantage of.
    It is short sighted not to see Kildare’s point of view here.
    The ironic thing is, if they were cute – they’d have asked to play the game in Castlebar!

  36. We cede home advantage every time we play Dublin so yeah if it was a qualifier or Super 8 game I would expect it to be in Croke Park.
    It’s slightly different though because in the event of Dublin being on the road there is no chance they would take 40,000 to Castlebar cause Dublin bus doesnt go that far.

  37. GAA HQ and Kildare should compromise and use Newbridge on this occasion, providing Mayo gets 50% ticket allocation & Kildare in future, agrees to accept GAA venue rulings. Finally Kildare & GAA HQ accelerate the provision of an acceptable venue within Kildare county.

  38. Croke Park! Error was predictive text but even my phone realises there is something shady going on

  39. But would Portlaoise be able to fulfil “health & safety” ie accommodate the thousands of Dub supporters who want to attend??. Probably not so it would have to be played at Croke Park. I think I’ve answered my own question! Yes it is possible that Dublin could play all 3 Super 8 games in Croke Park (all Dubs have to show is that a crowd bigger than capacity in Portlaoise want to attend)
    Now that’s a farce!!

  40. The bottom line here is Mayo will play where they are told and will concentrate on winning the game. Where were the Mayo management yesterday all day ? Watching kildare matches I bet. cian o’neill is making a fool of himself here and disrespecting his players whom he should be getting ready for a massive game instead of distracting them and himself.
    RTE clowns asking ONeill to make an appeal to Rochford !! I didnt know he was on the CCCC as well as Mayo manager. I bet RTE will be saying the 7 throw in is due to SKY as well when there is a big race at the curragh.

    David Brady no help either with his twitter comment that he was rightly slammed for.

    Stay nice and quiet Stephen, study those videos and coach those lads, Saturday will come fast.

  41. While I agree with the principle of Kildare stance(without having any sympathy for them) I think people are slightly deluded on the long term ramifications of it. Even if Kildare got their way, it will make no difference to the direction of the GAA. It won’t get the Dubs out of Croke park, it won’t reverse the sky deal, it won’t reverse the funding imbalances. What it might do is give Kildare a better chance of beating Mayo and shaft alot of Mayo supporters. Mayo supporters saying we should back Kildare GAA publicly would want to have their head examined. The lads need to keep their head down and train for Kildare on Saturday. If they don’t turn up so be it. This debacle doesn’t suit anyone especially Mayo fans planning to travel to a game which might not go ahead.

  42. This to me is very simple at this moment in time.

    The gaa should ask kildare county board are they playing this match in croke park on Sat evening. The gaa need to tell them we need an answer by 6pm this evening.

    Like I’m sorry guys but mayo county board need to push the gaa on this one. This is affecting us in so many ways if you think about it. Supporters making plans work life etc. Purchasing of tickets. Players too need to make plans. Our training sessions may be different if there is no game this weekend.

    Gaa need to realise that there are TWO teams in this qualifier and TWO sets of Supporters!!!

    Cian o neill saying on the news that it’s not about mayo ere etc. Well I’m sorry pal but it is about us ya plank. We will be the dopes making plans, buying tickets, travelling the country for a game that might not happen. Good man cian.

    Gaa take action and I mean firm action NOW against kildare. Give them a deadline for an answer about this game and let’s be all very clear what is or is not happening this Saturday night.

  43. It already has, El Tod. Dublin played a championship game there last year.

    This issue has become conflated with Super 8 venue requirements, which is a separate issue altogether and will put pressure on several venues. This one’s cut and dried, with yesterday’s decision not breaking any established principles, not even involving Kildare games, but that tiny detail seems to have got lost in the debate.

  44. Erris head – I see their point of view but I am not going to support them on it . It’s not our issue and in fact moving to Croke Park would be in our interests and that’s where my concern lies . Also , as WJ as pointed out numerous times and quite correctly, Kildare have made the move to HQ in the past and no precedent has been set so they have to suck it up and deal with it because their current stance is going nowhere

  45. Willie you were very rude yesterday to me and wouldn’t post my post. I told you at circa 3.30pm yesterday on this forum that kildare were not going to budge and it was going legal, but you called it b u llshit. Your a sound guy stuck in the mindset of true GAA nut jobs.

  46. I 100% agree with you Willie Joe. This is the most sensible article written about this whole nonsense. The fact that in 2012 they played Limerick in portlaois to suit Kildare fan, the fact that they are on the Leinster committee that bows down to Dublin. The GAA CCCC statement has one very important line “Had Kildare drawing anyone other than Mayo at home it is likely that Newbridge would have been acceptable as a venue.”. It’s all too late too be acting the big man Kildare. Maybe after we knock you out you can make plans to redevelop that kip of a stadium. It’s not far on season ticket holders to have to stand. Yes I’m going enough and fit enough to stand but what about people who need to sit down.
    If Kildare and Cian o Neill pit half as much work into preparing for Carlow they wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place.

  47. What if Mayo get to the super 8s in the same group as Dublin and ye are drawn to play them in Castlebar.? Perfect stadium etc but the GAA decide they would get 80000 into croker rather than 30000 into Castlbar so they move ye (which well could happen) its the same principle but a massive difference in stadium capacity. They are losing out. Granted i know you have your beef with Kidare GAA authorities but tell me a county that hasnt put money before the players or fans before. Jesus they destroyed Pearse Stadium this year for an Ed Sheeran concert at the height of championship season for both Galway teams.

  48. Tuamstar, please don’t be coming on here presenting opinion as fact.The GAA have come out and clearly stated that this decision was taken on the grounds of health and safety, and that should be taken at face value. The whole spiel about the GAA being a bunch of money-grabbing shylocks is getting very tiresome to read at this stage. If you’ve ever attended a match at St. Conleth’s then surely you could see why the venue was switched. It is just not up to standard for hosting this game. Why is that so difficult for some people to believe?

  49. It’s a bit like the drunk fella who’s been kicked outta the pub and the bouncers won’t let him back in. We’ve all seen it. It’s no back in no matter what he says or who else he tries to get on his side from the small crowd gathered. But if you did try to intervene on the drunk fellas behalf you could still get a shlap in the mouth.
    Move on Mayo, we don’t need any more injuries.

    Yes, the GAA rarely cover themselves in glory in these types of situation but Kildare aren’t helping their cause either.

  50. Mayo John – read what I said back to you in its entirety. I said I couldn’t be sure either way and that inside knowledge scoops aren’t for posting here. And it hasn’t gone legal yet. Nut job? And you’re calling me rude!

  51. But the Super 8s isn’t the issue, Tuamstar, even if the Twitterati are falling over themselves in their dash to conflate the two issues. MacHale Park is one of the biggest GAA stadiums in the country – the only all-seater one as well, don’t you know – so I’d say we’re okay there are regards holding a Super 8 game. We’ve the small issue, though, of still having to qualify for the Super 8s …

  52. In theory I would agree with Kildare, they were drawn first and should have home advantage, those are the rules and should be upheld. In reality Kildare’s position is seriously compromised because in the past they have had no problem playing championship games in Crime Park and in fact they very rarely play championship in Newbridge.
    This issue isn’t a Mayo issue and as such I would expect Mayo to remain silent on the matter. It doesn’t affect our teams preparation, we stay in the same hotel in Dublin so Croke Park or Newbridege makes no difference.
    However the GAA needs to get this resolved soon, Mayo supporters are buying tickets, booking accommodation, the Mayo supporters deserve to know where they stand, they can not expect people to travel across the country not knowing if the game is to go ahead. Do they expect Mayo supporters to pay, show up and just leave at 7:05pm on Saturday evening?

  53. As I said before, why do we continuously allow the GAA to make it up as they go along? Our turn to be wronged will come up again soon

  54. Does anyone really think that Kildare won’t turn up on Saturday? I know they are all talk now, but if the team have trained so hard all year, will they really want to exit the Championship like this? I just really hope Mayo GAA stay out of it, it’s not our battle, and noone ever sticks up for us when we had similar issues with Limerick venue. I actually feel sorry for both sets of players, what a horrible distraction coming up to a knockout game. I hope our team have heads down training as normal and ignore this circus being played out in the media. Only thing now it, do I buy tickets or not? Or wait until later in the week? It’s kind of a mess!

  55. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I find it very hard to believe that 30 Kildare footballers, after months of training, will refuse to fulfill a fixture 30 minutes away in Croke Park. Regardless of the principles involved, are the Kildare players going to allow their CB to end their summer football in this fashion. I cant see it. If I was a betting man I would back Kildare being there in Saturday @7.

    If it comes to pass that Kildare dont show – then let’s take it for what it is – a massive boon. An extra recovery week for most, an extra week of fitness training for Harry, Donie etc

    If they do show up – they now have a big advantage. A grudge to use as motivation and way more local Kildare interest in the game etc

  56. Statistics etc. Kildare like the Mayo county board and MacHale Park fiasco are indeed indebted to GAA headquarters. They did move games from Newbridge but according to Colm Keys headquarters put them under pressure.

    We cried wolf in 2014 v Kerry and going to limerick. Eventually Mayo co board made a noise and were quickly reminded that THEY agreed to Limerick in the event of a draw a few weeks earlier. If my mind isn’t totally fuzzed, Croke Park wasn’t available because of a concert hence two great GAA counties couldn’t play there.

    Mayo county board should issue a statement today. One- they won’t acceot a walkover. 2- they will play Kildare wherever Kildare tog out. By staying silent and cute seven years of respect will go down the drain. You don’t think so? Meath robbed Louth in 2010. The former greats and clubs pleaded with the current crop to give Louth a replay. They took their tarnished medals and hadn’t a days luck since. Avoiding relegation to 3 whilst Dubs have nailed on 5 All Ireland’s and 4 Leagues since.

    Btw WJ I don’t mind being on moderation and I know why you keep me there but do you think it fair I’ve spent all those years there? Surely an old pensioner shouldn’t be that much of a threat to the well being of Mayo football?

  57. I don’t think they have any advantage if they show up, I cant see any advantage even if the game is played in newbridge , as mayo mad said it will be easy to get to from whatever hotel mayo are in.

  58. You’re right there Roger Milla. Reminds me of that great line from Apocalypse now….replace napalm with outrage…

    Smell that? You smell that? Outrage, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of outrage in the morning.

  59. I knew you’d eventually get around to pinning it on the Mayo County Board, John. You always do, with every problem.

    Why have you blocked me on Twitter? That doesn’t really bother me either but what goes around comes around in this world.

  60. Reading all this from afar on holidays, but what s the latest update on the condition of Seamie O Shea ?.
    Kildare are dredding this match, the location is the sideshow.

  61. Kildare are wrong here very wrong they are not thinking about our fans and definitely not they own fans that ground is incapable of holding this game they were given options which were not taken up. Willie jo I 100% agree with you’re points

  62. Is it any wonder there is such a crisis with Garlic football in leinster, when a county like Kildare have ground with capacity of only 10 000. They should be clamoring at GAA to give them decent resources.

  63. Ultair i have been there and as i stated many times i agree its not up to hosting big championship games, i agree with that, but my issue, my only issue is why wasnt it stated at the start of the championship, the draw , any time that they would lose home advantage if drawn against we’d say yourselves or the Dubs. You have your opinion on the authorities and i mine. Lets face it every year there is always issues with rules and regulations with the GAA . If its not the black card, its suspension issues court hearings, i could go on. Willie i know what your saying about Castlebar i was trying in vain to make some sort of comparison that could happen down the road. Anyways ye are be only one game off the 8s now!!

  64. Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, David Gough have been appointed to ref the match on Saturday.

    Mayo88 – it’s reported in the Mayo News this morning that Seamie had keyhole surgery on the shoulder yesterday and is expected to out of action for at least the next two months. That’s his championship over for this year, sadly.

  65. Fair enough Tuamstar. Agreed, a little more clarity in advance on this issue would have gone a long way.

  66. By the way Ultair hopefully you have no issue with me “coming on here” to a blog to express my opionion on GAA related matters..

  67. Of course there’s no issue in that regard, Tuamstar. I would hope that this place is and continues to be a welcome spot for GAA people from every corner to drop by and provide their opinions. I’m happy to add, by the way, that, despite the enormous surge in traffic to the blog over the last 24 hours (32k hits yesterday, an all-time high), and the deeply-held contrasting views being expressed with a fair bit of passion, the tenor of debate has, on the whole, been grand. Carry on.

  68. No issue whatsoever Tuamstar (not that it would matter a jot if I did…). Your posts are always well worth reading. Echoing WJ’s post above, it would be a boring place if we all agreed on everything!

  69. The GAA have missed another opportunity to stoke the fires…they should have appointed Cormac Reilly to ref it and watched this forum combust!! Outrage and injustice never sleep 🙂

  70. Honestly, surprised at many of the sentiments backing the GAA on this one. Yes, playing this specific match in Croke Park and taking home advantage away from Kildare obviously benefits us. Plus the fact that I live in Dublin even makes it more convenient for me.
    But, bloody hell, this is a matter of principle. Can someone please tell me of ANY sport in the world where you have to cede home advantage like this – Kildares home capacity is 8k or so for all ticket, well tkats just the fact and 8k tickets holders should be allowed attend. Or any other sport in the world that one team essentially has home advantage for the full competition? You wouldn’t get that in tiddlywinks FFS.
    And it IS relevant to the Super 8’s (and I’m happy this issue has blown up ahead of the Super 8’s). As we stand Dublin are guaranteed 2 home games – I for one am sick to the teeth of this constant bare-faced advantage given to them. Sick of it. And let’s face bloody facts here….if a situation occurred that we were in a final Super 8 game with Dublin and we had home advantage – I would bed my house on it that it would be moved to Croke Park to accommodate the Dubs. How would we feel then?

    The GAA should be putting our hard earned money into ensuring each county has the facilities to accommodate home games and not pumping disproportionate funds into Dublin or building a replica Croke Park pitch in Dublin ‘for all of the country’.

    GAA are obsessed to the core on money, worse than FIFA. Yes they have to generate funds, but if you lose principle in sport, you don’t have a sport.

  71. Whatever about principles – yeah, right – I’d suggest that there has been a change in the circumstances of calculating the benefits of sticking to your guns regarding home advantage, a change even from when Wicklow had to consider it against Dublin, and that is our experience in the year’s hurling championship. There isn’t a Waterford supporter who does not bitterly repent giving up home advantage. We lost our two away games where our support would have been outnumbered by ten to one by 9 and 13 points. Meanwhile our ‘home’ games, played in neutral venues, still saw our support outnumbered by two/three to one, but we managed a draw (including the notorious ghost goal) and a three-point defeat in a game that was a dead rubber for us. If only because of that ghost goal, the whole country saw Waterford’s travails and I’m certain Kildare’s position would have been informed by that. Even playing the games in front of 5,000 people in Dungarvan, a state of affairs that would have locked out a lot of Cork and Tipperary supporters, would have been far preferable to what eventually transpired. The health and safety argument being advanced by Croke Park is not only bogus for an all-ticket game but is actively offensive, with Feargal McGill claiming that “we had a serious fear for people actually turning up in Newbridge without tickets, and that would have led to major safety concerns” (https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/gaelic-games/gaelic-football/gaa-insists-kildare-will-forfeit-mayo-qualifier-if-they-don-t-play-at-croke-park-1.3543393), the kind of nonsense about supporters that might have been acceptable in the 80’s but is absolutely disgusting now. I don’t know if Kildare will see this out. No doubt there will be threats about future funding, something that was also used against Waterford when we mooted playing our games in Nowlan Park (“We are big beneficiaries of Munster Council. We are depending on Munster Council for financial support for when we redevelop. We didn’t want to be seen to be bending the rules to suit ourselves. We just have to go along with what was decided” – https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/gaa/waterford-have-2020-vision-for-walsh-park-468862.html) but I hope we will sow the seeds now that we shouldn’t have to give up home advantage again.

    I should note, in case this gets interpreted as an anti-Mayo screed, that there is no way Mayo should be put under any pressure to show ‘solidarity’ with Kildare on this. If the game ends up in a walkover for Mayo, so be it. It’s not on Mayo to resolve this impasse, and their place in the next round post-walkover will be as valid as that of anyone else.

  72. Tough on Seamie, not much going our way on the injury front.

    I presume at some stage today a mediation will take place to sort this mess out.

    The only solution is Portlaoise or Tullamore now. I would say that HQ will agree to offer that and it will be up to Kildare to agree. I presume any tickets sold will be valid for either venue.

    It’s not easy on our team and our backroom officials planning logistics to somewhere we don’t know.

    I presume tactics and match reviews of Kildare games in Croker are going on with our management but at the same time how can this work be in any way useful when it’s possible that the venue will be elsewhere.

    An answer by 1pm today is needed on this.

  73. Move the game to McHale park Be a nice weekend in the West for the kildare folk Everyone be happy

  74. John , Meath robbed Louth , Mayo are going to turn up at the appointed place at the appointed time. If the appointed place changes from Croke Park in the next few days then Mayo will go there. Mayo don’t get to pick the venues as we found out before. The only dog we have in this fight is to ensure our supporters don’t have to travel for nothing.

    I am half way through your book right now and enjoying it by the way.

  75. But, but, but KL … Kildare had umpteen chances to make that principled stand down the years. They never did, they took the money every single time. As a result, they’re partly responsible for the catastrophe that is the Leinster championship. And their ground is still an undeveloped embarrassment. They were more than happy to run with the hares all these years and now they want to hunt with the hounds. It’s bare-faced hypocrisy.

  76. Thanks lads. Its been a great read over the last 24 hrs , hopefully common sense will prevail. Now its the beach for the day , A scorching morning here in Enniscrone.

  77. The42 saying that SOS could be out for 10 weeks following surgery on his shoulder and Vaughan and Harrison fit for Saturday. Wherever that may be!! Great site WJ.

  78. Team For Saturday
    1.David Clarke
    2.Eoin O’Donoghue
    3.Chris Barrett
    4.Keith Higgins
    5.Leeroy Keegan
    6.Paddy Durcan
    7.Colm Boyle
    8.Shane Nally
    9.Diarmuid O’Connor
    10.Kevin McLoughlin
    11.Aidan o’Shea
    12.Jason Doherty
    13.Jimmy Durcan
    14.Cillian O’Connor
    15.Andy Moran

  79. Tis the savage heat I tell ye. It has driven people pure cracked and a word of advice to ye now. Pack at least a factor 50 sunblock and a cap when heading to Newbridge/Croke Park/Tayto Park or the Phoenix Park this weekend.
    Health and Safety Experts based above in Dublin say exposure to the sun or gaablogs for prolonged periods of time can lead to delirium anxiety and palpatations also known as bigballfever. Why dont they have three bowls I was thinking in bed last night it was too hot to sleep.
    The third bowl could contain a selection of grounds pre-approved by Health and Safety experts. Round 4 first team drawn Mayo second team Roscommon and then the GAA president goes to the third bowl and plucks out pairc ui chaoimh. The excitement of not knowing where you will be going like suprise days out years ago when the father would say jump in the car its a surprise trip and we would all be excited until he turned off into the bog for the day.

  80. This storm was always brewing. The rules are made up as the GAA go along. The hierarchy of the GAA would need to listen to the grass roots as real strong GAA people are sick of how the association is ran at the minute. Also here in Mayo some clubs allowed play Mayo panel members while others not is unacceptable. People need to make a stance. Also a bug bear…..ex Mayo player twitting comical tweet. How embarrassing as was member of Mayo U20 mgt laughing at the Rossie loss….such lack of gamemanship from a ex player no less.

  81. Willie Joe – totally agree that it is a bit rich all of a sudden that its Kildare taking this stance – I’m talking about the principle of the thing that, to me, goes full against the values of any competition.
    Ironically it may be Kildare that start the shift back to fair values – its about time it happened. I cant see the next team asked to cede home advantage accepting it in fairness and I welcome that

  82. KL – as I have said before to others elsewhere, it’s not the principle I have a problem with. I’m all for it. But I resent the timing.

    If, by some freak, Dublin lost to Longford and were in our shoes right now… Would Kildare be pushing for Newbridge?

  83. KL it certainly would be ironic since they contributed mightily to the lack of fairness for years. I read they haven’t played Dublin in Kildare since 1995 ?

  84. Carry on is right WJ. We should just show up in CP to support our team. It is what it is now.
    If Cillian has to kick a ball into an empty net so be it. It will be another milestone in GAA history.
    BUT Kildare players will run out of tunnel IMO.They not going to hand us this one especially when they were given a choice to move it to a bigger stadium before all this mess.

  85. WJ with respect to your article, it presents as a reasoned position but from my perspective reads very much as something viewed through red and green tinted glasses.

    If the starting premise as to whether or not someone gets a home match in the championship is down to the capability of the ground to meet demand for tickets then your point is valid – but that is very constraining starting premise and seems to me a significant shift in mindset when one considers the collective disdain GAA supporters have for the fact that Dublin get to play 19 out of 20 games at home. Indeed you yourself have been an ardent critic of this injustice but it would seem justified based on the capacity argument alone.

    There is a fundamental issue around fairness here. It is in my view far more strikingly unfair than what happened to Mayo travelling to Limerick in 2015 for instance – and that was unfair I think almost everyone on this thread would agree. From Kildare’s perspective having to play Mayo in Croke Park for their “home game” is farcical – Mayo have made Croke Park a second home in recent years and Cian O’ Neil as any decent manager would, rightly recognises this. It means not only having to give up home advantage – significant in itself – but in fact award “second home” advantage to Mayo.

    I can’t recall when we got so fixated on accommodating everyone that wants a ticket in order to decide on a venue for a match. People that get tickets get to go, everyone else gets to see on TV – it happens every single year in the All Ireland and even for some semi-finals ¬– I suspect 8k in Newbridge would generate far more of an atmosphere than 35k in Croke Park.

    Even comparing to other sports that we in the GAA see ourselves as morally above how does this compare?– small clubs that get big team draws in the FA Cup very rarely give up home advantage in order to pocket more of the cash. They see it as owing to their fans to play at home and to give themselves the best chance however remote. That is why you will see Man Utd or Liverpool play at grounds with 5 or 6k capacity when demand for tickets outstrips supply by 10:1.

    So just because 20 or 30k would go to this game – all else should not be sacrificed on the altar of accommodating that demand. It reeks of greed rather than a decision for the greater good and it compromises the competition. Kildare have been to Derry and Longford – their reward having had the home draw now is to be told they can’t play at home because the team they are playing is too well supported….what sort of logic is that based on any principle of fair play and ethos supposedly underpinning GAA values?

  86. Rules are rules . The CCCC are 100 % correct on this one.

    From the Indo quoting Fergal McGill the GAA director of games administration .

    “ the rules say that home venue is subject to approval by CCCC and we felt it was untenable to have the game there “

    So the key words are the ones “ subject to approval “. So anyone saying there is a breach of principle is simply wrong . Anyone on this site wading in with Kildare on this sorely mistaken.

    Kildare , even though they were first out of the hat , have no “ right” to have the game at any particular stadium at all.

    They have the right to have their first choice of venue reviewed and if turned down ( they were ) get to choose another site. They declined , thus forfeiting any right to belly ache about principles.

    This decision by CCCC speaks for sure to health and safety amongst other things including demand and crowd control issues . The CCCC have broken no rules and there is zero legal ground for Kildare to appeal this.

    Kildare presumably understand these rules and know what they are doing is disingenuous . So it does beg the question , why are they doing this ?

    They are doing this for a few reasons I believe .

    1. Because they see the power of the 16 th man. They are afraid of Mayo’s massive support and want to sow confusion and indeed they want us to be half hearted as to whether we will show up or not .
    2. They mistakenly believe there will be some extra financial payout from GAA HQ
    3. They believe this will stir Kildare players to fight the injustice and put blood on the Lilywhite.

    But they have shot themselves in the foot . Amongst other things they have underestimated the force for cohesion and togetherness that is this blog. This blog has been instrumental in bringing us all together and as WJ has pointed out the quality of the posts has been exemplary . I’m actually proud of the Mayo people who quickly surmised that this is not our fight . That we shall not be moved.

    Our team must prepare like professionals and so should we . The game I believe will go ahead in Croke Park ( even if Kildare wangle some moola from HQ- which I think unlikely anyway )

    Get ready for Saturday in Croke Park and let’s show the whole country that “we shall not be moved”

  87. Agree with WJ on this one on health and safety grounds alone.If an accident happened due to excess support you would see all those agreeing with Cian running for the hills.
    I dont however have any difficulty with him being besuited (that was funny btw)!

  88. There are different principles that are applied to different counties in the GAA, that is clear. However, it is also true that some counties have chosen to ignore their crumbling home grounds and used Croke Park instead because it suited them. What is making things worse here is that there is no consistancy.
    The GAA (CCC, or whoever) should publish minimum criteria to be met for the hosting of intercounty matches. These might differ for different competitions but there should be a logic behind them. That way, the debacle of having the Dubs playing an “away” game in a neutral venue should be addressed (and I’m not blaming the Dubs for this, they are going where they are sent). It would also highlight in advance the capacity that a ground should have to host a Round 3 Qualifier game. These criteria should be brought to the Annual Congress and debated/amended/finally agreed there.
    I have some sympathy for Kildare in this one as they were sent to Longford last time out despite being first out of the bowl (due to the playing a Div 3/4 side rule), but the fact that the rule existed in advance meant that it just had to be accepted. In the current case however, a perfectly good and available ground (Portlaoise) was available 20km from the Kildare border. It was a much better option for both counties but regrettably was not nominated by Kildare.
    The sympathy wanes a bit when some people try to make Mayo the villain in this.
    We didn’t dig this hole. We didn’t get down into it and dig further. Blaming us for the existence of the hole just because we won’t get down into it is a bit rich.
    There is another point that won’t resonate well with Cian O’Neill and the Kildare County Board here. Both are under pressure following a year of poor performances. This hole-digging smacks of an attempt to change the agenda. It plays to the notion of making Kildare a victim and trying to build a siege mentality. Sometimes that works, sometimes not. But voluntarily walking away from the championship is Brexit logic. It will cause a shit storm in the present and not bring any long term benefit to Kildare.

  89. Entitlement is what this post stinks of. Where in the rule book does it say that because we’ll travel in such great numbers a venue should be changed. Sure we’re a great bunch of fans who follow our team everywhere and rightly so! Kildare have home advantage and they deserve it, It doesn’t matter if they hadn’t made a stand before, they’re making it now.
    My interpretation is completely different to the one above in that I feel it’s Croke Park that have backed themselves into a corner.
    Also, conflating (to use your lovely word) the issue by saying Kildare should have developed a ground fit for purpose is also pointless. They haven’t a stadium to cater for everyone, but that’s sport, not everyone can always get a ticket.

  90. As a matter of interest when is the last time Kildare played a championship match in Newbridge…

  91. I am now of the opinion that it is the GAA that have painted themselves into a corner.
    They will have to back down on this. They are not getting any support on this.
    Not sure Mayo people should be commenting too much on it.

  92. Kildare will get a few Bob or a grant and will tip up to Croker on Sat .Can see no other reason for acting the knob on this .Pure political .

  93. Are you suggesting that a winner takes all fixture between Mayo v Dublin/Kerry/Tyrone in the super 8s could be accommodated in Castlebar WJ?

    Only if you were happy to leave 30k outside the ground.

  94. The GAA aren’t making up the rules as they go along. The rules are that venues are subject to approval by the cccc and Newbridge doesn’t meet approval,simple as that.

  95. Why aren’t the Lilywhite keyboard warriors carrying a torch for Cavan? They were drawn first and are entitled to home advantage.

    Breffni being renovated? Play it in Belturbet, Killashandra, or Bailieborough. On Kildare style logic they are entitled to play at one of these venues. However Cavan, seem quite pragmatic on the issue, even though they nominated Brewster Park as an alternative.

    As for the money grabbing GAA: Is Fergal McGill preparing to make off with the profits? It all goes back into the organisation, one of the most democratic and participative around – and I’ve studied them.

  96. Jay – the point is it is only not meeting approval because Mayo is one of the best supported teams in the country – maybe the best. That is not grounds for losing home venue in my opinion. The H&S grounds is spurious to say the least – it assumes thousands and thousands of Mayo fans will travel with no ticket and somehow gain access….I think that is just fanciful. Ye are great supporters but ye’re not Millwall headbangers!

  97. Listened to Off the Ball earlier Ger Gilroy did brillant interviews with chairman of CCC, Emmet Bolton, Sean Kelly, James Horan and Aussie sports arbitrator. Sean Kelly suggesting Kildare could be compensated. After listening to it The only solution is Gaa back down and game played in Newbridge

  98. As I’ve said, Cantini, the Super 8s are a different issue altogether, though they provide a handy rod for the GAA-bashers to wield. MacHale Park is the sixth biggest stadium in the country capacity-wise so plenty of other venues will be in bother for a match like that before it is. There’s also a world of a difference between a venue like Castlebar – which, at a push, could take at least 35k – and Conleth’s Park, which would struggle to take 8k, the vast bulk of them standing. But, as I’ve said repeatedly, the Super 8s are another day’s work.

  99. i don’t agree.if newbridge wasn’t good enough then kildare match should have been designated neutral venue before draw.

    on another note our players and management need to be 100% of the mindset that the match is going ahead at 7pm on sat evening. otherwise if Kildare do a uturn at the 11th hour we will be mentally unprepared.they’re certainly going to have the bit between their teeth if the match goes ahead

  100. 1. The alternative venue option narrative is a red herring that is being happily lapped up here. Ignoring the fact they shouldn’t have to nominate an alternate anyway, what about Cavan? They nominated Brewster Park as their alternate venue, yet are being railroaded to Croke Park anyway. Where was the consideration of their alternative? That, if nothing else, demonstrates that the GAA wanted a double header in Croke Park no matter what. If they were that concerned about alternates, they would have fixed the game for Portlaoise and kept Cavan where they wanted.

    2. More people want to go to this game than Newbridge can hold, that’s a given. So what? Sellouts are part and parcel of GAA matches, it has ever been thus. That there will be people unable to get tickets is no good reason to strip home advantage.

    3. Conleth’s Park is the way it is. Raising questions about what Kildare have done with it down through the years is irrelevant to the discussion, its entirely separate and bringing it up here is a clear conflation. The fixture was cleared by the Gardaí and is certified for 12,000 (any quotation of lower figures comes from an outdated Slattery Report of 2011), the season tickets can comfortably accommodated within that.

    4. The same thing goes for any labouring of the point about previous Kildare games being moved to Croke Park. League games were moved a number of years ago to soothe financial woes and were never a precedent. They’re completely different situations in any case, how anyone could think it was a precedent is beyond me. As for Leinster games, those are set by the Leinster Council and there is no right to home advantage in that competition. Comments about Kildare wanting it both ways are ignorant and the worst sort of whataboutery.

    It is telling that the majority of commentary on here is a significant outlier, the GAA community has come out strongly behind Kildare on this and rightfully so. Ned Quinn of the CCCC is after getting an absolute filleting on Newstalk this morning, completely exposed for what they’re trying to do. Don’t be blinded by your desire to see more Mayo fans at the game.

  101. Catcol – I think the Cavan issue is quite different. Firstly as you say their main ground is being renovated so I’m sure they see standing on ceremony while this is the case is signifcnatly mitigated. SEcondly i suspect the players want to play in croke park and i don’t think they will see it as giving a significant advantage to Tyrone who are a decade past their croke park heydays. Thirdly, Cavan have never said they want to play at home, presumably they didn’t nominate Belturbet or Kilashandra themselves – so they haven’t had their proposal rejected.

  102. The cccc said that the game could go ahead at the home venue if it had been another county. No problem there with health and safety.

    They trot out this horse shit of excess fans showing up. If a game is sold out, fans don’t show up in there 1000’s trying to get in.

    The real health and safety issue is asking mayo fans to travel the width of the country for a 7pm throw in. Why are they not concerned about the health and safety aspect of exhausted fans driving across the country at night time.

    This has nothing to do with health and safety. Nothing.

  103. Holy Shit WJ . Take the day off !! Some poster’s seem to take your point of view personally . I don’t always agree with you but common sense would suggest that Kildare venue not suitable for the match .Tickets on sale for Croker .Kildare will get a few Bob towards redevelopment of existing shit hole and cave in and go the half hour up the road to Croke park .

  104. Jase , we are only entitled to fair play . And fair play is that this is not our fight. Take it up with the rule makers at CCCC and with Kildare.

  105. Raz, Kildare played a qualifier at St Conleth’s Park two years ago (they haven’t played a Leinster Championship match there for quite a while though).

  106. Kildare have made a right balls of to the situation, this game as it stands will not go ahead, they have left no room for manuvere after last night statement on the News. They will look foolish and weak, a laughing stock. The funniest thing is Croke Park suits them better than Newbridge. Mayo have 5000+ season ticket holders who are guaranteed entry. Of the remaining 3000 tickets, Mayo support will hover the majority of those up, there are very few Kildare season ticket holders, why would they need them. It would suit Kildare to drown out Mayo support in an empty Croke Park than end up in a tight Newbridge that will be 90% green and red. As I said Kildare have really fucked it up this time.

    At this stage the GAA should send Kildare a notification asking simply are you going to fulfill the fixture as scheduled on Saturday? Please reply by close of business today, if you are not going to fulfill the fixture the win will be awarded to Mayo. Simple, this shouldn’t be dragged on all week.

  107. Cantini – it’s been pointed out numerous times the super 8’s are different issue. Castlebar can house at least 30,000. That is sufficient for any game outside of a semi final or final.
    Do you seriously think there would be thousands of people left without a ticket for a super 8 game in MacHale Park ? There might be demand for 70 / 80 thousand for final but not so for super 8 game. How many people thousand were left without tickets for Galway game?

  108. Newbridge would be perfectly acceptable if they were playing for example Tipperary where the crowd would be unlikely to exceed 5000, but when up to 18000 might want to attend then clearly it’s not suitable.

  109. Tuamstar, great to see you’re enjoying the beautiful weather down in Enniscrone. Would you by any chance know anything about the new Glamping site that was supposed to open there, is it up and running yet?

  110. Reve , welcome back . Loved your prior comment about “ where have all the flowers gone “- made me laugh.

    On this point though I disagree with you simply because the larger the crowd the greater the health and safety issues . They know Mayo will travel in force and they are right to consider all aspects . CCCC broke no rules and no principle was violated . If the home venue decision was not “ subject to approval “ then that would be a different matter. The approval process was followed and no rights or principles were breached , but Kildare didn’t want that and literally have thrown a tantrum . We know why I believe .

  111. The Chair of CCCC has just come out and said :

    “The risk would be that people would get involved with other spectators, that’s the risk.

    “I wouldn’t call it crowd trouble but there could be animosity shown to people who had tickets and they couldn’t get them, claiming they were regular supporters of Kildare.”

    = when the grounds for deciding on whether to change a venue are as spurious as this its no wonder we end up in this situations. The H+S risk is around “animosity” being the risk – not an argument based on ground capacity. They needed a H+S reason to debunk and this is what they came up with. Now I ask you….?

  112. Swahili – According to sports lawyers Kildare have a solid legal argument here and there’s an option to appeal to DRAnim such circumstances. That will cause an unholy mess and hold up the whole championship.

  113. Swahili, I completely agree that it isn’t our fight and I actually thought Cian O’Neill spoke very well on the Six One yesterday with regard to that. Any talk of the mayo players acting in solidarity with Kildare or the Mayo Co board offering to play in Newbridge is ridiculous imo. It completely isn’t our fight.
    I just don’t agree that the potential for our fans to be inconvenienced or for some to be not able to get a ticket should be a factor in this. They were drawn first so they should have home venue. I feel Kildare should be commended for making a stand and if ‘fair play’ is all we’re entitled to then it should be Newbridge.

  114. The Gaa should put a clock on this. Mayo deserve to know what they are expected to do and where they are expected to be on Saturday evening. We kind of do know but don’t know if it’s going ahead.
    I would say if Kildare haven’t changed their stance and pretty soon mind you (say by Wednesday pm) I’m afraid they will have to be rail roaded out of the competition.
    I do see their stance but they will not be winning this particular fight.
    The only way for them now is to back down, eat humble pie, get to Croke Park Saturday evening or else wave goodbye to 2018.

  115. WJ That is a belter of a report by you well done. So right also it is not our issue. Next time I get into trouble you can write on my defence. I could give you yards about Kildare’s CoBo relationship with their hoards of fans but this is neither the time or place. Now what will the Mayo team for Saturday look like.

  116. As I’ve said JC – a crunch super 8 game between Mayo and Kerry/Dublin or Tyrone would sell double castlebar capacity…..I have no doubt about that. Mayo would sell 35-40k tickets themselves nevermind the away fans and neutral demand for tickets.

  117. Vieuz , this is not our fight . We are focusing on Saturday at Croke Park. That’s our fight .

  118. Disagree with you profoundly Willie Joe . While all your points are valid ones , Kildare got HOME advantage in the draw . And while Newbridge may only hold 8000 is beside the point . Home is home and you can’t tear up the rule book for the sake of suiting yourselves €€€ . They reneged on the team who were drawn out first shall have a home venue, just to suit themselves money wise. If the shoe was on the other foot i doubt we’d be too happy if we had a smaller capacity then we do. I’d rather see Croke Park later in the season ! ( tempting fate ). And while they may have done it in the past it’s a different scenario this time around. Stick by you guns Kildare that’s what i say .

  119. Swahili. Are you telling me that people that don’t have a ticket and no possibility of getting a ticket to a sold out game are still going to travel hours to a game. No they are not.

    Health and safety me arse.

    If they were concerned about health and safety they wold have had a 2pm throw in and not have us poor exhausted crathurs driving home at all hours.

  120. Swahili – if that’s the case then Mayo fans should be shtum on this, rather than muddying the waters with irrelevant jibes at Kildare GAA

  121. Turnip Head , lawyers telling you that you have a solid case and that they can bill for numerous hours ??
    Have you any experience with lawyers ?

    I am not privy to the due process rules of the home venue review but health and safety would be a strong and in this case completely legitimate argument .

    In fact if Kildare don’t cop on soon we may have a legal case ourselves . At least that’s what my lawyer says . Seriously ??

  122. Breaking News: Kofi Annan and the Dalai Lama are met at Dublin airport by Kieran Mulvey. They issue joint statement that Brexit “is a little problem” in comparison with this. Arlene Foster also says she is available for negotiations and reiterates her love of “Gaelic”. The Dalai Lama send a goodwill message to Cian O Neill and asks where he can get a nice suit. kofi Annan is overheard say that Mayo are his second favourite team. Ronaldo retweets this and controversially, he and his Portuguese team mates are seen wearing the Mayo colours. Dublin objects to this and threatens to withdraw from the 2018 championship. Other Counties issue statement that Mayo GAA follower numbers are grossly exaggerated and are indeed “Fake News. Croke Park’s Fergal Mc Gill issues a bulletin as Gaeilge that he is seriously considering naming Leitrim as All Ireland winners as they are still in the championship at this stage and also the only Connaught county with an international border. Adding to the crisis, AndyD retweets this while wearing what appears to be the Leitrim colours. In other News, Sky are to broadcast “Live and Exclusive” the North Mayo junior championship for the foreseeable future. Kilkenny football manager resigns and blames work commitments and unreal expectations from fans. Meanwhile Joe Brolly……Nah, I think we’ll leave it there.

  123. Subject to approval by the CCCC

    That’s the GAAs get out of jail free line

    Kildare offered chance to pick alternative and declined
    All in line with the rules

    Not sure what Kildare expect to happen …….a few euro perhaps

  124. John Jennings I rest my case . Home venue is “ subject to review “. Home venue then is not actually just Home Venue. Kildare know this . They are not our enemy.

    Vieuz , as you can see many on this site have different points of view and we are not a homogenous group. Many on here sympathetic to Kildare ( incorrectly imo )as I believe they are “ playing this “ to parlay it into something else.

    But we have just as much a right to know where we will be playing four days from now . Kildare didn’t agree with the review process and they decided to throw a tantrum . And now there is talk of a threat to the entire championship ? Because they didn’t agree with the review process ?

  125. Vieuz, in fairness read again re ur comment about majority of opinion, the majority opinion is made up of a combination of kildare are being shafted and mayo should stay out of it NOT pro the CCCC decision.
    This gives the kildare team a serious galvinizing cause no matter what happens and that’s a very dangerous motivator.
    We can very easily be dragged into this and end up the bad guys in the court of public opinion. Anyone who’s been around the block a while knows the Irish public are the most fair minded people in the world, until it involves something impacting us in our own parish. We then quickly become the most one eyed version.

  126. Very good article Willie Joe, you’ve hit the nail on the head there. No sympathy for Kildare, hope the GAA stand firm. Also this has to be disruptive for our bucks. One can only hope their blocking out all this drama and concentrating on Kildare. We can almost smell the super 8’s now, imagine a crack at Galway in Croker….mouth watering.

  127. Where you plucking that figure from cantini? I don’t even live in the country and I have breezed into games throughout the 80s / 90’s / 2000’s without seeing 40,000 people locked out.

    Didn’t see too many people there in February for league game. Plenty of empty seats, don’t see too many people at the club games that I travel miles to and barely a local there. So not sure where these fans are . 35,000 easily suffice for a mayo Dublin game outside of a final or semi final

  128. Whatever happens now its a shambles.

    if it goes ahead in Croker hard to see how Kilare players will react any differently than Tipp players did v Cork when Kearns made a big public appeal (however justified) about having to play Cork in 6 days. They went in with a hard done by mentality and so had excuses made before the throw in – they got hammered by a team that shouldn’t even be beating them let alone hammering them.

    If it gets played in Kildare – he has heaped massive pressure on his players as it will mean CCCC will have caved in and everyones reaction will be – well after all the whinging what are you going to do now Kildare.

    Either way this is bad for Kildare players – but maybe they are still right to take a stand. I do see the farce of mayo taking the field to take the game with no opposition….that is not good for the game no matter what your point of view and to suggest that CCCC are blameless would be very wrong in my opinion.

  129. Did you have a look at the legal thread link I posted Swahili? There is an option to appeal to the DRA which regardless of the outcome will throw the whole championship into disarray.

  130. I haven’t read through all the comments but I completely disagree with you Willie Joe. Home advantage is just that, an advantage. They were drawn first and as such have an advantage. This has been taken away simply to allow more fans go and realistically, more away fans go. If Kildare didn’t fight this, it would have been a huge mistake on their behalf. Yes, Croke Park is more comfortable for everyone but this is about more than that. My own Dad (an avid season ticket holding fan) will not be able to attend if it’s in Newbridge due to the lack of seating but even he thinks that shouldn’t matter. It’s not Kildare’s fault he is unable to stand for a couple of hours.

  131. Why don’t the cccc tell the real reason they are changing the venue. It’s to get more arses through the turnstiles. Cash, cash, cash. Anyone one who thinks differently is pretty gullible.

    “We are changing the venue because we can rake in more cash by accommodating a much bigger crowd at another venue”.

    They are never going to come out and say that though because it stinks. Kildare are been sold down the road.

  132. Willie Joe,I can see both sides of the argument but did Kerry back is over Limerick,don’t think so as it stands we have been told to show up in Dublin and that is what we have to do unless we want to be expelled as well,it is entirely up to Kildare to show up where they are told to,on the other hand I must agree that the has fully deserve the name the grab all association and if anyone believes that the Sky deal had anything to do with helping exiles to view games well all I can say is just stroll to the end of the rainbow and help yourself to the crock of gold,I always say when my friends from Rugby and soccer complain about the has and their funds for grounds that most counties could host a fair size international match and they should be ashamed of themselves to have failed to invest in facilities but now find a major ga a county cannot host a decent club clash ,it is shameful for Kildare to have such a poor ground,all the best to the Kildare in finding a way out of the pickle they are in and hopefully it will be sorted in good time for supporters from both counties,finally Willie Joe can I make a plea for my fellow Erris man John Cuffs who although I don’t always agree with his views i always respect and enjoy his take on things

  133. I don’t see Kildare being backed into a corner on this one at all. They have the power and the option to hold up the whole championship and throw the season into chaos by bringing an appeal against the decision to the DRA.

  134. wow – just wow. I get there are principles at play here and the whole subject is clearly a very emotive one for many but the reality is we need to know if the game is going ahead or not so the team and fans can plan accordingly. that should be the sole focus for the Mayo county board right now, I’ve no doubt that it is. If we get a by, all well and good, we’ll be fresher heading into round 4. I cant see that happening though. The Kildare co board must recognise that backing down, and sending an angry team out with the possibility of getting in to round four, is the more sensible option than refusing to play and their season being over. An ultimatum needs to be given to them. By all means look at the rule book with one eye on the super 8’s etc, but grasp the nettle, nip it in the bud, yadda yadda, lets get clarity on the next step and lets get it ASAP.

  135. Mayo Mchale its still in development, and may take a while yet, i believe David Mc Gowan has hit some stumbling blocks. The plane is parked up still there..

  136. Turnip Head, Kildare have dug themselves into a deep enough hole already. Do you really think it would be a good idea for them to dig themselves even deeper by disrupting the entire championship? They need to wise up and fast, this has the potential to seriously damage Kildare GAA if it doesn’t end soon.

  137. I do though agree with the point WJ has made on several occasions already. That is that Kildare have given up home advantage on several occasions in the past.

    I think mainly because they might have figured they were not going to win those games in any case.

    Maybe they feel they have a real shot of beating us if they get us on their home patch.

    At what point does this debacle become a real negative to Mayo. People have suggested that it will have no affect. It has to have an affect on our lads. It’s not a normal nor near normal lead in to a game.

  138. Ultair – They have the overwhelming support of the public, media and GPA. The only reputation that’s being damaged here is the GAA…

  139. This is just a bloody side show just turn up and play where your told it’s been the same for many counties. No point bleeting on about principals ect. The gaa soul was sold a long time and whatever was left went to sky. I’m only interested in mayo plotting away to super 8s and if we get a walkover so be it. If we play we find away to win and get to round 4.

  140. It’s ridiculous to suggest 60or 70 thousand people would want to attend a super 8s match in macHale pk. Dublin fans don’t travel in the numbers people seem to think, there were about 13000 in omoore pk last year. Kerry fans don’t travel at all so where would those numbers come from ,30000 is an acceptable capacity for every game except all Ireland semi finals and finals.

  141. For those of ye on Twitter, I’d encourage you to look at Jack Anderson’s take on this (@sportslawMELB), he’s one of the foremost sports law experts in the world.

    He says Kildare have the RIGHT to play in Newbridge having looked at all the rules and GAA statements prior to the draw and that they would be vindicated in court.

  142. I wonder if Cian O Neil and the Kildare County Board on the same hyme sheet??.. Hard to fathom.. Anyway Cian O Neil, was involved in the Mayo set up a few years back.. He knows better than most, the extent of the Mayo away support… Newbridge being so close to Dublin.. would bring an extra few thousand Mayo supporter’s, with so much of our support being Dublin based, probably the same percentage of support as what the team is.. Approx 33%…As the band wagon rolls on the Mayo support tends to grow…. This controversy is likely to do one or more of several things… A bit like a Conor Mcgregor, the demand for the next Kildare match is likely to be much increased, not a big deal really because like most other Leinster teams they can’t boast the numbers of Mayo… At the end of the day… Newbridge would not even be able to host, the lowest Allianz NFL attendance that Mayo had in this decade… End of Story, it’s a no brainer!…. I liked the informative post by a neutral on this issue ‘Deiseach’… I’m the meantime, I’m sure the the Mayo County Board, the Mayo team and management are all on the same hyme sheet… Concentrate on what happens between the white line’s… When those who decide these thing’s know where those white line’s are for sure, let us know… If there is not going to be a match, let us know!..

  143. They have the overwhelming support of the Twitter mob, but the public at large? That’s a bit of a stretch. I can’t see it ending well for them if they push the nuclear button on this.

  144. East Cork Exile wrote: “Anyone who’s been around the block a while knows the Irish public are the most fair minded people in the world, until it involves something impacting us in our own parish. We then quickly become the most one eyed version”

    This might be one of the truest and most damning descriptions of what it is to be Irish I’ve ever read.

    The location for any game is now dictated by the maximization of revenue.

    Any game. The notion of a Home/Away/Neutral round of ties in the Super8s is just that, a notion.

  145. After a good sleep last night, I have changed my stance on this. Yesterday, I was all for standing in solidarity with Kildare GAA.

    Now, its their mess, they set a precedent by giving up home advantage previously and had the option of nominating an alternative venue.
    So as it stands, I hope Kildare stick to their guns and we a get a bye. It’s 2 weeks rest, which we need, hope to get Laois or Ross in the next draw and we hit the super 8’s fresh.

    Maigh Eo Abu.

  146. As for the GPA coming out and giving a opinion on it, I am very surprised…. If they the ‘GPA’ want to do something about injustice, how well did they do with Dublin getting everything in Croke Park virtually for year’s? … Except the odd championship match… Where Laois with a better home stadium ‘O Moore Park’ than Dublin got to play a championship match with Dublin in Nolan Park Killkenny (If Dublin can’t have home advantage, how dare anyone else think about it) … How’s the GPA doing on club player’s issues?…

  147. Well JC they are not locked out because if they don’t have a ticket they don’t go is the bloody point the CCCC are pretending not to get.

    You say ye dubs don’t travel – my example was a winner take all in the super 8s – the loser goes out of championship. Are u really suggesting that Mc Hale Park could not sell out twice over for a match like that in the super 8s….of course it could . Naturally I’m not saying 30k people will be standing outside the ground – that is just being facetious.

  148. I think some posters are getting the rules of the super 8 wrong, as far as I know there is no “neutral “venue there is home and away and third game in croke park, just wondering if Kildare don’t turn up and ref throws in ball and mayo put the ball wide will the replay be in Castlebar ..smiley face

  149. Cantini, you are absolutely correct. If the GAA think they can sell sixty thousand tickets to a game, you can bet your life that the fixture will not be held in a thirty thousand capacity stadium.

    The CCC have flexed their muscle, and have final say on fixture location, regardless of what has been laid out before.

  150. @JP2, I would imagine in that case, as the game has been declared a draw, that extra time and deadball 45s would decide the winner.

    It stands to reason that at some point in the evening, a Mayo lad would manage to pop one over the bar, and Mayo would be declared winners.

    Only the GAA could f**k up such a simple thing. Still, gives us something to talk about in the build up.

  151. This is a terrible mess. It looks like the CCC jumped the gun by announcing the fixture in Croker with much dialogue with Kildare. The CCC reasons are centred on health and safety so I expect they cannot roll back as they will lose all credibility.

    Kildare have gone to far now to back down but its their players who I feel sorry for who may now face the prospect of exiting the championship like this after training all year.

    Where I see this going is Kildare not showing up, Mayo being awarded the game followed by a saga through teh DRA and such avenues. I dont expect it will hold up the championship but Croke Park will likely have to compensate Kildare maybe to the tune of a fee worthy of renovating St. Conleths Park

  152. Hey Willie joe.

    Big fan of this blog generally but have to disagree 100% with your snide take on this issue, its a lot more than the ‘twitterati’ siding with Kildare on this, in fact i’ve never seen such unequivocal agreement on a gaa controversy. Any right thinking gael is siding with Kildare on this.

    The ‘health & safety’ line being tossed around holds no water, no specifics on the nature of this health and safety issue

    Policing isnt an issue and Gardai said they could accomodate on the condition of it being a 7pm throw in

    the idea of needing to accomodate a double-header falls down when you realise all Tyrone/Cavan supporters would have much preferred that game to be in clones/enniskillen

    The fact that the demand for tickets will outstrip the supply is irrelevant in this case as it was stated clearly that first drawn out of the hat gets home advantage. End of story. There are terms and conditions in any season ticket that state you aren’t guaranteed entry to every game. In the FA Cup if Dagenham pull a home draw against Man Utd then they will be hosting it at their tinpot stadium,no questions asked.

    It boils down to money as usual with the GAA and now all their chickens are coming home to roost. This day was coming.

    Fair play to Kildare.
    On this they should have the backing of every gael, for what its worth i think Mayo will dispatch them without much fuss whatever the venue

  153. “Subject to review” yes however is that before or after it suits them Swahili ? They should of looked at it more in detail and outlined from the off their position on the matter with regards to Newbridge as a venue . They are quite happy to brand about Helth and Safety reasonings as all smoke and mirrors , when they seem to have no problem allowing games go ahead there regardless of the low attendance. Stick to there guns is what i say.

  154. What a mess. Very unsporting of Kildare c b and Cian to prevent thousands of mayo supporters from attending. I see no legal grounds for upholding Colm O’Rourke points raised on the RTÉ website. Kildare c b must be told to cop on and get their ass to Croke Park on sat or else.

  155. There was nothing snide about my take on the issue, HuddHastings – I’m just calling it as I see it. The one thing in this life I cannot stand is hypocrisy and the Kildare position – or should I say the Cian O’Neill position? (Where is the Kildare Chairman, by the way – shouldn’t he be out front on this?) – reeks with the sweet stench of the worst kind of hypocrisy.

    Where were their fine principles up till now? Where was their voice in the Leinster Council speaking out against scheduling the bulk of their provincial games in Croke Park? Where were they when the dollar bills were waved in their faces about shifting their home league games to Croke Park? If any right-thinking Gaels are buying this nonsense they really would want to catch themselves on.

    They’d also need to realise that without funding the GAA dies. Money has been important to the GAA for decades and rightly so as otherwise there’d be no GAA. But then if that happened, that’d be the GAA’s fault too.

    And if it all boils down to money well then that’s a path Kildare know all about as they’ve been happy to take the shilling for years. And all the while doing nothing to develop a home ground that’s nothing short of an embarrassment.

    Did you read that Irish Times article I linked to, by the way? That set out the sequence of events clearly and blows out of the water all this hocus-pocus about the GAA engineering the outcome to be a Croke Park double-header. Had Kildare taken the sensible option open to them, of playing the match in Portlaoise (where Laois GAA have a fine ground and didn’t sit on their holes doing nothing in relation to their facilities), then played there it would be.

    And, please, if English soccer is the best analogy you can come up with, I truly rest my case. If ever a sport completely sold its soul for money then that’s top of the list every single time.

  156. Lads this has to be resolved and resolved very soon for everybody’s sake. Theres no way that it can just be left like this and just hope Kildare change their mind and show up on the day. Thousands of mayo fans told to go home after travelling all the way to croker. Everybody needs to get around a table and dont leave the room until a solution has been found. Simple as.

  157. Oh if only I had a €uro for every ones opinion on this. Its not our battle. Let Kildare and the GAA (or the CCCC )fight it out. lets concentrate on the next round. If its a bye its a bye. It will be interesting to see though how the GAA address Dublins neutral game scenario for the Super 8s.

  158. Be realistic in numbers cantini . There are fans who turn up for a final and that’s it. I was at mayo Dublin in February, where were all these fans then? And that includes mayo fans.
    My son , who travelled 12 hours to be there asked the question ‘if these are the two biggest teams, why is there so many empty places?’
    He also has travelled 12 hours to watch breaffy to see his favourite player, again he asked the question, ‘why don’t more people continue to watch?’
    The support is not as immense as you think, anyone who deserves to be in MacHale Park if that super 8 scenario ever occurred would get in and the other 30,000 would wait to go to their first game when it comes to the final

  159. Willie Joe, why are you continuing to trot out sound bites that are irrelevant to the issue at hand?

  160. Absolutely, Willie Joe, but I never said it was a principled decision. And it’s bigger than Kildare and Mayo now. At some point some county was eventually going to stand up to the GAA and it’s happened and the dam-burst reaction (here and nationwide) isn’t to do with some great love of Kildare (does such a thing exist?), it’s to do with people being sick and tired of the GAA continuing prioritisation of profit over competition integrity. I think we should set aside our own grievances in this incident and roll in behind them or, as I said, at least not undermine them.

  161. Hego , I dont think mayo will undermine them but no way should we roll in , we’ll just go to wherever the match is fixed for. right now its croke park , maybe cccc-ian oneil will announce another new venue at 5 !

  162. Willie joe. I completely agree with you. Cian should not be the spokesman for Kildare c b. He seems to think he is in the same boat as Kevin mcstay. H q. Run the show and Kildare c b should show a bit more respect and obedience

  163. Keep our noses out .Decision will be made and probably before Thursday evening . We will play them wherever we are told to go . Kildare are digging a hole .Not our problem . Lads will prepare for a match regardless of all this shite .

  164. Cian o Neill has called a press conference at 5pm
    He is hardly calling one to say we still won’t play at Croke Park !!!!

    Expect to hear the words “extremely disappointed but “

  165. I was thinking in an ideal world, Roger Milla, but you’re probably right, maybe just not undermining them would do!

  166. Look Mayo will win the game wherever it takes place – they are just far superior to Kildare.
    But this decision stinks.
    The argument about people missing out because of a reduced capacity doesn’t hold any water.
    Sure there would be people who can’t get tickets but that is missing the point entirely.
    The rule for round 3 is that the first drawn team has home advantage simple as.
    There is nothing in the rule book stating that a ground must have a minimum capacity to host the game or if demand exceeds supply then it can’t host the game or anything like that.
    Round 4 venues are at the discretion of the CCCC not round 3.
    If Mayo had a home game against Dublin – demand would also exceed supply despite McHale Park having a 30k+ capacity.
    That game would not be moved.
    This is about principles in my opinion.
    For the Gaa it is about money nothing else.

  167. Maughan sounded very solid in everything he said on the radio. I see only one compromise, back to a nearby venue with Cavan switching to Browser. Buy if that happens it needs to be soon e.g Tyrone might book Hotel in Dublin. To be fair to team logistics of other 3 teams. Kildare need to think of others at this point.

  168. I really doubt there will be a game this saturday and it appears as though Kildare have a legal case so they’re not going quietely into the night. I think the whole championship could be in jeopardy.

  169. Vieuz – I’ve seen that legal view but, for what it’s worth, I think that it’s not based on a full reading of all relevant GAA documentation. In particular, while that analysis quotes extensively from the GAA Official Guide it fails to reference the GAA’s Master Fixture Schedule Booklet, issued to all County Boards at the start of the year, which would appear to close the loophole that’s claimed to exist.

    In particular, in the Section of the Masters Fixtures Schedule dealing with the Senior Football championship (at page 28) it says the following in relation to venues (italics added): “Home Venues shall be subject to approval by the Central Competitions Control Committee and shall meet the criteria set down by the National Facilities/Health and Safety Committee.”

    The above text sits in the section dealing with Rounds 1-4 of the qualifiers. This means that the claim being made, i.e. that the GAA “has expressly and clearly limited the CCCC’s powers in rounds 1-3 of the qualifiers and it must give Kildare home advantage”, simply isn’t true.

    What is clear is that the Masters Fixtures Schedule document is more precise on this point than the Official Guide. But would Kildare head for the Courts or the DRA with what would then be an argument on which document takes precedence? Good luck with that.

  170. Vieuz – behave yourself. I’m expressing my opinion, which, as a middle-aged man in my own house, I’ll do when I want. You’ve a right to talk here too but not to give me or anyone else lip.

  171. Obviously “talks” are ongoing and a deadline for 4pm today has been set.

    By coming out and practically telling the public this is not a good sign, HQ obviously issued them an ultimatum to either reverse their decision or not and to have a reply by close of business today.

    By CO’N coming out and making a statement about a press conference timed for 5 he is obviously again trying to gauge the public mood.

    This game won’t happen folks. Yer man O’Neill gets his moonshot and makes GAA history, the Rebel.

    I felt a bit on the side of Kildare most of the day yesterday but reading WJ here and analysing the ins and outs of the Kildare county boards own messing my sympathy is diminishing.

  172. Vieuz.
    How can you call Willie Joes well written and well thought out comment “sound bites”. What sound bites are you referring to? I think you are playing the man not the ball there.
    KM79 that is interesting and would be quite the climb down. I do think that Cian o’neill is using to this saga to deflect from the fact that he has done a poor job over the past year. Losses to division 3 Armagh in the qualifiers last year and division 4 Carlow this year.

  173. There’s a world of difference between the two sets of circumstances, JoLyn. We were forced in 2014 to go – and go we did – to a venue far closer to Kerry for that replay, all because an American football match was being played in Croke Park. We weren’t being asked to vacate an unsuitable ground and switch to a better one a few miles down the road. We didn’t like the decision but we got on with it. And I can tell you we got fuck all sympathy or solidarity for our plight from the likes of Kildare, or idiots like Colm O’Rourke or all those stout-hearted Gaels who have picked up their smartphones and headed for the barricades in the last 24 hours.

  174. This is some fiasco. I hope Stephen Rochford and his troops are staying focused on the game itself, rather than the ridiculous circus surrounding it.

    Easier said than done the way it’s escalating.

  175. I didn’t realize challenging someone’s position counted as lip.

    If you want to decline to address why you think the points you’re making are relevant that’s fine, but to accuse me of being out of line is a bit much.

  176. “Right, then, on to the Limerick issue. Saturday 5pm at the Gaelic Grounds now appears to be set in stone and if this is the case then it’s a complete and utter disgrace, one that confirms yet again that those shower of money-grabbing fuckers in Croke Park know nothing and care even less about the soul of the GAA. These are the same geniuses who are responsible for the Garth Brooks fiasco, the odious Sky deal and Dublin’s permanent residency at Croke Park”

    Quoting you from 2014, WJ

  177. The current 4 round qualifier system was reintroduced in 2009. There has been a home and away system in place for rounds 1-3 but there have been instances where the side drawn at home has not played at home (6 that I could find – perhaps there are more).

    2011 – Louth v Meath. Louth were drawn at home but this was a particularly attractive fixture one year on from the controversial Leinster final. It was moved to Breffni Park. From the Irish Times report at the time: “Although Louth had home advantage after being drawn first in last night’s draw in Carrick-on-Shannon, the game will be played at the Cavan venue with over 30,000 capacity because the Louth county ground in Drogheda has a capacity of just 4,000.”

    2012 – Kildare v Limerick. This has been referenced a lot in this debate. As per the Irish Examiner today: “it was moved to Portlaoise to accommodate a larger crowd.”

    2014 – Louth v Tyrone. This is an interesting one because when the draw was made Louth were drawn against the losers of Tyrone v Monaghan. Drogheda was obviously felt to bit fit for some qualifiers but not all as it was pre-determined that the match would be in Drogheda if it was Monaghan but in Omagh if it was Tyrone.

    2015 – Longford v Kildare. The shoe was on the other foot for Kildare as Longford were drawn at home but, as the Irish Independent reported at the time: “a home game in name only for Jack Sheehy’s Longford as they travel to Mullingar to host Kildare, with Pearse Park seemed too small to host the fixture.”

    2016 – Limerick v Cork. This fixture was moved to Semple Stadium as part of a triple header as both Limerick and Cork hurlers were playing in Thurles.

    2018 – Cavan v Down. Moved to Enniskillen as Breffni Park unavailable.

    Make of all that what you want but moving qualifiers for capacity issues certainly isn’t unprecedented.

  178. That link jolyn… the most amazing thing was there was only “45 thoughts ” after an all Ireland semi final…. shows how much this blog has grown over the years… ya get 45 thoughts now about the shade of green in the grass in McHale park. ?

  179. Vieuz – you accused me of trotting out irrelevant sound bites. By all means, address the issues I’ve made but doing it in such a lazy, patronising way isn’t on. That’s why you’re out of line.

  180. Totally disagree Willie Joe but respect your view. This isn’t about Mayo, Kildare, Dublin, Leinster for me, this is about Leitrim, Sligo, Westmeath, Longford. They have a right to play at home no matter who they draw, they also may get get to the super 8s some time, are we trying to develop the game in these counties or trying to ensure that Mayo, Tyrone, Cork, Galway etc get to the super 8s every year, nice Big grounds and loads of €€€, the small counties I mentioned are all GPA members and that organisation isn’t watching closely here. This scenario was narrowly avoided in our own province this month, we have 3 grounds allegedly not fit to hold a provincial final and then bizarrely the Connacht Council in the same month announced that they are spending 3m on a sports dome and a 1500 stand basically out some lads back garden!!!
    I would say is that ticket sales will now be non existent forcing the gaa to do something, deal with Kildare and match will be played in Portlaoise

  181. Cian O Neill will twist this so as to create a serious siege mentality in the kikdare dresssing room and amongst their supporters.

    It’s hard to see the game not going ahead. It was tricky already; now it’s a bigger challenge against what will almost definitely be a kikdare team seething with a sense of injustice.

    Rochford. Mayo. Be ready.

  182. Christ lads and Lassie’s .Anyone else sick to the sweaty bits of this saga .. You do realise this problem is not of our making and not ours to fix .
    It will sort itself and what will be will be . Chill out and focus how best we can support our buck’s wherever the match is played !

  183. Concerned Local – that analysis is one I’m happy to stand over. No way should we have been moved out of the 82,500 HQ stadium in which every semi-final replay in living memory (bar the 1983 one between Dublin and Cork) had been played. Moved out to a venue that was next door to Kerry but, before the M17/18 motorway was built was a nightmare for Mayo supporters to get to. And the day was a bit of a shambles in terms of trying to get food etc as they were no way geared up for the occasion. But we went and, as I pointed out in an earlier comment, despite being far more in the right about the issue than Kildare can claim to be here, we got precious little sympathy from anyone for what we were being forced to do.

  184. They are irrelevant though. Kildare’s history of ground development, or previous episodes where they waived their prerogative (as is their right) on home venue don’t come in to this. Repeating them without expanding on why they matter make them soundbites.

  185. Press conference at 5pm is just to reiterate their position on the matter. That they won’t move from newbridge. That’s according to john Fogarty from the Irish Examiner. James Horan was adamant this morning on the Newstalk that he cannot see Cian O’Neill backing down on this issue whatsoever and for what it’s worth he was supportive of them. A bit more than the support than just the Twitter mob…

  186. Vieuz – Why are they irrelevant? Kildare were happy to go to Croke Park or elsewhere when it suited them. Why isn’t it valid to question their bona fides in objecting now? And why isn’t precedent relevant? As another contributor has pointed out there are several examples of qualifier matches being shifted expressly to meet the anticipated attendance. And, by the way, as I’ve already pointed out (in another soundbite, I guess) that so-called “right” isn’t an absolute one and is subject to CCCC approval.

  187. Vieuz how can you say history of ground development and previous episode are irrelevant. Willie Joe’s point is where were Kildare principles when they waived the right to home venue before? Why now?
    Their lack of development of their home ground is very relevant. If they were so passionate about their home venue they would have redeveloped it years ago. They are a huge football county, with a bigger population than mayo and a far richer county. How can Willie Joe expand on them more.
    Can you please explain why you think the game should be played in New bridge? Considering that Kildare had the option to nominate another ground and that has happen on numerous occasion in past qualifiers with all counties when their ground isn’t deem suitable by the CCCC. Remember the clause subject to CCCC approval.
    I look forward to seeing what you say.

  188. As a Dub with no particular love for the Lillies (perpetual winners of Most Annoying Supporter Noise *), I have to admit sympathy with the Kildare stance on this one. The venue arrangement was clearly signalled before the draw and its difficult to agree with the GAA changing its rules against the wishes of the home-drawn team, particularly given the tough opposition Kildare will be facing. Its easy to imagine them wanting to fight for any little advantage, real or otherwise.
    Of course, rational thought says Croker is the most suitable venue for the game, but if rational thought was the overriding principle by which we lived our lives there’d be no place for blind passionate following of our counties and no place for a wonderful blog site such as thing one.

    Thanks to all who maintain and manage this site. Its become a very enjoyable part of recent championship summers for me.

    * Most Annoying Supporter Noise: watching games from Hill16 over many years. you begin to notice a difference in the tone of the cheering/noise/reactions of supporter groups from different counties. The Kildare cheer has a peculiar kind of hysterical ring to it. Hope this kind of remark isn’t breaking any rules. Its meant in jest (mostly).

  189. Will i be charged for my season tickets this week???
    I don’t expect anyone to know the answer. What a mess.

  190. It’s fairly obvious. The whole point of giving up the home advantage is that it suited them then. It doesn’t now. It’s their right to give it up, it’s their right to insist on it. None of the examples previously are directly analagous to this.

    The CCCC discretion is clearly limited and differentiated from Round 4 qualifiers/AI Series. I’m willing to trust an impartial, eminent sports law expert on that.

  191. Good point wayne scales, I was surprised at low number of responses, going to enjoy the good weather now, debating same points getting tedious for me at this point,

    I think that game will not go ahead, Kildare will have made a point, CCCC will have got a shot across the bows and Mayo into last 12 with a free weekend of rest!

  192. Didn’t realise I had blocked you on Twitter WJ. Sorry about that. Good to see you are happy with your revenge. You’re the boss. When your blog started in 2007 and was a fledgling chick, brilliant by the way, I was one of the earlier supporters and backers of it. Also, and I thank you, I got a great platform from you to showcase my stuff. Anyone that knows me knows my opinion of the county board going back for years btw and men as great as Eamon Mongey was more scathing than I was. Today the blog is a roaring success and I take my hat off to you and it. I am dissaponted that you closed with your remark. And in a way childish. It’s my ball and I’ll run with it as I please kinda stuff. I’ll read it daily as I’ve always done because it’s unique , brilliant and a one off. And to reiterate , I didn’t block you forbid have no reason to. Mort blocked me once a and said it was the first he knew of it. Anyway we are where we are. Life’s too short.

  193. but you’re ok to call people idiots if they don’t agree with you on this WJ? double standards, but your house, your rules etc etc

  194. Very little point in Cian O’Neill scheduling a press conference unless he’s in a position to announce a compromise. If he’s seeking airtime to reiterate this is a complete shitshow then I don’t think that’s particularly helpful.

  195. WJ if i were you id shut up shop until this debacle has come to a conclusion. Dont know how you deal with it to be honest. Provide and monitor a fine site like this and get sniped at from all angles. Id last about a day in your position before blowing a fuse.

  196. Willie Joe is 100 % correct here on all counts . If we assume that there was proper due process ( we don’t know for sure but we based on what CCCC have said it sounds like it ) about the CCCC ratification of the venue and Kildare “exited that due process “ because they were upset ( which is absolutely rank hypocrisy in the circumstances outlined ) , it’s not about the hypocrisy ( though that stinks ) it’s about them exiting the due process . They forfeited their right to complain but they do indeed have the right to stand on an extremely rickety principle ( in their case – because they refused to be true partners in the process and as I’ve said before they do not have an absolute right to have the game at any particular location because of common sense and health and welfare ) and believe me history will not judge them kindly .

    Much and all as I like James Horan , unless he knows something we don’t , he’s wrong . Willie Joe is correct .

  197. John Prenty on MWR Stated that Newbridge can hold 9,200 people a 1000 more than what the CCCC stated earlier and he is a member of the CCCC.

  198. Presser now called off due to the ‘work commitments’ of Cian O’Neill.

    Couldn’t make this stuff up.

  199. Twas fierce hot abroad in Saipan too as far as I remember. The japs threw themselves off the cliffs there in WW2 but Kildare have no cliffs but everyone would be better off having a Jimmy Cliff and watching Denmark vs France at 3pm. Auld Putin wouldnt tolerate any messing with venues and the CCCP committee would ensure compliance.

  200. James – that’s not correct. The GAA have stated that the official attendance is 9,200 (see the Irish Times piece liked in my post) but that if it’s all-ticket the capacity is reduced by another 10% (don’t ask me why). That would explain the difference in the figures being quoted.

  201. That’s good advice, Dave Johnston! As it happens, I’ve several other non-Mayo GAA things to be doing right now if i could catch a few spare moments today in which to do them.

  202. I agree with WJ on this one. It was an incident waiting to happen. If super eights and open draws are to work, every county must have a stadium caple of holding 30000. Up to county boards now to get together with GAA and trash out development plans.

  203. Statement
    “Unfortunately due to work commitments in Cork, Kildare Senior Football Manager Cian O’Neill is unable to attend the press conference scheduled for this evening and we now have to cancel this event. There will be no further comment made at this present time.”

    Translation – CB to GAA – give us a number.

  204. I didn’t stick you in moderation either, John! You’re in there due to system gremlins but if you try posting a comment from a different email address then, after the first time you do it, you’ll be out.

  205. on the ditch , there is no need to make counties spend money they don’t have , they just need to be flexible on the venue which in this case Kildare were not. Tullamore would have been fine.

  206. I call pundits like Colm O’Rourke idiots, Tubberman! I don’t generally use unkind names for others who post here. You’re right, though, it is my house and I can tell you that if I hadn’t rules it’d have been one hell of a zoo here over the last day.

  207. Things are also hot here at the swimming pool in Italy.
    Kildare must realise that if the progressdeeper through the back door that they must play a game in Croker at some stage, I feel they fear the giant pitch, their best game was a match v Donegal in 2011, went to extra time with an ousted Donegal man grabbing a late winner.

  208. Sorry on the Ditch – you think for an amateur organisation that county boards should get their fingers out and we have 32 30,000 capacity stadia across the country of 6m people?

  209. John Prenty did not say that James Fleming he said that due to it having to be all ticket attendance would have to be reduced by10% leaving it at just over 8000

  210. Vieuz – but it’s the now it suits us/now it doesn’t is where the hypocrisy comes in. Especially since they’ve done sweet FA to improve their home ground. Plus – apologies for repeating yet again another truth – there are loads of precedents for qualifier matches being moved purely to cater for a bigger attendance.

    You obviously haven’t read my other reply back to you on that legal point either. In short, the impartial sports law expert you’re quoting doesn’t appear to have perused all the relevant papers in this case, M’Lud. That limitation you claim exists is dealt with in the more precise wording contained in the GAA’s Master Fixture Schedule handbook issued to all County Boards, a document that Cian O’Neill should really have taken the time to read before heading to war on this issue.

  211. ..on a slight tangent, it seems a bit mental that cian o’neill himself would be hosting a press conference this evening again after appearing on the news yesterday, Surely he would be better off focusing on training the team and come up with plans to beat Mayo than getting caught up in further distraction, we are 4 days out now.

    One of the county board stooges should be sent out to make the statement and they absolutely should not back down.

  212. Thanks for the kind words, Loreto Road. The GAA hasn’t changed its rules, it just seems Kildare didn’t read all the rules relating to fixtures! Anyway, onto more relevant issues – what do our lot sound like from the Hill?

  213. Deal will be done – as someone said above – Portlaoise will be the compromise. Its the best outcome for Kildare now – they will still feel entitled to be hard done by while managing to pull Mayo out of Croker – which I am certain would be a big advantage for a Mayo team well used to playing and getting results in – CCCc will save face in not putting it on in Newbridge…..and most importantly the players that trained and played all year get to play in the championship.

    Its almost inevitable outcome.

  214. The good news is that according to the 42 , Donie V and Brendan Harrison are available for selection this Saturday. Great news !

  215. Cantini- according to you that should have 70,000 capacity stadiums as the crowds are queuing up outside

  216. well WJ, to my ears, the Green and Red sound doesn’t get in the top five in the Most Annoying Support Noise chart. That is occupied by a couple of Leinster neighbours and a bunch from the northern province.
    However the Green and Red does score very, very, very high on the Persistently Loud Throughout Noise chart. I can’t think of too many counties that regularly put it up to the Hill in that regard. That won’t be a surprise to most readers here I imagine.

  217. JC – according to you we should all live in a post-truth environment and take a segment of what somebody says completely out of context and twist to into an implication that was not only not intended but in fact the opposite of what was….but if thats what you get your kicks off…knock yourself out….

  218. Donie did play part of the mitchels v Garrymore game on Sunday but looked a bit sluggish. Hard to tell if he was just having a run out or not. Barry M and Kirby also played. Kirby got the goal and then black carded. Barry M done ok. Crowe was solid for G’more. Harrison back would be a huge plus and opens up options further up the field.

  219. Just a few notes on this at risk of being called an idiot.
    Kildare’s home is in Newbridge, no ground outside of their home ground is their home ground, especially not one outside of their county. Pearce, Hyde or Markiewicz will never be our home ground, home advantage went to the first drawn team end of!

    Kildare’s home ground is small, is this really the time to tell them that they are not allowed to play there, like after the draw?
    How are the super 8’s going to go for them if they ever qualify, surely this will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of the youth in this county. Should the GAA not be focusing the county grounds of the the players that make the association viable?

    Prior to the start of the season the GAA was well aware of the ground limitations around counties and still made the rules. how come we never know who the individual (s) are who make these calls around venues.

    How much have the Leinster footballing county grounds suffered as a result of the GAA’s preference for Dublin games to be held in Dublin, is this not the fall out? Meath, Wicklow, Westmeath, Kildare, Louth and Longford are all under the capacity of Leitrim, Connacht’s smallest county ground.

    Mayo abu

  220. It’s not hypocrisy to exercise your discretion, it’s assessing what the best course of action is in a given situation and proceeding. Its completely unreasonable to expect them to be tied to previous decisions when that was never in the offing and circumstances are completely different.

  221. I can’t find a single person in the national gaa media supporting your opinion here Willie joe apart from John Maughan! Virtually every Gael in the country is backing Kildares stance and to be honest I think they are dead right. When you hear the head of the CCCC Ned Quinn, a group you have quoted extensively to support your argument, talking about Kildare and Mayo fans fighting outside the ground as part of the reason they came to this decision, how on earth can they be taken seriously? The Erris Ultras coming armed with baseball bats ready to beat the shite out of Kildare fans – is that what he thinks? Mother of god – only in Ireland would something like this happen.

  222. Cantini- you posted on here that mayo v Dublin or Kerry played at castlebar in super 8s would leave 30,000 fans unable to attend. There is no twisting of anything. It means that by those numbers mayo need to increase capacity by 30-40,000 to host these games.

    I don’t see what I twisted there, I just highlighted that when one poster said all grounds that want to be considered for super 8 should be 30,000 capacity there are suggestions this might not be near big enough

  223. Just rang Croke Park and the girl told me that the game is to go ahead 100% Saturday evening … that’s their stance on it… dont shoot the messenger

  224. Even at maximum capacity Newbridge can not hope to hold half the anticipatied demand for the game… If the CCCC changes its mind, it means that the paying public only matter on certain occasions.. And let’s be fair Mayo, more than anyone… even the Dub’s, We have been filling the coffers in Croke Park for year’s.. (and the Dub’s are being subsidised by everyone, especially us the Mayo fan’s, who are paying for all this) not that the Chief executive of the GAA will tell anyone in this Volunteer led organisation how much he’s being paid.. Not alone with continuous high attendance, but the amount of games we play that every TV broadcaster is anxious to broadcast live, TnaG4, SKY and RTE.. Only a few years ago, the great and currently much lauded Galway hosted Derry in a qualifier in Salthill .. No crowd capacity issues there, a mere 300 soul’s turned up, probably between both squad’s and ref linesmen, umpires and stewards it took more people to put on the show than actually turned up.. Now the 300 or so souls that did turn up are the salt of the earth, but as we know in Mayo, often the most loyal supporters find it very difficult to actually get their hands on a ticket if Galway were to qualify for an All Ireland final .. This in particular has annoyed me , What’s the reason for reducing the capacity of a Stadium by 10% if its an All Ticket match.??? .. Is it to make room for the extra space the ticket takes up.. Both McHale Park and Hyde Park were restricted recently and in the case of McHale Park it was by far more than 10%… Absolute ridiculous in an All seater ground… Same goes for the Connacht Final, Roscommon could easily have held a few thousand more!.. I don’t know what the eventual outcome of this particular Mexican standoff will be.. But the fairness of the GAA fixtures and structure’s are now definitely under the microscope… And we and others should insist on ensuring that everything is as fair as possible… Why, Oh Why is there another inbuilt advantage to Dublin.. (2 guaranteed home games) in the Super 8’s???…And now that it is being openly said in Public that Dublin have actually more ‘Season Tickets’ than Mayo.. EG Upper Cusack ‘Season Tickets’.. Why can’t the many willing Mayo supporter’s have the same amount???.. The demand is definitely there from Mayo as well for a few thousand more’ Season Ticket’s’…

  225. Agree Larry, what the hell is Ned Quinn on about? Thats so disrespectful to Kildare and Mayo fans . Erris Ultras lol

  226. Has civil war broke out on this Site or is the heat getting to some people? As someone that’s being rightly put into moderation almost as often as I’ve had hot dinners I have to say your a great man Willie Joe to be putting up with some of the crap that’s coming your way. The sooner this match is played the better

  227. Barry M, Donal V and Harrison all played the weekend apparently which is great news – match reports anybody ?

  228. two lads who are getting a raw deal today are Cian Oneill’s and Willie Joe’s employers , i’d say the two lads haven’t done a stroke 🙂

  229. Bottom line is that Kildare are acting the maggot in suddenly, after years of trotting off to Croker for all championship games, insisting that Newbridge is their home ground, and no other will suffice. Even though it is not remotely fit for purpose and even their proposed revamped ground, with 15,000 capacity, will not be fit for purpose either.
    I see Croke Park are inviting season ticket holders to bring up to four friends with them on Saturday.
    I don’t think they are considering how they will fit them into the Newbridge ground.

  230. Ger Bohan – I don’t know if that’s a wind-up on your part or not but even if your info is correct it’s not confirmed so I’d prefer to wait until this happens before claims to that effect are posted here.

  231. Oh boy. Let the fun begin.

    From the Leinster Leader…

    —————————————————————————————————————

    A press conference scheduled by Kildare GAA manager, Cian O’Neill, for this evening at the Manguard Centre of Excellence in Hawkfield, has been cancelled, with the manager citing ‘work commitments.’

    However the Leinster Leader understands that Kildare Co. Board has officially informed Croke Park that they will not fulfil the Round 3 Qualifier in Croke Park against Mayo on Saturday.

    According to GAA Rules a team not fulfilling a fixture must inform Croke Park 48 hours prior to the fixture and while the Co. Board has already informed the authorities they will not be travelling on Saturday, they must do so again 48 hours out from the time of the game.

    Assuming that the Croke Park authorities then award the game to Mayo the appeal process will then kick in.

    Kildare’s next option will be to appeal to the Central Hearings Committee.

    If that fails, the next step is to appeal to the Croke Park Appeals Committee.

    If that committee rejects the appeal then it would no doubt head to the DRA (Disputes Resolution Authority). This is a committee made up of legal experts, independent of the GAA and is usually the final appeal process but going to the High Court can never be ruled out either.

    We await developments, but one thing is for sure if Croke Park did not think Kildare were serious in this entire mess they are certainly fully aware at this stage they are.

  232. Dennis Rodman was spotted an hour ago having the breakfast in Newbridge with Cian o Neil. Maybe hes going to help clear it up like he did with North Korea?

  233. WJ I think you are a saint. Everyone’s missing the point. Mayo are training tonight with a pep in their step under Stephen Rochford for an important fixture. Who will be taking Kildare.?

  234. I have mixed feelings about this fiasco. No love for the CCCC after they royally shafted us in 2014. And I have a certain admiration for Kildare’s stance on this though they have shot themselves in both feet but WJ is right and has the facts to back it up. Cant believe the sniping he is getting on this. The game will be played and we will win.

  235. Its mad Ted, you are all writing comments so fast that I cannot even keep up with them. My 2 cent. Taking the situation in isolation, they are correct, home ground is home ground and they should get to play there, regardless of who is outside of the gate. Taking the wider view, the venue is not “fit for purpose” and will not hold the number of bodies needed. Therefore, we will work with you to move, as you have done in the past.

    If I want to give my team any chance of playing for the rest of the year, I am going to dig my heels in to give them any advantage I can. But the reality of it is, will digging the heels in mean that they get knocked out altogether for principle? Thats hard to take for all. And being a Mayo supporter (which the majority here are) I dont want any, “ah the only reason you are here is that you got a walkover”. Nobody wants a walkover. Everyone wants to play so find a way to let us play.

  236. Don’t think Kildare need to worry training now, totally shot themselves in foot.
    There is a tight schedule to keep to for super 8’s to work so no show on Saturday will mean no compromise and no way back into championship.
    They might have moral arguments but not a legal case to stand on and therefore their poor league campaign is now completed with this farce

  237. Actually Kildare might very well have a pretty strong legal case here as some experts have already stated. Whether they have the appetite to take it that far is another matter. Doubtful I imagine.

  238. What are they going to get from a legal case? Do you expect season to be put on hold while it is sorted? Not going to happen. They have finished their season unless they back down

  239. I guess it depends on:

    (a) whether Kildare intend to go down the legal route, and
    (b) if they do, whether the GAA allow the (entire!) championship to be suspended pending the DRA’s decision.

    If the Leinster Leader report is confirmed, I can’t see any way out for Kildare now – they’ll have sacrificed their championship hopes over this. The GAA will move on with the competition and the legal stuff will take weeks/months.

    How clever Kildare’s strategy is is debatable.

  240. On a lighter note will we finally see all of our remaining panel players picked on our team for the “no” game on Saturday night?

  241. Ned Quinn and John Prenty enough said, if imagine the GAA are trying to make sure these guys stay away from microphones quickly and where’s Fergal McGill today

  242. Is it true Kildare have not played a Leinster championship game at home since 1995 nor a qualifier there since 2013.

  243. Who gets to decide what’s relevant, or indeed how is it scientifically decided what’s relevant? Is this comment relevant? Who is to say?

  244. Since it appears that whatever the outcome, people are going to be unhappy, can I suggest a compromise? The match is played behind closed doors in my back garden, and I will show the game live on a webcam via Skype video call. This will suit me moreso than any other outcome and thus should be the preferred option.

  245. 1. If your drawn 1st your at home.
    2. You can nominate another ground. For arguments sake we’ll call that home too.
    3. If your drawn 1st you might not be at home.
    4.If you complain, we’ll argue you could have used rule 2.
    5.These rules may change before, during or after the draw. That”s up to us.
    6.We can decide which is a counties main home venue.
    7.A counties home pitch may not be within the county.

    cccc Proudly developing our national games.

    Terms and conditions apply.
    *****Strictly no refunds*****

  246. Kildare have 2 choices. Croke Park or going to the derby in the nearby curragh. You must wonder what the Kildare players must think. Why would any player give up the chance to play in Croker. A walkover isn’t what we want either but we don’t deserve to be punished with all this uncertainty

  247. @ John Cuffe i can vouch for Willie Joe on the moderation thing. I was in moderation for years too before changing my email address resolved the issue for me.

  248. Loretto Road thank you for the laugh you gave me regarding your view on various supporters from the hill. Badly needed!

  249. It was hardly years, Trevor! That fix does work, though.

    Digits – I think you might be getting snared in the same way. Try the same fix: post a comment using a different email address, once that’s been okayed then all further comments should go up as normal.

  250. Revellino- the cccc doing more to develop the national game than you or me.

    They have the right and power to change a venue if they feel health and safety is a concern ( whether that is their real reasoning is irrelevant).

    People have previously said on this thread that people don’t turn up without tickets, that’s not true. There have been horrific tragedies in sport where people have done so and whilst this may not be a GAA tragedy, it still has happened. So if cccc highlight they are concerned about this issue then they win, hands down and any other argument is pointless

  251. So JC why.don’t they have a problem with asking mayo to get to Dublin for a 7pm throw in. Surely having thousands of people driving across the country at night time is far more of a health and safety issue than this horse shit they trotted out about over crowding.

  252. No – fans can make that decision. I travel across sea and land to watch mayo, my choice. I can choose accommodation, choose not to go, they are my decisions. If I arrive at a game and it’s over crowded and dangerous, that’s not my decision.
    I was at London v Sligo this year , majority of fans congregated behind goal where the bar was. For 29 minutes it was not a nice place to be with young children, pushing, heat, people trying to get through small gate . Etc.
    Any decisions about driving etc are a personal choice and we decide health and safety of that but inside and around the ground is their responsibility.

  253. JC’s comment is ridiclous. What about all the sell out games in the premier league, demand outstrips supply for so many games and there’s never any trouble because of it.

  254. That’s fine JC. But maybe the cccc should have had their sit down before the draw and informed Kildare that if they came out 1st let’s say against mayo that they would not be allowed to play at home. It seems the sit down and decision was made after the pairing was made. I don’t blame Kildare 1 bit for kicking up about it.
    If the cccc estimated their was demand for 70 thousand tickets for mayo v Galway and we’re moving the game from mchale park to croke park I don’t think there would be too many on here supporting the cccc decision.

  255. Jc out of every game every year i would say the game that mpst people turn up for without a ticket is the All Ireland Final and the cccc dont seem to have a problem with that game. So thats not really a genuine reason. Also if there really concerned about fans without tickets outside a stadium its a fact the crime rate is higher in Dublin than Newbridge so fan safety outside the ground is the biggest load of bull i have ever heard

  256. Yes – I would certainly agree with you that Kildare should have been made aware of this before hand.

    Once the decision made and health and safety given as the reason then there won’t be any change from cccc . They can’t go back after they have raised that concern, even if it is their real reason

  257. Oliverkelly – read comments properly. I never said health and safety was the true reason but once it is the stated reason then there cannot be any going back.

    Your general argument very poor anyway. Are you suggesting Croke Park should be closed as a venue

  258. Custard pat – the premier league have a minimum ground standard that you have to meet, otherwise you can’t be in premier league so every game is vetted before such a scenario occurs.

    Look at FA cup though and the change happens all the time , small grounds are deemed unsuitable for big games and therefore they move.
    I won’t be as rude to say your point ridiculous but you are wrong.
    I also didn’t say I agree with cccc decision but that point obviously too subtle for you in my post but I am saying that once they say it is because of health and safety then they can’t and won’t change.

  259. Also to all making the analogy of Mayo having to move a home match to Croke Park, I’d be delighted – our home form has been diabolical!

  260. FAI Cup Games, Champions League qualifiers etc. get moved all the time if the home team’s venue is not up to code. Which IMO is as valid a comparison to make as an FA Cup match.

    I don’t blame Kildare for being annoyed at losing home advantage, but the cute thing would have been to take Portlaoise or Tullamore. Now they seem to be in a corner all of their own making.

  261. The problem now is, it will be a scramble to get tickets for super 8 matches.
    If the GAA want money spinning super 8 games then they need to sit down with County GAA Boards and start planning. We are fortunate in Mayo but ludicrous that a county like Kildare can only come up with Max 10 000 venue.
    Not saying whose at fault for that, but it’s part of the problem of under resourced counties. The consequences are very obvious in leinster

  262. I have to say I disagree with your views here Willie Joe. If the tables were turned I think Mayo would feel the same as Kildare. Home advantage should not be dependent on the capacity of your ground. And in my view any previous concessions by Kildare with regard to home venue are completely irrelevant.

    If Kildare were drawn against any team other than Mayo they would have the game in newbridge…why should they lose home advantage because they drew Mayo. So what if a lot of fans can’t get to the game that’s the reality of sport.

    The example given by many of Mayo being drawn at home to Dublin and a demand of 60k tickets may be a different scale, but the principle is the same….hypothetically how would Mayo feel if the game was moved?

    Anyway it’s not Mayo’s problem and you are unfortunate to be caught up in it. I just think the blinkers are on somewhat in some views being expressed.

  263. I see paddy has the game to be played at new bridge at 1/5 on and even has priced up Miss Arlene Foster to attend the game regardless of venue

  264. Poor article I have to say Willie Joe…Picture this …if dublin were beaten in Leinster and drew mayo in the qualifiers with Mayo out first of hat so have home advantage..mayo dublin in championship have sold out croke park numerous times in recent years including semis. Castlebar would not be able to cater for demand for this match, so cccc move it to croke park….that aoukd hardly be fair would it?

  265. Get your facts straight, Hollyman. MacHale Park is the sixth biggest GAA ground in the country and the capacity and facilities there are light years removed from what’s in Newbridge so your analogy is utterly fatuous. Substitute Ballina for Castlebar then maybe you’d have an argument with some validity.

  266. Castlebar would not be able to hold dublin vs mayo in championship game…..82000 doesnt go into 30000

    A fantastic ground no doubt…the cccc are moving this game for capacity issues…if the shoe was on our foot how would we feel?

  267. How do you know that for sure, Hollyman? Nobody’s talking about holding an All-Ireland final there! I repeat the point – MacHale Park is a completely different venue to St Conleth’s Park so the question you’re posing is just facetious. And we know full well what the shoe on the other foot feels like, from four years ago. And sod all sympathy or support we got then too.

  268. He doesn’t know that for sure because it’s nonsense.

    If Mayo happened to meet Dublin in the Super 8’s in Castlebar, it would sell out but the demand would be nowhere near 80,000. Talk that the game would be moved to Croke Park is completely unfounded. If we get to the Super 8’s, our home game will be in Castlebar no matter who the opposition are. If the capacity is 30,000 then anyone who deserves to be there will get a ticket.

  269. Let’s nail this ‘LIE’ the capacity of MacHale Park Castlebar is not 30,000 its 38,000 all seated… I agreed with one thing that Shane Curran said tonight.. Whoever is and why ever they are dumbing down the actual Capicity of Provincial grounds needs to nailed,…especially when the Venue is all seated and easily the best in Connacht, actually MacHale Park is the largest venue in the northern half of Ireland, and the GAA’s ONLY all seater… It certainly could be to justify an inbuilt advantage to the Dubs which is what the GAA definitely have been doing now for over a decade… However, I don’t believe that 38,000 people go through the turnstiles in St Conthleth Park in a year, maybe two years more like it!

  270. Also this unresolved issue (Not of Mayo’s making).. Affects all the remaining match’s after round 4..it must be solved by later today at the very latest.. Fixtures are very congested for us as it is.. Provincial winners and lovers have the advantage of time to prepare for the the winners /beneficiary of a walkover if such a thing exists… Mayo are being punished and affected as it is, by the actions and inactions of others…

  271. Been through this argument already on this thread with cantini.

    Where you get these numbers from? 80,000 people looking for a ticket when it’s not a semi of a final, you must be joking.
    I have been to watch mayo in quarters and semi finals and been surrounded by empty seats . 30,000 people is enough for any game outside a semi or a final and this would ensure any genuine fan gets a ticket. The other fans will wait for All Ireland day as usual.
    Very poor argument, castlebar is ready to host big games so this created scenario is irrelevant because if the situation arrives it won’t be problem.
    I went to mayo Dublin this February, poor crowd there, so if fans are so desperate to see them play then where were they? There certainly wasn’t 30,000 locked out.

  272. Mother of God….People really struggle to see my point.

    All I’m saying is how would Mayo people feel If Croke Park took a home championship game off and moved it to croke park. It’s beyond the realms of possibility that Mchale Park would not have the capacity to meet demand. (And the capacity of Mchale Park is 28.000 JC, dont believe everything you read on Wikipedia)

    I totally agree that Newbridge should not be venue for Saturdays game, but no one can argue that Kildare are totally within their rights to host the game, as Mayo or any county would be if croke park decided to move a game that was round 1-3 qualifier. That’s the rules lads, it’s in the book, black and white

  273. JC-Have you seen the capacity at Bournemouth? Its set at just over 11,000. Demand clearly outstrips supply and the big cubs in the league could bring that on their own to games. Thankfully nobody tried to bully them.

  274. I have already answered that point- read the threads properly.
    That’s in a league, where the ground had been vetted to meet health and safety requirements and the strict ticketing policies mean club and police know details of every person attending that game from both home and away fans . The ground is proven to be able to cope with the capacity, this is not the case for Kildare.
    Like I previously said however, when it comes to fa cup and there is a ground that hasn’t proven to handle capacity or is clearly not going to meet demand then the game is switched
    . Been through this point before custard pat . And again may I emphasise I didn’t say cccc made right decision I just highlighted that once they have suggested health and safety concerns then the game won’t take place at that venue.

  275. Hollyman – I think if the GAA took a championship match of ours that was fixed for Castlebar to Croke Park we’d thank them greatly for it. It’s our favourite place to play and where we play our best football … plus I can walk to it.

    I can argue about the “within their rights” bit. In fact I already have a few hundred comments or so back. Basically that Round 1-3 thing isn’t the whole story – the GAA Master Fixture Guidebook circulated to all County Boards (including kildare) at the start of the year made it clear that venues for all qualifier rounds had to be approved by the CCCC. So those “rights” Kildare claim to enjoys come with significant conditions attached, ones they’ve chosen, for whatever reason, to ignore. That’s the rule, it’s in the book …

  276. Mayo 51 – just to answer your question, I haven’t a clue to be honest. There was talk of a settlement last night but that hasn’t materialised as yet. The Mayo team and fans are being treated like total shit at this stage but it’d be a new development in the GAA world for us to get any support or solidarity from the fior Gael community to say nothing of the baying mob on social media.

  277. Going ahead in Newbridge on Sat at 7pm according to RTE.
    HQ backs down, a good day for the GAA – shows that they can’t ride roughshod over their own members to suit the coffers.

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