He’s fallen out of love with a piece of technology.

“The main story in sport is not TV3 winning the World Cup, because it was a bid, they bid more than than the other guys, it was a simple bid, right. However, the decision of the GAA to sell the rights to SKY is far more dramatic – for the future of Gaelic Games in this country.
It’s not actually about paying for the matches – it is that it will mean an inexorable drive now to professionalism in Gaelic Football and Hurling. That means that Gaelic Football will eventually become – and Hurling will become the province of about 150 players who will be highly paid, then the whole idea of Gaelic Games – the parish and all that will be gone – a bit like rugby – gone.”

Rugby pundit and former Sky shill George Hook on TV3’s Tonight with Vincent Browne last night.

Any excuse

Previously: Sly Sports

26 thoughts on “Let The Sky Fall

  1. Banotti

    I prefer rugby the way it is now. I’d also doubt that gaelic games could support any kind of professionalism. Pro rugby only exists because of the international TV aspect.

    1. The real John Waters

      When was that last time you went to a league of Ireland rugby match or watch one on TV?

    2. Luny Loo

      More to the point, when is the last time you played rugby?

      Sky will turn GAA into an entertainment industry for couch potoatos. Rather than a tribal pass time for culchies.

        1. Luny Loo

          Feckin culchies, coming here and taking out jobs. They should go back to their own counties…

      1. Gav D

        @The Real John Waters & @Luny Loo

        In fairness, people were dropping away from the club game before professionalism.

        Personally, I play weekly/fortnightly, go to see the clubs AIL home games and so on. Have done for 20+ years (since I was a nipper). With that said, you still see the same lifers there on the sidelines still.

        The numbers pre- and post-professionalism aren’t as different as the doom-sayers tend to make out, as they were never really all that big to begin with. It was always a niche sport, and at the club level it still is – The bandwagon never resulted in a trickle down of support to club teams. I don’t think thats the case for the GAA, which has the parish thing and local tribalism going for it in a way that club rugby never really had (with a few exceptions).

        1. Derval

          Wouldn’t it be better to compare GAA with soccer?
          There are soccer clubs in every town in the country despite the fact that it is professional.

  2. Medium Sized C

    This is “slippery slope” bullshit.
    Disregard it.

    It is nothing like rugby at all.
    Where are the other countries who play Rugby?
    Where are the massively popular international GAA competitions?
    It isn’t even comparing apples with oranges its comparing apples with a pleasant seafood dinner.

    There is nothing to support his bullshite moany oul lad logic.

  3. Owen C

    Rugby officially became a professional sport in 1995, but had been doing it a bit on the quiet for the previous 5 years (or more – Campese was essentially professional while playing in Italy in the late 80s). Its move to professionalism has nothing to do with Sky Sports, and most 6 Nations games remain on terrestrial tv even at this point. The difference that pay-tv has made is that it has allowed professional rugby to occur at the club/regional level, and not just the international stage. So instead of say 120 professional international rugby players scattered across the Six Nations teams, we have probably more like 1,000+ scattered across all of the clubs. Think i prefer the latter rather than the former.

    In terms of GAA, it already, pre-Sky, looks very much like the rugby set-up of the late 80s/early 90s where players were semi-professional in reality, even if still amateur in name. Sky buying the rights is not the problem, but merely a symptom of the need, unconciously by fans and semi-conciously by players, to monetise the sports and social/tribal drama that comes with it.

    1. The Old Boy

      I see no evidence that so-called “shamateurism” is a feature of the modern GAA in the way it was in certain elements of rugby in the early 90s or test cricket in the “gentlemen and players” era. I would be interested to here if it is, though.

  4. Owen C

    “where players were semi-professional in reality, even if still amateur in name”

    I should probably note that only occurs in the medium to large counties, and not necessarily the smaller ones. So it is not the same for everyone. But the point still holds – lots of semi professional players in reality.

  5. Advertising On Police Cars

    At some stage the GAA players will realise “hang on, everyone is loads getting loads of cash except me the player,” the same thing happened in Canada & US back in the 1950’s in Ice hockey when the NHL were making money and the players were not. The GAA needs to be careful, the golden goose might get constipated.

    1. Bingo

      The Gaa is a non-profit organisation.
      Money goes to clubs.
      Look at the facilities Gaa clubs have in most towns & villages in Ireland.
      Miles ahead of soccer & rugby in most cases.

      1. Bingo

        Instead of giving cash to the guy that makes the county team, money is given to the club he came from.
        Better facilities encourages more kids in the area to take up the game.

      1. ReproBertie

        TV3 had the last one too. Losing the GAA to Sky meant they had extra cash to bid for this and they outbid RTÉ and TG4. They’ve said they’ll have all the games live across TV3 and 3E and in HD too.

        There’s still talk of selling some games to Setanta. ITV have the rights in the UK and will show all games across ITV and ITV4.

  6. Langer

    In the 70’s to the 90’s rugby players were getting cushy jobs (bank, insurance, sales etc.) based on their playing ability and contacts….. that happens in a lot of sports. Going professional just legitimates it all, makes it more transparent and allows the player to devote themselves full-time to their sport……

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