Paul Bellew | Galway Hurling Committee Chairperson | Galway GAA | Hurling
Paul Bellew is Galway Hurling Committee Chairperson. He joined Jonathan on playipredict.com to discuss what has been an eventful first year in the role.
From the process of finding Micheál Donoghue's replacement, the challenges of COVID-19, new championship restructures, and streaming platforms. We also hear Paul's views on his preference for a split intercounty/club fixture calendar.
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Hello and welcome back to play I predict calm and delighted today to have Paul value on the show but very much welcome Paul and Paul is the Gobi hurling committee chairperson, and has done a raft work through various goal, we can have ga platforms over the years. So he's become very, very popular and famous this year for the wrong reasons we'll put into that force. But firstly, Paul, welcome. And thank you so much for joining us here.
Jonathan. Good to join you. Perfect.
So I just like to start with KitKat usually just to try and lower down a bit. And at the start, we always like to talk about people's sporting idols as a kid or people that are people that had the most influence on them as a kid and I always give the example you've probably heard me ramble on. It was my mother dragged me out in the garden? I'm from the opposite end, big ball inside the third of the county. So I'd be out playing playing football and whatnot. But who, who you're on yourself from your own point of view, who would be in the biggest influences as far as your sporting growth?
Yeah, I think from the outset, you know, I was always mad into sport. I was hurling, hurling hurling around castleblayney and McWhorter Park Pierce's territory you know, growing up it was going to club matches and I think a lot of people of my age and particularly with older joku he was always the name you know, Sarah Swedes were up the road and they won a couple of club all Ireland's around 9394 it would have been eight or nine at the time and the claim to fame I suppose for us at the time was that they used our pitch claims it was dry during the winter months to train but the look a sporting nerd in every capacity I was actually just with all the nostalgia checks out and lately I just USA 94 vague memories of Italian 90 so I loved it all still do you know follow practice to keep them out there Harling is remains the number one
absolutely and so like you've come to prominence I suppose from your I suppose admin organization side and carnivore but yourself as well you would apply to cobit as well growing up, I'm
sure I look at a plate to play two appearances up alarm, you know, I would have to school in St. Koons as well, we would have had pretty good teams there as well. interface was between hasker foreign and ourselves, you know, they've they have the bragging rights at the moment. So I'm glad I'm not back and say well, Joe would have played played part of appearances up along itself and started on and would have been the one age group you know, sort of, we would have been the same all the way that would have ul then went to ul and then the career dived a little bit with
fractions or something
like distractions and became more of a junior harder than nice was intermediate then at the time and then we progressed on to Sr. and then you like yourself, you go away for a few years. What better Limerick and then you come back and come back as as club Secretary really, I think that was the only place I could make a meaningful contribution.
Very good. Unlike just that transition, like it all is I'm a little bit I suppose. I think ga kind of structures and management structures and stuff like that off the field, they can become very confusing at times when you're not involved in the circuit. Even simple things I remember what he always used to confuse me as a kid was if a player got turned off he had like three or four different bodies that he could appeal to when you hear all these structures coming out from and I don't think it's there's been a huge improvement lately. But remember, not that long ago, you wouldn't have a Scooby and like you know, all these arguments and stuff like that and you you just wouldn't know where you're going. But how did you kind of I suppose you come back to club Secretary How did you make that next transition into the course the admin side? Did you just kind of roll from there and you almost got stuck with it?
Yeah, I think you know, the club secretary is good for you're close to this the team matches up so you're doing the admin work etc. And then I suppose we can delegate to the county county committee or county board as we call it. More commonly it'd be known as and I just went in there I suppose. And it'd be pretty sad as I see it, I guess and maintain that and that kind of propelled me into us and look, I think nobody has any wants to be shown note that there are a gf administrator involved and you're I get a lot of sticker das I'm this my first year as chairperson of the herland Committee I am like pretty fresh to us. And I think one of the things I'd love to do I'm trying to do is you know, there's a massive Lee and those type of are awesome them type of thing between even within the GA between clubs, even though my uncle at the moment though it's like referred to as you and I'm really keen to narrow that type of gap. And the way to do that is to be as straight up about things explain things justify things. And that's something I'd be keen to do and make sure everything is transparent or open and other third form reject meetings. Everything should be solution based. Shouldn't be a forum for lads flight note there are differences as is sometimes so let's go What motivates me, you know, to do it right, do it as well as I can. And to integrate things a bit better, you know, colleges had a rough two or three years. And it was very much part of Northern where Santa Jonathan, I was very critical and isolating at times. I said some things a couple years ago, that was my experience. In fairness, it did feel it led to a lot of change, for the better. And I think things are improving, but we still have a significant amount of work to do, especially from a public image or promotional point of view. But things are changing.
Yeah, look, look, look, the elephant in the room is that situation, and we're not going to get into it here. That's not the reason that you're on. And look, that's a pause for me, we'd all hope that's a line drawn in the sand. Yeah, we can. We can move on together, because there's been enough bad coverage and press and we won't get into the ins and outs of it here. But I did. I did find from the outside looking in as someone who sometimes you know, you'd see what's not resentment, but you'd be like, Oh, for God's sake, what are they on about here? And that that sort of thing? The statement that you gave in 2018, I think you refer to yourself a couple of ideas. The next year later was Utah, the head of some executive, that's really where I suppose prominence is there is the wrong word. But that's where I think a lot of people kind of saw you and Okay, well, okay, this is this is a guy that's trying to be Australian. And and it's not, and this has no direction of other people, but trying to make a new kind of new beginnings and stuff like that. That really was Europe was catapulted into the next step of this chapter two, if we want to call it to, to try and kind of, I suppose make the move on in all the right directions.
Exactly. And, you know, often get asked by that now, and, again, delay regresses, and, you know, it felt it had to be said at the time, and again, very much. So a lot of that frustration at the time was that there was a lot of people, they're not doing enough to help themselves that weren't standing up for themselves, actually. And that when I looked in a bit more, they were doing some of the right things, but weren't promoting it, if you know what I mean, or, and I've fully said this, I've said this year, you're gonna probably see if I've had anything to do with it. And I think you've probably seen it from a hurling committee perspective on the ground, you're gonna see a lot more aggressive. Goal GA, not a bet that's not maybe the right word, but one that will, you know, if somebody comes out and says, so now that isn't fully true, are you know, yeah, it was whatever, they will get a response. And as that's something I would like to bring in that, you know, and the one thing I suppose I will say, I am comments, this, you know, I still get messages both and they're still phrases the lads have sent into the joking about is, it's very easy to throw them words around, and I'm probably getting them myself from elsewhere. But one thing I would always do and did is back it up. And then I got involved on the basis of what I said, I just didn't sit there and throw mud, and then walk away. Because look, I see that going on every day of the week. And you can see it on social media, you know, yourself, you know, boss. So I said, I had to go and put this forward and actually do something proactive and do something positive and contribute and get involved. And I know it's a cliche, it really is, there are tons of so many good people in there. And they are doing the right things and trying to do it. It's mainly about showing that and highlighting that and explaining it to people, you know, we'll probably touch on a couple examples here, where people go, what are they doing the crazy decision, but there's, there's 100 things happening in the background. Johnson The reason that these decisions come to us, we just have to be better at explaining and would be
would be, that's the thing, because look, it wasn't helped by the situation. But even leaving that aside, you look at other sporting organizations, FBI, whatever, sport and if it's politics or whatever, it's very much to power people with one group and go after they're all x, y and Zed, or whatever, but to be to be able to answer back or to give us constructive criticism as you did. And then like, I want to say as well, like the year later that you did acknowledge the credit that the work has been done anything from basket case to model case or something along those lines and firefighters and law. You You did I suppose you talk to talk with your walk after that then as well, in terms of your actions?
Yeah, I'd like to think so. And I think it did affect change, that's why would probably stand over anywhere near the level that you would love to get to. Not just but it is absolutely not an overnight process. You know, and there has been significant change in the office, you know, marketers in places as operations and finance manager, you know, he's, he's doing a very good job, was modernizing a lot of the things that that need to be done from a professional side of it, because you have a games administration side, and then you have obviously your professional side of that not the admin stuff, but the actual, you know, running an organization with a turnover of 5 million to be to be quite honest, you know, so there has been those those positive impacts. You know, we've a lot more to do though. I think it's a lot better. But again, it's only the start of the journey, I would say.
Just Just one thing then as well like, That's such a big operation and I think you hit the nail on the head there. County boards are big businesses now there's huge volumes of money. There's so much going on. So much planning needed. Particularly on something like gold, we were at tier one football and and Harlan County as well. It's it's absolutely abundant to work. How do you manage that with your own day job and your own families? Well, that must be and then you're only getting nothing but abuse, I suppose at a time first as well.
Yeah. Like, you also create a much work for yourself, as I said to the lads that I've worked with on the island community, and that you can walk yourself into a lot of this as well in terms of you can manage it. But yeah, the evenings are taken up, I suppose we moved to a lot of online meetings for Jordan, Jordan COVID. You know, especially during the day, you have to just block out a lot of it. And you know, you check, you do a bit in the morning or whatever. You check the lads at lunchtime. It's a good question. It feels probably a bit natural, you know, and that I obviously enjoy it to a certain extent, there's no point seeing any difference. And, again, I think we've had a good year, again, we've we've had a good championship, I think people have been very happy within Gary Harlan circles, you know, of the competition that's been put in place. So they've been very supportive. So the abuse has been low, low flying, and, you know, it's funny what you say you have to be a thick skin to some of this. And then another side, I'd be very conscious. I take a lot of it on board and say, you know, if there's true towards the question, you know, I've seen myself pick a couple of the lads up on on the podcast that cover the golden Harlan, you know, you probably know Patrick early and you know, they have their own it's pretty, you know, it's a couple of comments bad or whatever, I'm so straight on the phone. I was like lads, Vaughn said something is crazy again, unless you understand the reason whatever and explain whatever and they were like Actually, that's sorry. Yeah, that's just typical. Awesome, you know, throw that cliche really sort of abuse hasn't been that bad but no, it's it's that like, Jen is very tolerant you know, she she comes from a hardened household in a parish in Limerick he knows her brother's involved in Limerick senior squad, so I probably had an easy, easy pass there more than I should have. She knows she knows what it's like.
Very good. Very good. Because look, your touch on 2002 1020 been a good year by hell. It's been a busy busy year, like, it seems like a lifetime ago. Again, something that simply cannot go to go into what a management change and then a new new manager to be followed and a little bit of stuff going on behind the scenes as well. It wasn't played in plain sailing, put it that way. That's a busy thing to be to be to be logged on at the start of the year, isn't it as well, particularly, we're gonna drag a little.
Yeah, look at didn't, whatever happened happened last last year. It was given at the latter half of the end of last year, just the way it happened. I actually got nominated from the floor to be part of the team to look myself john Fay norlin and Mike allarakha who was the previous chairman and so for me, it was the start and there was no point really, really looking back and you know, we look back on it again, we went through a very rigorous process it was it was very much in the glare I think of the media you know, full of speculation. So it wasn't easy done. But it was it was something very happy with in terms of how it was done. Again, people have no interest in that but it was forensic you know, we would have identified something in the region of over 40 something names initially now obviously that's not 40 something candidates but that was the level we went to we looked at the profile we were looking for we spoke to the players of reps have no hesitation in saying that that's been straight up it was the players pick the manager etc. No, it was input from every side as it should have been. And we built up you know, what was the profile that was needed and we broke it down into categories and we did an interview process and I couldn't be happier with that process would be something I would use again. And you know, I think we have a serious serious manager in place now probably obviously hasn't given the year that we've had probably wouldn't have the highest profile would in Galway, etc. But you're looking for the right fit for the right bunch of players and it's very impressive process and I think you know, the pity was when it all stopped as you know they started lace but you probably saw the momentum that was common with Tipperary games the style of play, you know, feedback is very good everyone is very happy at the mantra of the year and you know I'm confident and confident of what it's going to be different it's not the same as it's going to be we'll look back in January and maybe say what did the winter hurt and Sue slept to to change but you know I think would be would be right back in the mix there again and it'll certainly be there'll be no stone unturned from our side management side our parasite from what MC
was so busy start to the year for you almost you know dumped in the deep end and nearly in that stage but the year you want to know then we thought well you're right around the game we thought things were gonna kind of pull on similar enough actually in from the football point of view as well like the polls weren't great momentum as well. And then boom, here we go. Are you investment made plans and everything just stalled, stalled completely fought on the handbrake, double handbrake, whatever you want to call it. Crazy time.
Absolutely. It was and it was it happened really fast as well. And you know, you're always following the media but we were on such a buzz because we the week that actually the lockdown came, the footballers are going into the stadium to play male. And we were going to Wexford, Davey Fitz quarterfinal, and to be honest with you, the quarterfinal was the bonus territory, you know, all those are Under Championship and we're actually going to get a dry run and work wreck Wexford Park. So I think, you know, people are saying, Oh, we could have had the Harlem football doubleheader, I'd say the management perspective where everybody's happy that we were going down to expert, but the bulls that evening comatose that Monday, Tuesday and lock George, you know, you'd be chatting to Shannon that evening Park Joyce was in with the footballers, there was just a brilliant vibe around the place, and it was really setting it up. And then the Wednesday, we were like something common here, you know, might be played with a crowd a little early to know, I think it was that Thursday, Friday, the crowd and the issue here, I'm just going to do, you know, just a massive adjustment. And you know, people often say Geez, manager, whatever, it's my first year, I don't know any different. So in many ways, it's a blessing, if you know what I mean, because nobody, nobody has dealt with this before. You know, we're working with the football counterparts, the county board officers, you know, who sit above us or whatever. nobody's been here before. So there was no right or wrong, or how do you handle this? No.
Yeah, no, it's crazy. Like I know, for myself, like I was away covering games at a time. And I came back and to country just being pretty much locked down. And I was like, let's go on here. So it just happened so so quickly. It didn't give any time to react or plan. Not that you could plan for this. But like you obviously had big plans in place. No doubt you, you know, your first year in the job full of energy, optimism and all your new plans. And then that's just wrapped up. And that was a crazy time. But then we had I suppose if we try and fast forward because not a lot happened from the outside. I'm sure there was a huge amount of planning, and you're waiting for guidance from from kropotkin and whatnot. But we came back to the interest situation where it looked like we were going to have games back with with minimum crowd and we were supposed to we're happy enough. But that was again, a huge amount of amount of organization from your point of view as well.
Yeah, it was. And, you know, I spoke with ads and golladay. You know, I tell them that notes, like I said, you can create as much of this as you want. But we would have just planned and planned and planned which is healthy. But I can tell you the amount of plans that will go to window that will never be seen as we built a five to five week championship, full knockout, if we had to get it on a six week or seven, we modeled five different ones. And then they were all just again, fluttered, gone, whatever. But it was a good it was a good exercise in many ways. But I've I have to say it hasn't been so busy in terms of you know, I've chatted to colleagues on our committee who would have been here and other years and they've said it themselves. It's your have been thrown with things of national policy that would never have mattered to you in order to mean in the shift everything. fixtures, the whole large crowds, the amount of contingency planning that is going on venues, you we had to move into venues that we could only use that could be somewhere secure. Generally. I mean, just the amount of small stuff that people really don't care about to be quite honest with you. That true itself has been has been a larger. Yeah. But I think we got there in the end in terms of the right, right model as much as we can. As much as we can.
Yeah, because you had the unit seems like a lifetime ago now. But we had a situation where I think it was 500 people allowed and then everyone's kind of like, Jesus, I'm not sure about that. And then we kind of had settled on that. And then it was wiped completely. And you almost had that from the official GAA buddies. Well, kind of a kind of a fight back from then initially, and nobody knew was someone again, trying to be new in the job. And I don't I don't know how you managed to cope at all, because what you've got in the end is it is absolutely brilliant product. And I think the championship structure is absolutely brilliant enough. There's been some wonderful games and I know we'll touch on the streaming a little bit shortly, as well. But as someone who lives away from home, it's an absolute lifeline. I can grab games, particularly games like on a Friday evening that there's no chance in hell I'd be able to get home in time to get it even if I was going home for the weekend. Here I can just you know, put it on the laptop on fire on the TV or whatever. We've got to see great entertainment that's been I suppose one thing but that time how do you how do you how did you keep things keeping going on? Everybody wants information. Everyone
nobody's happy. It's It must have been a tough time for you personally and then you've obviously your day job was up in the air as well. Little family life is ongoing from Zambia point of view.
You're about that. I think Good question in terms of the information, what is the key points that you touched on, and that's the one thing I think I want to bring in all is is always constant, constant communication that is just just key, you know, you don't let give things time to fester or rumor, or people get the wrong idea that we're going to have x amount of people in what have you. thought of it was, again, the best because the hardest thing we had, because you know, the GA, expose infrastructure and the people that are involved, like the herland Committee delegates are, you know, almost exclusively male at the moment, which, you know, hopefully, we're seeing definitely a lot more second female secretaries, etc, which has been, which is brilliant to see and so much healthier in terms of environments for meetings, etc. Excuse me, male and enroller, again, you know, a certain age group. So happened to bring meetings online. To do that, because we couldn't be stopped, that was difficult. And also, it was a lot of texts, a lot of email. I think the first chance we got around June, we actually brought two groups together socially distance in ballinderry who accommodated us brilliantly. And we divided up the delegate groups, and that's how we discussed our championship. So not we had the power to implement our own structure, if you want, I mean, through through CCC, as they call us, more acronyms, but it was very important to me in my first year, and to the rest of the Harlan committee that we actually went out and said, this is our plans. Give us your feedback, give us your input, we want your blessing, because it will come back to bite you down the line, you know. So, again, long story, short, constant communication, make a huge effort to get people in on give their input. We didn't take it all We took some of us, you know, just of people not happy about relegation, things like that. But that that's how we handled it. And it was, it was a lot of organizational and administrative work. And just a lot of intense a lot of phone calls. staying in touch with people that that's really the long and short of this. Yeah, but time I suppose. Yeah, it took time.
Yeah, like the relegation one seemed to everybody, I suppose that's a tangible thing to do so many clubs as well. And there's the fear factor, but obviously, there's the big consequences of it. But uh, no, I like it to be fair to like I heard you and Galway Bay, and you explained it very clearly in the logic behind it. And it's amazing. That is the key really isn't because some people go you're only suiting the CDB teams or whatever. But once you come on board and explain it, everyone's like, Oh, yeah, that really is I suppose it doesn't matter if it's championship structure, or if it's whatever policy or an exam or whatever it whatever you plan that, and that's from even from the last couple minutes, I can see that that's one of your S was principal for one of a better word.
Exactly. It precisely that and you're, you're 100% rice, you know, if you read that document of our championship proposal cost of 2014, you know, there's 2014, there at the moment, I can't change, you can't change that overnight. So you make the best of what you have. And as you said, you just have to go through and say, This is why we're doing it, etc. And as I said, I've been saying this all week, the the championship, you know, administrators should never be front and center, or whatever I'm happy to speak, I said that I put myself hard to explain, because I think we can do a lot better on that side of things. But the lads that have involved that, you know, Democrats and fight principal officers in the heartland committee that looked after they put a lot of time into it, and we actually said, every position will matter. First, you get a two week break, because you get through to quarterfinals. I mean, we saw last week, for teams that were three weeks in a row last, you know that that was obviously some factor, but you always have to incentivize every game and and that's why I would be happy with this championship, that it has been a great product, it hasn't been done very well. The feedback has been from the players. Supporters that have been watching it, etc. has been has been excellent. And you know, you take pride in that then that actually when you put a bit of time into it, and explained that relegation was a key part in making that there is a correlation. You know, we can't turn around the end of every year and say, no team gets relegated, an extra level 25 championship and make a new farmer if we're gonna raise the standard of golden hurling in general. You know, if people want to come out of crow park next year, given out that we're bet seven or eight points after a quarterfinal or whatever, whatever, maybe we need to look internally and say, you know, what, if we don't set the standard within our own County, we can't expect us to treat up the way as well. You know,
everybody references I know it's probably when when a team wins etc. and is multiple winners everybody thinks their ideas are gospel but the everybody hears about the Kenny club scene and how manic it is. And then the clinic training system and stuff like that, like that's very much the key because that's even from a from a neutral is watching it the fact that there was no real dead rubber games either like every, every weekend, there was good games available. That's really is the key comp competition. We touched on the streaming. It's Jesus. Every sporting body in the country all of a sudden tried to take it on board straightaway. We've seen some teams do it very good. And we've seen some teams struggle and then people's frustration. They're probably a little bit over the board in terms of how did that whole thing come together like obviously there's multiple partners out there that can go ahead and start out as a blank scratch that must be pretty daunting task.
Yeah it's funny you say that this is one again I these conversations probably with with lads like yourself that could get down to semifinal day in Galway, which, while we're hurling, you know, for many of you not that semi final days bigger than final day, it's the 14th in Athenry, which most players prefer playing in rather than pure Stadium, let's let's let's call a spade a spade. They do. It's a doubleheader, you know, we we get seven or 8000 people in it's the day I remember playing with Pierce's was, you know, it's not the job, of course, you want to win the county title. And we had good teams in the early 10s would say we got to quarterfinals, and were beaten by a point on each occasion by Clarkson gray. And I remember started on in the dressing rooms, and it's the place you want to be that and Ryan County's me finally, and it sounds like a bad thing to say, rather than be embarrassed, he would come to find it. But that is the dream, you know, and that's, that's where people want to be. And I remember last year, getting a lot of text like, you know, Jesus, Fiji aren't doing the semies I'd love to be there, whatever, and actually come in and start this year, pre COVID, or whatever. And I actually said, whatever, it'd be lovely to look at maybe streaming, the latter stages of the goal of a championship. I said, I don't know a whole lot about I know, they do it off the North. That was the sum total of my knowledge to be to be quite honest with you. And I remember we had a management meeting via Microsoft Teams. In April when things were pretty bad. And, you know, attitude. I think everyone was they'll never be any games. But uh, you know, I randomly said something. I think people think it was completely stupid or mad. I was like, you know, we should look at maybe streaming if we get gone later in the year, whatever. And I think, to be honest, like, a lot of people are on mute. But I think a lot of people laughed at Be honest. And this was one of the people that didn't laugh, laugh at me would have been Michelle Healy, who is the it officer for gualdo, GA, and she's also secretary of the Husqvarna so she's having a great year of it. So Michelle would have been one of those and America and fairness in the office would have would have been aware of the potential of it. So next thing is things started coming back in fairness with another management meeting, I raised it again, and actually said, Can we put a subcommittee together to look at it and there was myself, Michelle, Mark, and a couple more appear on football. So Jim's Finnerty shift forward from said James and we we went to work, that was basically it. And we mesh three or four providers, and you know, a lot to be done uninvented again, Michelle, is it officer background, that area she put together spec, so you've effectively tendered for? To be quite honest with you. And I will say this, it's a blessing in disguise, as we went with probably the strongest technical offering, if you know what I mean, the commercials or whatever, as well, obviously, play into it. But if you're going out this, as you've seen that reliability was a big factor. So we kicked off those conversations, I think, in June. And I think number 10. Look, all I can say is we've had a fantastic relationship with them. They've been absolutely brilliant to us, in terms of the capacity again. So we've we've done I think we were in early, which helped. And I think they've had a very positive experience with us as well. So we went with them. And it's it's been No, no looking back, since I suppose it's fair to say, Yeah, because
look was only a couple of friends around to me there in May, last week, or maybe the weekend before it went belly up on them. And I know there's problems to carry. And there's problems everywhere, because it is I think people are caught on that this is all new territory as well. And you're dealing You know, sometimes in locations, that mobile signal might be the best or whatever this platforms, and then the demand can be twice as much. We didn't realize so many people had an interest in it. And it's all on you as well. Everyone's learning on the job. But
yeah, you do.
Some of those messages and the replies were crazy.
And I said isn't full awareness, I actually actually said it to Margaret, Michelle, you know, they would have access to, you know, college ga platforms whereby they would have to take in the messaging and I was like, get ready for this. Laughing but not laughing, if you know what I mean. I think I think it's very important. We have two big games coming up whatever anything could happen. And I think people's expectations have gone through the roof. Like I know when we started. We were if we show the game and some people go Will you do commentary and look you know, it's now taken as a given but back in June, all you wanted was the screen you know and to show it now Galway Bay have come on board, you know and they've been fabulous. You know, you can you know they add a lot to it. Let's be honest, but people need to understand the reason the streaming has praised the start six years it's a wooden camera operation. It's not a satellite based system as you know, it's it's dependent on on internet or Wi Fi connection. There is a lot that can go on and on. If something goes wrong, we will deal with it if people have to be refunded in the next few weeks, because something happens, there'll be refunded if it falls down on our site or an Amazon site, they're very clear on that as well. But some of the abuse that went towards me Oh, and I know came up with Carrie and Antrim had some issues as well. You know, it was a nice that I think people's expectations have controlled the roof. Now, I don't think there's any way of bringing them back. I mean, my my, my Twitter actually exploded the day of first round of the day, sorry, the day starts with Cortana was on tg four, and more and more in turn bridge was on stream afterwards, you know, and I people actually telling me that it wasn't as good as the TV. No, I'm just for people's benefit. There was 18 people from 2g for doing in at the MRI, to get that picture out. That's the streaming is one person at the moment. You know, that's expectations have to be assessed and whatever, but I think that's the window. No, so I'd be nervous enough, you know, things can go wrong. And if they do, we'll deal with them. If not, we're not but so far number 10 have been brilliant with small glitch airily. And one of the games I think that the Millers got deflect was that morning that there was problems worldwide, with a certain platform and we were able to get that message out. There may be a bad experience, etc. keep us updated. It actually wasn't too bad. So again, communication, probably the key.
Yeah, no, no, absolutely. And the MFC No, even means Lee qualifier, as well, recently as well got go belly up and stuff like that. And there is,
but there's so
many variables, then as well, like you, you're not comparing like, like, and we've got an age now where everybody has a an automatic, right, it seems to be able to watch every game that they want, like, yeah, even that long ago, you wouldn't. It wasn't ever a game on TV, or whatever. And Sky Sports or the Premier League, and then teacher care, particularly club games, stuff like that. And then we were used to having games on the whole time. But as you said, there's a huge difference between a full professional set loads better operation and the the new solution, which I have to say is very well presented. And I have to say, as well, from a goalie fan point of view, for a play to you for getting on boards where early because you can notice the difference between the people that got the early bird catches the worm, etc. and very much the case here. And if we had situations where schemes are dropping midway through, it's a whole different situation. But if you've got an early and people I suppose that you just played with people like this is, I think this is this is the future really like how do you you spoke on you kind of wanted this originally for the end of the year? Is this something that you would like to maybe kind of towards the end the growth of social media and media has gone no to a 360 based platform pretty much where yet and is delivered on phones and Google Chrome and stuff like that, as opposed to the old school, radio and TV for want of a better word, there's something that you'd like to probably continue in the future? Perhaps?
Yeah, it's a great question, because there is a limit to this, and we might touch on something else about the splitsies. And if you get a chance after this, that there's a narrative out there, you know, destroy our future. Like, if crowds come back, even to 500 raise a certain amount of this at the early stages. It pulls away, you know what I mean? If you're catering for at the early stages for the club itself, there's a limit to the popularity of it to be very clear. Now look, if you get a curve in and attune stars are a a turtle for St. Thomas's early group game, whatever, you definitely go in and put that on. Do you look like we've a permanent platform? No, in that and right. So we could Yes, we could look at doing something, but we'd have to chat them to number 10. Is it something that Golgi actually incurs the cost for and you put it out as a service rather than as a commercial income stream? Because to me what the numbers have been, you know, outstanding, you know, there was over 2000 people watching the games at the weekend, over five or 600, watching the intermediate games, which is, which is very high, the neutral path for the intermediate games actually shocked me in a good way. But, you know, if if a lot of those people can get in, there's a certain level a limit to when you bring on the streaming, I think and that's been an honest answer. And again, from a subcommittee point of view, I said, this is probably something we will have to sit down and look at what you kind of need your contingency there, Jonathan, that what if crowds go fall off again, and next thing you haven't planned to have never gotten there, then you have a massive problem, because people's expectations have gone through the roof. So I think there's probably a halfway house of maybe a permanent fixture for some of those matches coming in and out and re Cameron Pierce Stadium, you showed them to a certain level for a certain amount of games would be my instincts.
And I look, I don't want to get too deep into finances, stuff like that. But how have you This is obviously it's hard to compare it because there's a global epidemic going on at the same time, really. But in terms of hospitals, how have things been impacted where you're going to situation for as many people as you could physically fit into the ground last year compared to a new kind of audience where I think everybody's watching this Go bit more sport and there's more of an interest in the club scene with the county games not not going on at the moment. And then every other kind of sport and kind of calendar has been, I suppose, influenced or impacted in a good way as well. Have you kind of could you and also wild thing, but as I've kind of ballpark figure are kind of generalization. How could you? can you compare we on par with each other?
No, I mean, it's it's incompatible for that. And just to give you a quick context, and senior and intermediate championships every weekend, let's say the group status is 19 games, right? So you take that we were only streaming five of them. Okay. That's the capacity we had, there's only a certain interest level as well died. So you're losing out and 14 gets outside. Like, let's say even your streaming goes well, and we'll compare it to your guests talking 14 gates, gone, you know, so, look, if if we if we get anywhere within 20 25% of the usual year, we'll be doing well. For us, we are more exposed than most in that. The Golf Club Hurling Championship is the premier club championship in terms of attendance and revenue. You know, they're the facts of the matter. You'll see it out there last year, the gates exam, you know, the gates were, you know, when you add in the season tickets, we break over a million I think Clark was the closest at 660. You know, that's a phenomenal gap to think Dublin Limerick everyone else's 400,000 less than Galway, you know, and the Galway hurling would be would be would be on its own, would cap every other counties to together, you know. So that was the scale of the impact we've had on our hearts championship. But look, the streaming has been a you know, a good lifeline. But it's mainly been more about the services provided it you know, income will be good. It'll be good to have it put in terms of we're not even talking comparisons. That's you know, because we just can't possibly be when you can only show five versus 19, etc. But I suppose for the weekend on passing the quarter finals, we didn't do too bad relative to what the gate receipts would have been. And I think semi vote will actually will actually catch up ourselves on that side of it. But not the previous rounds are gone. Yeah,
I guess you're almost dividing a line and in the grass. They're really what those it is going to be very exciting as it goes on. Okay, I want to you touched on a little bit there. We've seen the situation now. And we hope that we will have closed doors, a championship it appears like well, maybe we won't have crowds, who knows the kind of government kind of little feelers that they put out seem to change every day, almost one day looks like it's going to be okay, another day, it's going to be nowhere to closed up. So we'll have to see what comes there. But in terms of the overall fixture plan, we've had this kind of freak situation where it's happened like this and the county scene was stopped and then the club scene come back and interesting to note as well. I've chatted with a couple of guys and even a couple of guys on the county scene that they all said that a couple of them that I've been chatting to they've never enjoyed their Harlan as much because it's it's stripped back. The some of the nonsense are some of the juggernaut that is the kind of grind of we must win and everything. You do this, this, this and this now what's kind of the almost childhood, you go out, you don't have the restrooms you go you play with your mates and your neighbors and and away you go and you can come back in and you run home and shower or whatever. So there's been a novelty result. That's, I suppose that kind of reflected I think after the interest in it, it's one good thing to come out of this whole thing.
Absolutely. And like your decision never waste a good crisis. And we really shouldn't waste this. Like, I love the intercounty setup. I love you know, you've been involved in this year, just seeing how things are, I can keep my distance from it a little bit in terms of, you know, professionally because you have to help out you know, but you know, you go on matchday, you're just there to keep an eye. Everyone wants to be involved. It's great. It's fantastic. And it takes over it consumes there is no point. And it consumes everybody involved in this as well and doesn't let them out of as either if you know what I mean. But I've had the same conversations you've had with players with whatever. I mean, the first thing it's doing at the moment is our good players club players need to be taken away from where they have to be seen to choose they hate doing that, you know, what their hairs letting down their club are being seen and they're not letting down their club they've been put in that situation. So this has been an absolute breath of fresh air to them and to waste an opportunity to do that into the future would be would be cruel, you know, it's something I feel very strongly you can love the club and love the county. It's possible they can coexist together. And this is the way to do it. I mean, there's so many good examples of why why you know there's also in triggers like giving I'd say this is people seeking God it's a no brainer whatever there are issues you know, minor inter county has an issue Do you do all inter county together you can't have minor inter county during Leaving Cert You know, that's a factor generally mean if your front load but look, there's a ways around that and there's no point getting into But a few things financially, it would actually condense the season, it would take less pressure off for the whole year. And it would also create a club structure at the end of the year, which I think will become a kind of a micro economy in its own right that sponsors will get involved. Now, one thing I'll be very clear on and something I'm very passionate about, because I do hear the global game will never replace the county game popularity, you love your Friday night games, and there's a certain amount of interest. You know, and I hear this narrative of times that, you know, I kind of got stuck in a Twitter debate lately. I think john Colbert, he was on it. And here, including a couple of you know, this promotion promotion. participation is promotion was one of john for design, and I couldn't agree with him more. You know, if we pull it back the intercounty four weeks to July, it still would stand on its own two feet, it will do what comes up against us in that time, you lose August, but I still like kids that are coming along, aren't going to be going, I'm not watching the gym. Now. It's in July. You know, they don't know the difference, right? So they say you lose that space. Again, what you're actually gaining is the 36 year olds, 37 year old 38 year olds will continue to play the people that have been dropping off. Now have a set schedule another plan every two weeks from August the 21st through until whatever they will stay playing. Our biggest issue is that the county scene is disrupting the club scene so much that these people are no sometimes asked, I'm asking, you know, what is this promotion? You speak up? What are we actually losing? And I standard saying they're losing that space? What's the spin off is there's nothing to lose in my opinion, and you know, if the worst thing we could do is try it and see what would happen, you know, do two years of it and come back then and say come back to September then if that's the right option, it's it's something you know, you can hear it. I mean, I I think it will be insane if we don't try and do it and like the difference it's made and you're looking at as the puppet the minions and ask for knows the classic example. I mean, they're lost. They want to relegation final replay against me not my were beaten an intermediate quarterfinal last week, that could have been an Oscar this year, you know what I mean? Instead, they're playing senior hurling next week, next year. And that's because of two of the best herders in Ireland, not to have the best and they've Champlain as well. And I've talked to Kevin Ward to go to coaching them, and I met him on Sunday. And he just said the difference that the reason they got there was because the players were playing with their club raises the standard, it takes so much conflict away, it's just really has to be.
Yeah, because you're nearly at a stage in a weird, weird way where, from a club point of view, if you're looking fully from the club point of view, it nearly wasn't in the club's best interests are their players to be picked for the country to go off for the pilot to really better if they've stayed in close? And obviously, there's the promotion, the club, etc. And you can ask, Well, you can argue the spins off and sponsorship, or tension, etc. But just from a strictly from a, from a from a plane point of view, you're better off to keep everyone together because and this is this isn't a digger, I'm not gonna dig it managers are players because they were in the situation, it's not their fault. But players were coming back, kind of almost having to do the motions, their bodies battered from all the training and the games there. They should have been rested, and they just come in and they're expected to lift the game then as well, like from maybe one training session the week before they get under build the week of fame. It's just like when people say oh, you can't change we need to go back. It's like, it's not as if the current model was working around the thing
and I just responded to pieces, and that's inference that was supposed to last and I was kind of laughing. I didn't try it in the biggest losers and all this notice state will be the media in that they would lose. You know, again, I would never want to be on this association the people that I think the club could replace county it absolutely cannot in the national consciousness. It doesn't boss sponsorship wise say yeah, you lose a little bit little bit more or whatever. But you will need to spend less more money or less money as well. If you're not I mean, if you condense the championship, there's less need for a centrally funded model of corporate funding county boards, etc. Whatever tighten it up the club scene in a set its own micro economies around golf. We have a fantastic sponsor run on destroying the hurting and Brooks. They've been superb to us. they've committed to us for three years, but that's because of the product and they know that it's one of the most popular club championships in Canada was pre COVID and it's even better since like go back to that a bit more now. We're actually doing a promo launch with them tomorrow night, but that will happen like look, I'll be honest with you say Tyrone club football to me. I'm walking the other way. You know I've watched two or three games knowing Tyrell and based on the Friday night one and tg four and then the two Saturdays and then whatever and then you have experts on you know chunk cabinet telling you the story about it. Again, there's a limit to that. But I'll tell you one thing and tyronn in clubs championship will have no problem getting sponsorship. Now again, so I think people need to look at the bigger picture. And it's not that a club will become massive nationally it's the club will become massive. Norco, even bigger than it is. And that will take care of a lot of funding. And I think that's that's what we need to get across. And I just really, really hope it happens. And I think I think that at the moment I think the chances are that they'll probably give it or at with minimal
so what would be just to be clear from from anyone that hasn't heard your views on it is very much the split style system where you have your club versus county of I suppose county the first six months and Yeah, well, the following six months that's the kind of the model that you'd like to see.
I will let you know I you know, there's issues with the fits given how do you fit that into maybe fit that and start to year get yourself up and running into March April for your league can pull your league back to two groups or whatever. And you know, look, I've seen it, I've seen it in the examiners, I've the probably the best model I've seen, use the league as prep, you know, you don't really need a League final or if you do just League final normally quarterfinal and then into your round robin, like we have in the morning, get a play by the middle of July, even up into the 20th of July, I would say you know, so you're not you're only coming back three weeks from the Hernan final now anyway, which was going to be around the 14th of August this year. And then give give a space of two or three weeks of not knowing I suppose. And then set your fixtures for mid August and plateaus. Get your county championships done by early October, get your provincial championships and all Ireland played by early December, you know that that's just this? That would be my where do we fit the under 21? club? That sort of that's the thing that won't bother people on a national scale everything already there, we'll find a place for where do we put the minor in the county. That's obviously a factor. The other side of it is under 17. Don't want to play club, senior. So you could actually run the under 17, the minor throughout the club season if you know what I mean, you could just moved that those solutions. But that to me the bigger picture, I would love to see us do two years of this. And let's see.
Let's see how big of a traditionals are you in terms of the provisional and I know my personal I suppose if I one thing that I would like to see trial is I think particularly when you look at from the intercounty Football Championship, I think it's too drawn out and the qualifiers accumulate them that are leaked, and Roberts bore fest of games with kind of, you can kind of see what's going to happen before the draw takes place, the bigger teams are going to kind of stroll the way along and even some teams have been cynical almost sometimes will go on, geez, I'm better off losing this game. And then I can go this way, the whole way through. But even without going into much on that side of I would like to see. I don't I think the provisionals. If they are to happen, they should happen at the start of the year, like aka the league, and then the league structure should be because it's the best quality in terms of competition in terms of ranking, and have that as your main kind of March to July or whatever, even April to July, but to be your number one competition that
permeated, you know, who else will see this show heard in person grew up with, you know, in an area of interest building gas, electric power culture, you know what I mean? football is always huge. Like, to be honest, the crack of beat male is gone. No, and that's the only good. You know, here's the only good thing that's left in a provincial is a gholami, or a car carry a Toronto dollar meters even kind of weight. But even since the qualifier system came in, you know, like, male, we've been military for years in a row, and they ended up in finals and we're just left Sydney, there's no, there's no tangible. I've been to the few last few of your games, like there's nothing compared to what it was in the late 90s, early 2000s. You know what I mean, in terms of, but I tell you, if you mess later on the championship in a non provincial structure, pledges, what a matter then. So look, we all know the reason that the games are organized to a provincial structure, and I know how these things work. I know trying to trying to alleviate that. I could see
the grin on your face, you know, I
just I just the challenge, you know, it's it's, again, I have to be careful my language, I don't want it you know, turkeys and Christmas is kinda is kind of the piece but I mean, if I was sitting on it in the morning, I'd be, you know, put it into the league format that is, tries to be division football one, one football on Division Two, they're all brilliant. No, more of that. more of that. That's what people want to see.
Yeah, no, no, no, absolutely. I think there'll be a big I think fractions because we are in danger of wearing a scenario now when this is, I suppose sporting as well. But kind of all platforms even look at TV like look as simple things like Netflix and you can download stuff on prime or whatever. It's everything. You know, content is in our faces left, right and center. So everybody has more choices. And the more choices you have the kind of the less kind of structured, the old traditional kind of elements are. So we do have to careful that we do have to stay active. There's so much sport on TV, and neutral. If you're a neutral sports fan. Now you can watch anything from baseball. You know, ever Within a room, you name it, there's probably no sporting event around the world that you can't watch. So, gotta stay relevant, you got to move forward, you got to keep because it's, it's It is, it is interesting entry point in our DNA, we can't take that for granted, I think a lot of people in charge are sometimes kind of taught, I should look, they're always going to come back to us, you know, it's all as this, it's not the gotta gotta move with it got to embrace that you got to make sure that you are relevant,
you've got to make it happen. And, you know, I've said that not to go under, you know, comet was passed last night with a secret meeting something, you know, that if we didn't act on the streaming, you know, we can't presume what would have happened, you know, and you you've seen that it came in you can you've actually spotted yourself for those who produce or who the early birds or because you can see the difference in in the quality. And you have to be proactive, as you say, you can't depend that that law has been there for us, or we get away with this or, or should be granted basically, policy. You know, if you fall behind, you know, you're in a bit of bother. But see, again, the other side of that is maybe a splitsies in the chain structure, maybe that that will accommodate that. That might be the driving force that will get us that change, you know?
Yeah, no, absolutely. And luck. Let's hope there's been plenty of talk about it. Let's
hope that we do,
I suppose, as you said, touched on earlier on, don't miss this big opportunity now to act on us. And if we speak overall as your role because something I'm curious, you're on bodies, you're obviously have spoke about high level stuff there and you know, draft dramatic stuff that happened between a little bit out of the ordinary in terms of manager leaving unexpectedly to a certain extent the new manager happened to be appointed, and then obviously COVID, the reaction to the streaming and then the new fixer problems as well. But what's what's, what's the day to day stuff? Or what's the, I suppose your your busiest tasks or your most tasks that you kind of have to implement? As as your role as a committee? Chairman?
Yeah, I still needed to be the one of them. The one at the moment in the middle would be is there is there a fixture making really, it's, it's an again, you touch the COVID, like, everyone sees the Senior Games on whatever boats, you know, I think was the third round of the, of the senior intermediate. We played 64 games between Thursday and Monday between minor senior Junior, you know, that's all going on in the background, you know, so, venues, liaising with football liaison with county committee about the grounds we're going to pair stadium for the semi finals guarantee people given out about that, you know, for the doubleheader
golden occasion the semi finals are That's right.
Yeah, it was like No, wait, no crowds. You know, why, why why we can't add, there you go, you
can preempt the conversation, Daddy,
I mean, do other things one day and stress we have to go in on a Monday night is, as part of CCC parts, I heard a committee. Three of us are on CCC, we deal with all disciplinary matters, etc. You know, referees will review referees or review how they've been getting on, you know, legal structure there for appointing them. That's the kind of stuff day to day. And then again, you know, in for a chat here today. So we're doing a promo with Brooks tomorrow evening. So organizing photographers, small pieces like that, you know, there's just it's amazing the amount of stuff that goes on, and I don't get much of it at all. I mean, if you're drawn by the Secretary, you should see the stuff that comes in. And I mean, like, move a match an hour change a referee, color is outside of Clark. It is the biggest county to administration. And I think we take that for granted at times. You know, my point again, going back to what I've said, Is there a lot of work that goes on week to week. And again, they don't really or happened in the past vocalized what a good job is being done and how difficult it is. And it's always the issue that will rise then, you know, they'll always be something where we miss something, our eyes come up, and it would be a controversy, you know, so the main thing is to stop demanding thing of doing a stop and those things happen. And I suppose that would be how it taught us, you know, then you'd be liaising with tg for at times RT, would we take this game where we do that game? To be honest, for us, the streaming it's better to keep it in house at the moments in terms of financially or whatever. So there's, there's always loads of different angles and then the intercom just kicking off again, and that whole scene is you know, even john Shan work with liaisons with player reps just stay on top of everything there's so much going on on that side of things as well getting get never to not be ready for next week when when we go back. So if nothing is ever the same, to be honest, no week has ever, ever the same, you know, local journalists would have been on this morning about in the fixtures etc. Access to possible players. There's just 1000 different things all the time. It's very varied. Yeah, well, look,
I want to delay a much longer because I'm getting tired evenly. I'm sorry, yeah, no, no, you're not meant that as that as a compliment to the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes, because it's the age old thing where you do nine things, right? You get no praise, you do one thing a little bit not right. And everybody jumps up and down. And that it's,
I suppose that's it. It's just the one that was happy, like I told you, not my first reaction when you when you ask her to do this is like, you know, you're kind of a ga person, that minister whatever. But one thing I am committed to doing, I make no bones about it. It's awesome, then mentality this, that gap has to be bridged. We're all come from clubs, you know, I only came in last year, it's not like you turn into some strange beast, when you take up one of these roles. You know, the key thing is communication just said, it's all one thing doing radio or given comments, podcasts videos, they're the future. There's a way to be engaging with people getting the message out. And I said, Any question if anyone anytime I do want to go ology I even answered them on Twitter to be honest and mad at times to do it. If someone feels weighty decision made, just ask and we'll give you will give you the rationale. A classic one last week was a lot of hold the name of God, did you put my column and bonus law? You know, the very simple was if my column wants to be streamed, it had to be imbalance law. And there were more than happy to you know what I mean, but to hit you see this stuff? Jesus there? Are there well in there, you know, that's happening. So there's a reason for everything. Just people have to ask perfectly. I
just have one last question before I go. And he still okay to give me those $10 tickets.
there for a second.
I was going to say, probably an easier commitments than 10. County final tickets.
Oh, there you go.
I think I think that one would be harder than that's going to cause more troubles on the 27th than it is than I learned Finally, record,
I suppose touching on that very, very, very quickly, then are you are we're still waiting day by day with? And what the latest thing? Is there any hope that the I know, like, for instance, some of the countries are working with little allowed have delayed games a week, I think some other counties as well in hope that they will have a minimum crowd? What's Are you still going to wait into play here with us?
We're gonna stick to our schedule, no matter what Blitz I mean, for my tech. And look, I was a lot of ranting over the last thing of upsells and down, you know, I would have been, I would have been raging with the GA statement. You know, they were writing their sentiment, but I suppose thinking out Ron and Jane, you know, I was I was like, What the hell are you doing? You know, there was a way to do that. And, you know, Jonathan, and I wouldn't agree with journal and a lot of things. But you know, someone should have done a few laps in the field and then come back in and talk about it. Because I don't think I don't think Jay did did anyone any favors in that regard. So I would be very surprised if we are opening pubs in two weeks time, and we can't get up to two or 300 people in from the 21st onwards. That is, that's all I can say on it. I think you would lose the people, you know, you went to a pub, that 500 people in a stadium or in the week after a poor state week after wherever we have to find. That will be my hope.
Ya know, in a weird way, it's been a wonderful, I suppose all isn't the darkest times you know, if you're positive, you can make things happen. And it's been a lot. Thanks to you, and so many others involved. It's been a wonderful, comfortable so far, it would be nice. If we did have a big fine with even just 500 people.
Exactly. Could you imagine winning? Like let's say, Thomas, don't win it? Can you imagine capital, you know, locker or toilet more? You know, look, it doesn't change. Don't get me wrong, but you're lifting a cop there and none of your family or, or your friends are there to see that happen. And you know that, even if you're 50, it would make a difference, you know, because they're loud when they're in there, believe me, I couldn't believe how much noise in the first two rounds. 50 people from each team were making. But yeah, that would be it'd be nice, just even get to that.
And you definitely have to turn the phone off that week. If Absolutely. Listen, Paul, thank you so much for being so open with your time then it's a pleasure. Well, I'm sure we can hopefully touch back again, when we have more positive things to be talking about very informative. I've even learned a lot of structures and stuff going around. So yeah, I hope you hope everybody has enjoyed us. You can get Paul on online on Twitter, if that's where you got all taking requests, all abuse. I'm just kidding. Thank you so much for your time.
You're welcome. Thanks very much. Thank you. You too. Cheers.