Pat Spillane: I blame our flawed play on the greedy Premier League

I’m one of those ultra-anoraks who uses streaming services to keep up with the district championships

So it’s touching when people start to sympathize with me. They want to know how I manage to fill this column now that the All-Ireland Championship is over.

It was suggested that I should turn my attention to other sports and perhaps even politics.

Reporting on politics would be like fish in a barrel.

Just think: we are in a cost of living crisis. So what did the government do? They increased excise duty on petrol and diesel, even though the car was a necessity in rural Ireland.

In addition, they have abolished the nine percent VAT rate in the hospitality industry, so it is now a whopping 13.5 percent.

There’s no better way to put the final nail in the coffin of small bars, restaurants and family-run hotels that are barely staying afloat.

The number of homeless people is at record levels and virtually no one under the age of 40 can afford to buy a home.

Meanwhile, Kerry County Council revealed that a fifth of houses in the village of Sneem are empty. Has anyone joined?

We train our nurses, doctors and teachers to work in Australia and/or the Middle East. They see no future for themselves in Ireland.

In the meantime, our politicians hide behind slogans, reports and advertising. No tour is shown.

Education is something I know quite a bit about.

This year’s Leaving Certificate grades have been increased by seven percent to bring them in line with 2022 results. There’s nothing new there. This is just another case of the Leaving Certificate results being downplayed.

Then there are the other sports.

Sky told us that “the biggest show on earth”, aka the Premier League, is on. What kind of idiots do they think we are?

The wealthiest clubs will dominate once again, with the likes of Burnley, Luton Town and Sheffield United making up the numbers.

Back in the world of Irish horse racing, sheiks, billionaires and millionaires continue to pocket the lion’s share of the prize money, largely provided by the Irish taxpayer.

Our athletes returned from the World Championships without any medals. We’re told they achieved their goal by achieving twelve top-24 finishes. Maybe that bar was set pretty low.

And don’t get me started on football.

Last year Vera Pauw was Irish Coach of the Year after leading Ireland to their first World Cup final. Now she’s gone. And it looks like we’ll have to wait a few more weeks for the FAI to explain why.

So perhaps I’ll stick with the GAA, even though they’ve taken their two most marketable products, the All-Ireland football and hurling championships, out of the window for six months.

We will have to settle for the club championships, although, as mentioned a few weeks ago, some of these competitions have already concluded. So the club players in these districts will just twiddle their thumbs until 2024.

Club championships are of a church nature. Outside of the two clubs directly involved, they have limited appeal. Only the ultra-anoraks have any interest in what’s happening in the club scene outside their home country.

I recommend checking the national newspapers this weekend for fixtures, previews or reports on club games.

You will have a hard time finding even basic results in most of them. And as for national television and radio, don’t make me laugh. I doubt they know these games are happening.

To accommodate TG4, they show live club games on Sundays. So far the games featured have been disappointing to say the least and I shudder to think of what the viewership figures are.

I have a confession to make today. I’m one of those ultra-anoraks who actually makes an effort to watch almost every club game available, be it on TV or streamed.

I’m spoiled for choice. Dubs TV can be received free of charge. It’s a brilliant service that shows most of the big games from their football and hurling club championships

But the launch of streaming service Clubber TV has changed the game.

Unlike various RTÉ experts and personalities, I am not promoting a product. I paid my €99 annual subscription to Clubber – and what a service they provide.

A few weekends ago I saw action from 40 games in counties Kerry, Tipperary, Longford, Louth and Waterford. Last weekend was no different.

Last Monday evening I had the choice between the Reading v Cambridge game offered by Sky or a Louth Senior Championship game between Sam Mulroy’s club Naomh Mairtin and St Mochtas.

I chose the latter and for the record, the tie ended in a draw.

The ills of Gaelic football are made even worse at club level. The possession-oriented, defense-oriented counterattack game is very trendy.

However, it is played at a slower pace than county football and most players are less skilled than their county counterparts. It’s hard to watch sometimes. The performance of the Clifford brothers David and Paudie for Fossa is the only consolation for me.

Clubber TV has shown three of their four games so far in the Kerry Intermediate Championship and the cameras will be at Fitzgerald Stadium this afternoon to watch the semi-final clash with the Austin Stacks.

It is a unique clash between Stacks, who played the Munster Senior Club final in 2021, and Fossa, who were a junior club last season.

This is the Clifford brothers’ fifth game since the All-Ireland final and there is no end in sight.

The county championship is about to start and they will play at least three games for East Kerry.

Fossa’s quarter-final encounter against Castleisland Desmonds last weekend was one of the best football games I have seen this year. Three thousand people came to Castleisland mainly to see the Cliffords.

Fossa prevailed after extra time (5:17 to 1:19) thanks to David’s last-minute goal after a 70-meter solo run, which is worth watching again on YouTube.

Although the Clifford siblings were outstanding, the man of the match rightly went to Fossa striker Emmet O’Shea, who scored 1-5 from the game. Pat Spillane: I blame our flawed play on the greedy Premier League

Snopx is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button