Opinion: An early season own goal for the GAA ahead of league - Jerome O'Connell

Jerome O'Connell

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Jerome O'Connell

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joconnell@limerickleader.ie

Opinion: An early season own goal for the GAA ahead of league - Jerome O'Connell

Kyle Hayes and Richie English tackle Wexford's Jack O'Connor during Boston's Fenway Classic

LAST July I wrote “someone in Croke Park needs to do a night course in PR”.

That was on the back of the bad press surrounding their poor handling of the Liam Miller tribute game in Pairc Ui Chaoimh and Kildare footballers ‘Newbridge or Nowhere’ saga.

My weekly On The Ball column read: GAA officials need to learn lessons because they have been found wanting badly in terms of public relations. Surely they knew this latest dilemma was going to be made public and they should have been ready”.

“The last week of bad PR will leave a bad taste for quite some time, eroding any positive marketing.”

Fast forward six months and the comments still stand.

The Allianz Hurling and Football League start this week and there should be an air of excitement among GAA supporters.

Instead the narrative is increased ticket pricing.

I understand the working of the GAA and that the price increase had to be confirmed at a Central Council meeting but there is no business model or Public Relations model that will tell you to confirm bad news ahead of a big event.

Thankfully the attention will be back between the white lines this weekend but I’m hoping the GAA or varying counties have a few matchday initiatives up their sleeves in the coming weeks to embellish the spectator enjoyment of the league games.

Credit Meath GAA for their Bring A Ball campaign – urging all kids to bring a football to their home Allianz Football League games and to enter the Pairc Tailteann playing surface at half time for a kick-a-round.