We let Wallace go because of his suspension: Offaly chairman

We spoke to the Offaly county board chairman regarding Stephen Wallace's sacking

BY Ciaran Bradley 13:54 Thursday 17 May 2018, 13:54 17 May 2018

Tommy Byrne - Offaly county board chairman - appeared on OTB to defend the board following Stephen Wallace's sacking. Wallace appeared on OTB AM earlier in the show to defend his record and give his side of the story.

Wallace was sacked as Offaly manager last night following an appeal of his suspension by the GAA, and amid rumours that the players prepared a statement of support for Wallace. However, no players have yet come out publicly to support Wallace.

The manager was appointed with a three-year plan mooted by the board to help rebuild the Offaly setup, following high-profile departures at the end of last season.

"We had hoped that this appointment would be for two or three years, yes. Unfortunately, nobody thought that it would end like this.

Concerns abound that the board are too interfering in the general running of the senior team, with Cian Johnson having criticised them for denying him an opportunity to turn out for the seniors despite an impressive record for the under-20s. This provides an interesting backdrop to Wallace's comments earlier today that the board have also denied him the ability to improve the setup as he had wished.

"We are consulting with the players and talking to the players. The players want to leave it as it is [with Stephen Wallace sacked]. I'm not actually any more questions concerning the players. I know where we are with the players at the moment and what they want to do - and we are going to do that.

 

"When people are just out of a job are going to have complaints about this, that and the other. Since Stephen was appointed, I have never had anything but good relations with him. Whatever comes out of it now, he's bound to be hurting.

"We haven't had running battles with him - any county manager is going to be looking for more. You can give them a certain amount, you can do this, that and the other - we have very good training facilities. We had a difficult year this year with the weather, as has every other county, but this year we are in as good a position as we have ever been regarding training facilities.

On why the decision was finally taken - after the initial suspension was passed on 11 April - Byrne was keen to impress that it was not to do with the loss against Wicklow on Sunday:

"I've said it several times [...] that the decision was made because we feel that a manager who is suspended from all GAA activities could not carry out his responsibilities."

You can listen to OTB AM every weekday at 7:45 on our Facebook, YouTube and Periscope channels.

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