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Gaelic's battle of the soul.

THE news that the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) have struck a three year deal with Sky TV has come as a shock to many fans of Gaelic Football and Hurling.

The GAA is a supremely successful and proudly amateur sporting body.

It has over 2,500 affiliated clubs all over the world and a staggering 800,000 individual club members in Ireland.

The GAA's deal with Sky is another example of the creeping financialisation of every sport, so before too long, the cash generated by broadcasting and other deals will assume far greater importance than the fantastic community work that the GAA does in every parish in the country.

The sense of foreboding that many GAA fans feel about the Sky deal is summed up by Joe Brolly, a famous player who is now a TV analyst.

He says "We are not supposed to be a commercial juggernaut.

"The GAA, philosophically, are the opposite of that.

"We are supposed to be communitarians: our objective is the creation of cohesive communities."

Lets hope that communities win out over cash generation for shareholders in what will become a battle for the soul of the GAA.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 20, 2014
Words:193
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