Anthony Cunningham offered his resignation as Galway hurling manager when he was approached by a delegation of players prior to his reappointment, it has emerged.
A senior Galway GAA source last night confirmed that Cunningham offered to step down when the players came to him seeking changes to his management.
And the source also stated that the delegation of players did not request that Cunningham resign, but that changes be made ahead of 2016.
A second source, a senior hurling board member, also confirmed that Cunningham had offered to resign when approached by the players. He also stated that the manager had not been asked to step down by the players but had been asked to make changes ahead of the 2016 campaign.
None of the players, management or GAA officers would comment publicly on the matter last night as all parties try to find a solution to the dispute. It is the latest twist in a row which has divided the county.
The four group leaders were yesterday named as captain David Collins, vice-captain Andy Smith, Joe Canning and David Burke. But it was stressed by all parties involved that these were part of a leadership group mandated to represent players' views.
The four met Cunningham before he was reappointed as Galway manager for a fifth season and raised a number of issues with the manager.
The senior Galway GAA source said that at no stage during this meeting was Cunningham asked to step down.
“On the contrary, he offered to walk away but was told that this was not what was wanted. The players wanted changes and discussions took place about how they might be implemented,” he said.
According to the senior Galway source, it was agreed by all parties that the content of that discussion would remain confidential but it was communicated to one hurling board official before his reappointment that the issues had been raised.
Cunningham’s reappointment was ratified by Galway hurling board and then by the county committee without any objections being raised.
However, the discontent in the camp emerged later that week, coinciding with a similar situation which developed in neighbours Mayo and which quickly led to the resignation of joint managers Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly.
Cunningham made it clear to Galway officials that he intended to remain in charge for the 2016 season having been reappointed. After talks, it has been agreed to suspend discussions until next week.
It is understood 29 members of the squad attended a meeting with county committee officials in Athenry on Wednesday evening.