REVEALED: The salary paid to Ireland's most successful Olympic coach 5 years ago

REVEALED: The salary paid to Ireland's most successful Olympic coach

The price of an unprecedented period of success for Irish boxing was today laid bare as details of Billy Walsh's doomed contract negotiations were revealed.

The former head coach of the high performance unit is in Memphis agreeing terms for his new role with USA Boxing after negotiations between the IABA and the Wexford man collapsed this week.

In today's Irish Independent, Vincent Hogan reveals chapter and verse on a saga that dates back to February, when Walsh first told the amateur boxing chiefs about the interest from the United States.

Hogan finally puts a figure on how the IABA valued the man who had masterminded seven Olympic medals and just this month helped guide Michael Conlan to Ireland's first ever World Championship gold.

Walsh's salary as head coach of the HPU was €77,000 and while Walsh and the Irish Sports Council insisted the financial aspect was not the main sticking point, it was interesting the IABA were happy to accept an increase to €115,000 as long as Walsh resigned from his permanent position and signed up to a new three-year deal.

The IABA also rejected Walsh's request for a €15 daily allowance for coaches on trips abroad to be reinstated.

 

Advertisement

The three-year contract was unacceptable to Walsh, so the IABA eventually agreed in principle to a €97,000 per annum permanent position.

This was in August but Fergal Carruth, the IABA CEO called off the deal and the tone of a subsequent meeting lead Walsh's representative, a senior trade union official by the name of Tommy Cummins, to remark that he had never experienced anything like it in 30 years of industrial conflict resolution.

At the crux of the issue was Walsh's desire for autonomy and to be recognised as the director of the HPU, but from a couple of clauses inserted by the IABA it was clear this would never happen.

"24.1 Any contact with the Sports Council, Olympic Council or any other outside agency must be approved in advance in writing by the CEO.

"24.2 No public statements either by way of TV, Radio, Newspapers or Social Media must be made without the prior written approval of the CEO."

Contrary to what the IABA insisted this week it seems the two parties could find common ground on financial issues, but on most everything else they were poles apart.