Kerry great Colm Cooper has hit out at the growing influence of player power in Gaelic games amid suggestions that unrest within the squad contributed to the exit of Fermanagh football manager Pete McGrath.

The dual All-Ireland winning boss revealed he was stepping down after three years in charge of the Erne men, despite agreeing an extension to his tenure earlier in the week.

It has been widely rumoured that several players had expressed their opposition to McGrath's reappointment, and Cooper expressed his surprise at the sudden U-turn.

"It's very surprising news," Cooper told RTÉ Radio's Saturday Sport.

"Considering they were in an All-Ireland quarter-final quite recently (2015), you'd think he was doing a reasonable job there.

"But, again, we see what looks like player power coming to the fore. There seems to be a bit of discontent among a number of players and it looks like he won't be charge next year.

"When I was playing in Kerry, the player's job was to play."

"It'll be very interesting to hear from Pete because it appeared that he and the county board had an agreement to continue, and this has been torn up in the last 48 hours."

McGrath has said he will speak about the decision on Monday, but Cooper believes that if it is indeed another case of player power, it is more evidence of a worrying trend at inter-county level.

"When I was playing in Kerry, the player's job was to play," he said. "The administration was for the county board.

"It appears that is changing, maybe faster in some other counties than in Kerry. I just could never see it getting to that stage in Kerry. Whenever a new Kerry manager was appointed I was never consulted.

"For me, this is a worrying trend that seems to be happening all over the country."

Cooper acknowledged that most players don't have the fortune of playing for a perennial contender like Kerry or Dublin, but insists that is not reason enough to force their way into decisions regarding managers.

"I suppose from a player's point of view, they are saying that their career is short and they need to have the best man in charge and the best expertise available to them," he said.

"You can see a little bit where they are coming from but players shouldn't confuse their job and that's very much on the field.

"There's loads of counties around the country that would love to have Mickey Harte or Jim Gavin as their manager but that can't be the case. You have to get on with whoever your manager is and put the shoulder to the wheel for the sake of your county."