DON'T punish our All-Ireland winners – that seems to be the approach by Donegal County Board after being ordered by Croke Park to repay around €65,000, the proceeds from a €5 surcharge imposed on All-Ireland final tickets.
The board ran into trouble over the levy and had senior officers summoned to Croke Park to appear before the GAA's Management Committee after a letter of explanation was deemed unsatisfactory. Management ordered Donegal to offer a refund but now the board are claiming that if the clubs look for all the money back at the same time, it would place a heavy financial burden which could impact on the players' holiday fund for the trip to Dubai after Christmas.
The clubs are delighted with the All-Ireland win so it's thought many of them will waive the refund as a 'thank you' to the players. That would mean that the original levy stood, despite being against regulations.
Given the anger among management over its imposition in the first place (disciplinary action against Donegal board officers was mentioned), that won't go down well in Croke Park.