Monday 25 September 2017

Lilies call for pooling of sponsorship cash ruled out by Duffy

Paraic Duffy has ruled out interfering with individual deals already made by counties
Paraic Duffy has ruled out interfering with individual deals already made by counties
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

KILDARE have called on the GAA to pool sponsorship monies among counties in the wake of Dublin's massive deal with AIG.

The Dubs' contract with the insurance giants is believed to be valued at €3.5m over five years and estimated to be worth three times more than any other GAA deal.

And in her report to Kildare convention, which will be presented to delegates on Saturday, county secretary Kathleen O'Neill expressed concern that the financial clout of the capital could see Dublin become a "superpower."

"Unless a county succeeds in winning major honours, it is getting almost impossible to raise money," said O'Neill.

"When one looks at the reported sponsorship deal that Dublin have with AIG, how can any other county compete? Has the time come for Croke Park to pool all the sponsorship from counties and divide it out on a pro-rata basis?

"Are we going to create a superpower in Dublin and, by implication, leave all other counties trailing behind?"

Kildare's appeal is likely to fall on deaf ears, however, as director-general Paraic Duffy revealed that while the GAA are looking at new ways of financing counties, they won't be interfering with individual deals.

"It's not realistic to cap sponsorship. (Dublin) are the only county probably that can play league games in Croke Park because they can draw in the crowd, so it's not fair to penalise them in that way.," said Duffy.

"I think the argument about putting more money into other counties is separate. You can't blame Dublin for exploiting the support base they have. You can't take money from Dublin to give to somebody else."

Kildare's financial difficulties are well documented and they now run their affairs in conjunction with an overseer appointed by Croke Park.

Earlier this year, their debt ran to €710,000 and O'Neill warned they face tough times ahead to clear it.

"I have worked closely with the financial supervisory committee to help introduce some new systems in an effort to curtail spending and manage the affairs in a more efficient manner," revealed O'Neill. "We have certainly succeeded well in year one. But, do not get carried away."

Irish Independent

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