Sport Gaelic Football

Monday 1 September 2014

Presidential hopefuls in call for major redistribution of wealth

Martin Breheny

Published 20/02/2014 | 02:30

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21 January 2014; Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam Ó Néill in attendance at the publication of the Director General's Annual Report. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
One of the three GAA presidential candidates will succeed Liam O'Neill

A MAJOR readjustment of the GAA's finances, designed to help poorer counties compete with their richer rivals, may be on the way.

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Fears have been expressed in recent times that massive sponsorship and commercial deals brokered by some of the stronger counties gives them an unfair advantage.

But now the three GAA Presidential candidates, Sheamus Howlin (Wexford), Aogán ó Fearghail (Cavan) and Seán Walsh (Kerry) have all expressed concerns about the current trend.

"To ensure that we do not create a two-tier system in relation to the standard of teams, it is incumbent on us to have a funding model that respects the strengths and weaknesses of all counties," said Walsh.

"The distribution of our finances needs a review and we need to focus on how we can help so-called weaker counties," said ó Fearghail.

"We need to ensure that those who have the biggest difficulties attracting local sponsorships are not being left significantly behind their counterparts," said Howlin.

The trio were responding to an extensive list of questions posed by the Irish Independent ahead of tomorrow night's vote at Congress to decide who will succeed Liam O'Neill as President next year.

The candidates have expressed reservations about the Football Review Committee proposal to re-locate one Ulster and three Leinster counties in the Connacht and Ulster championships, while ó Fearghail and Howlin believe that Eddie Keher's proposal to scrap red and yellow cards in hurling is ill-founded.

They would also like to see more Friday evening inter-county games, but ó Fearghail is more hopeful than Howlin and Walsh about the prospects of it happening.

Irish Independent

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