Dubs paying price for success as team costs soar to €2m
Dublin are set to smash all previous records for inter-county team preparation costs this year on the back of reaching four All-Ireland finals over the next three weeks.
The price of success could come close to the €2m mark when the final audits are completed as Dublin prepare to contest All-Ireland minor football and hurling, U-21 hurling and senior football finals in a two-week spell.
Cork spent over €1.5m on their way to All-Ireland minor and senior football finals last season but Dublin now look set to surpass that figure, with chairman Andy Kettle admitting it could be close to the €2m mark for the unprecedented push across all fronts.
"If not (€2m) then fairly close to it," revealed Kettle yesterday. "That's just a fact of life. Players are entitled to their expenses, they are entitled to a fair shake. Success becomes expensive."
Dublin spent just over €1.2m on their inter-county teams in 2010 (the third-biggest spend behind Cork and Tipperary) and, even with belt-tightening a priority across all counties in 2011, the cost of funding the capital city's teams has risen.
"We are very conscious of it being more than last year and we would be looking at perhaps some ideas to see if we can get contributions to the coffers to alleviate what is going to be a substantial bill -- there is no doubt about that," said Kettle.
With the Dublin hurlers' campaign lasting until the middle of August this year and the senior footballers extending their championship for three weeks longer, and when team holidays at the end of such a successful year are accounted for, expenses will surely get close to the €2m mark.
Gates from club championship matches are likely to be down as Dublin seek to compress the fixture list considerably once the quartet of All-Ireland finals are out of the way.
Dublin will have just four weekends after the All-Ireland football final to complete their senior football championship in time before their champions are due to meet the champions of Meath on October 23.
The Dublin hurling champions will have just an extra seven days before they are scheduled to play the Westmeath champions.
"It is going to be tight but we will do everything in our power to make it happen.
"We did speak to Leinster early on in the season -- it may have been a little too early to speak to them, but we will certainly go back to them again," said Kettle in the hope that the Leinster Council might be accommodating.
"But it will be a case of dual players playing twice a week to try to get it done.
"The CCC are looking very closely at the calendar. There is not a lot they can do with the football championship because it is already knockout. They are talking to the hurling teams to try to get a bit of leeway there.
"That is on a round-robin basis and if they can get that changed to straight knockout, there is a good chance that it would be finished."