Tipperary fury at Munster over funding failure
TIPPERARY county board secretary Tim Floyd has lashed the Munster Council for a lack of financial support for development work at Dr Morris Park in Thurles.
And in a wide-ranging report to the Premier County annual GAA convention next Monday, Floyd has also given full backing to Tipp's senior hurling manager Declan Ryan and his back-room team.
Floyd has also admitted the county's ongoing senior hurling championship relegation saga has left a "sour taste", and the Newport man has also questioned the financial wisdom of playing Tipperary's National Football League fixtures at Semple Stadium, in front of paltry attendances.
Floyd's major gripe is with the Munster Council, however, as he reveals cash-flow problems surrounding the 'third field' project at Dr Morris Park.
"We spent €1.6m on the purchase and development in 2009 and 2010 and received €1m from the Croke Park Infrastructure fund," writes Floyd. "The remaining €600,000 was paid from our own resources, including a €300,000 draw reserve.
"Efforts to secure grant aid from Munster Council have failed and this is most disappointing. In the 2011 current allocation, 164 Munster clubs benefited from grants totalling over €900,000. It is incredible that our own Provincial Council do not see it fit to assist us at a time when we are in desperate need to complete the project."
Floyd admits the downturn in the economy is having a "serious effect on county finances" and warns that "fairly drastic measures may have to be taken to remain viable."
Financial figures which will be presented to delegates on Monday night show that gate receipts for county championship and league matches have dropped from €404,000 in 2009 to €323,000 in 2010 to €263,000 in 2011.
"The most dramatic fall is in our senior hurling championship, with a drop of €100,000 over the last three years," he adds.
Floyd also wonders if the Tipperary senior footballers can continue to play National Football League matches at Semple Stadium at a time when just a "paltry few diehards" are attending the games.
Floyd has also delivered a resounding vote of confidence to Ryan ahead of the 2012 campaign.
Ryan took over from Liam Sheedy following the 2010 All-Ireland success and brought the team to another All-Ireland final, while also masterminding Munster championship success.
"The post-mortems continued for weeks (after the All-Ireland final) with team management not being spared by the hindsight supporters and critics," Floyd writes.
"These same critics wanted Liam Sheedy's head on a plate after the first-round defeat to Cork in May 2010. Naturally enough they jumped on the winning bandwagon when the tide turned in the qualifiers and joined the celebrations in September when we reached the Holy Grail.
"Declan Ryan is made of steely stuff and I am confident he will bounce back from this disappointment. Declan, Tommy (Dunne) and Glossy (Michael Gleeson) are winners and have a winning mentality, and I am certain we will see a hardening of attitudes in 2012 to ensure that by September our players will be stronger both mentally and physically to compete successfully and bring back the Liam MacCarthy Cup to the Premier County."
Floyd also refers to the county senior hurling championship relegation saga, which has yet to be resolved following the postponement of last Sunday's proposed semi-final refixture between Cashel King Cormacs and Ballybacon-Grange.
He writes: "Relegation returned in 2011 and has left a sour taste on an otherwise very successful county senior hurling championship year. Much has been said and blame has been apportioned from different angles.
"I appreciate that Cashel King Cormacs have the law on their side with the regulations, but it still does not take from the fact that they were beaten on the field of play.
"Had they won in that extra-time, would they argue the opposite view if Ballybacon-Grange objected?"