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Dubs hit back in debate on funds

DUBLIN GAA has defended its right to an equitable share of central funding in the wake of its new multi-million euro sponsorship deal.

The county board last month negotiated a headline-grabbing deal with insurance giants AIG – reportedly worth somewhere between €3.5million and €4m over five years – and this has prompted a wave of envious comment from elsewhere.

Even GAA president Liam O'Neill, while welcoming the deal as a "good news" story, admitted it may well "change our thinking on how we finance counties across the board now to equalise things".

But Dublin chairman Andy Kettle has defended his county's right to receive its fair share of the pot deriving from centralised income streams such as TV rights, national sponsorship deals and league gate receipts.

He also expressed bemusement at outside responses to the AIG deal and the impression conveyed that this sponsorship put Dublin on an entirely new pedestal.

"It surprised me, the reaction to it. I have been quoted as saying that, when we got the deal, there was a sense of relief that we would be able to continue a lot of the work we had started as a result of having the Vodafone sponsorship," Kettle said.

PAUL CLANCY and Declan Meehan have joined Alan Mulholland's senior football management team in Galway. The former All-Ireland winners will be selectors alongside Alan Flynn, who is also staying on as U21 boss in the wake of this year's All-Ireland triumph. Liam Sammon will have an advisory role while former Dublin selector Brian Talty will be involved in training the Leinster-based players.

EUGENE CLOONAN and Damien Curley have been ratified as Galway hurling selectors alongside manager Anthony Cunningham, with Tom Helebert stepping down.

LIAM BRADLEY is set to become Antrim football manager for a second time – with his son Paddy on board. 'Baker' is expected to be confirmed as manager tonight with Paddy also joining his management team as an assistant coach, in a move that surely signals the end of his inter-county career with Derry.