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Parnell has capacity slashed by 20pc

THE Spring Series may be shrouded in doubt over a dearth of double-headers, but another reason could yet compel the Dublin footballers to remain in Croke Park for all their home league games.

The capacity of Parnell Park has been slashed by nearly 20pc - from an original figure of around 9,000 to 7,300.

The new capacity has been set by the GAA's national safety work group, which has completed its report for the CCCC on venue capacities around the country.


Dublin chairman Andy Kettle has said they might be able to increase this by "a few hundred" through remedial work. But that could still leave many thousands of Dubs disappointed, given that league crowds of 20,000-plus (even extending to 45,000 for the Kerry game last February) have become the league norm during the first two years of the Spring Series.

Kettle admitted it was a "possibility" that they would have to play at Croke Park anyway if CCCC instructs them to do so, but he questioned the financial sustainability of that if other curtain-raiser games are not brought in on their ticket.

He also expressed fears that their NFL opener against Cork (currently a stand-alone game) may have to be played in Parnell. "Without a suitable double-header, that game would fall short of 20,000. There would be no atmosphere in Croke Park with that crowd and you have to wonder about the opening-up cost," he said.

Clubs to waive levy

Many Donegal GAA clubs are set to waive their right to a refund of the €5 'levy' imposed by their county board on All-Ireland final tickets last September.

Croke Park's high-powered management committee has instructed board board chiefs that they must offer a refund on the controversial levy, which went towards a fundraising draw for the Donegal team training fund.

Donegal's 40 clubs have now received correspondence to this effect, and they have until December 31 to claim back the money; but local indications suggest that many clubs will waive their right as they had no quarrel with the €5 surcharge.