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Compensation worries scuttle Dubs-Mayo Friday fixture

GAA bosses have stopped the Dublin/Mayo Allianz Football League game from going ahead on Friday week in Croke Park because of the possible precedent set over compensation for lost wages.

After an agreement was reached early yesterday between Mayo and Dublin on the Friday night date, approval looked like a formality.

But the Dublin County Board were shocked to learn last night that CCCC (Central Competitions Control Committee) had turned it down for a variety of reasons ranging from player welfare, the availability of stewards on the night and the danger of setting a preced-ent for other Friday night fixtures where players may need to be compensated for lost wages that afternoon.

The Friday night slot was initially pencilled in for Dublin/Mayo because it fitted perfectly between the club finals on St Patrick's Day and the Ireland/England rugby international at the Aviva Stadium on the Saturday.

However, Mayo had a potential Connacht U-21 match on Saturday, March 19, and couldn't take the risk of agreeing to Dublin's request for Friday night.

But because Leitrim, Mayo's opponents in that U-21 game once they overcame Roscommon, had to play their refixed Division 4 game against London in Ruislip that weekend, an opportunity arose.

Meanwhile, the GAA's director of finance has warned that counties must hasten their cost-cutting measures in 2011 to avoid problems further down the road.

Tom Ryan was speaking as the GAA announced a small surplus for 2010, despite a fall in revenues of almost €10m, courtesy of a drop in Croke Park rental income following the departure of international soccer and rugby to the Aviva Stadium.

All other revenues remained much the same as the 2009 figures, but Ryan gave a stark warning to counties that reductions in their outgoings were not happening quickly enough.

Expenditure on inter-county team preparations dropped to below €20m in 2010, but many boards remain in the danger zone.

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Croke Park distributed €11m to counties in 2010, their share of grants plus TV and commercial revenue, but Ryan said that this fell far short of what counties required for day-to-day running.

"It's a county's job is to manage their own costs accordingly and to plan accordingly. That €11m doesn't and cannot match the corresponding expenditure on the part of counties," he warned.

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