Croke Park bailout to save Mayo millions
Mayo GAA has been given a massive financial lift by Croke Park's decision to bail them out and take over the entire debt for the redevelopment of MacHale Park.
The county looks set to save millions over the course of the 29-year loan term after agreement was reached for the GAA at central level to assume a €5m loan outstanding to Ulster Bank. The new loan will be serviced at a much lower interest rate and will provide the county with some badly needed breathing space.
Mayo already had a €5m loan on the stadium from the GAA and, between that and the Ulster Bank loan, had been struggling with repayments of €48,000 per month.
But under the revised terms the Mayo County Board will now repay €33,000 to Croke Park, a saving of €15,000 per month or €180,000 per year.
If the terms remain the same over the period of the loan, the savings could amount to €5m.
It is a massive relief for Gaelic Games in the county but more evidence of counties struggling under the weight of significant debt.
Offaly GAA, which renovated O'Connor Park in Tullamore to a high standard, are awaiting a proposal from the GAA's National Finance Committee to bail them out as they owe an estimated €200,000 to creditors.
Kildare finances have been overseen by the National Finance Committee after they required significant advances and a restructuring of loans in 2012.
Mayo chairman Mike Connelly told the 'Mayo News' there had been "incredible pressure" on officers to meet the original repayments.