Donegal warn race for ticket refunds may ground team's Dubai holiday
DONEGAL'S treasurer Grace Boyle has warned that if a lot of clubs seek a refund of the €5 extra charge that was placed on All-Ireland final tickets it could affect the county board's funding of their footballers' team holiday.
Donegal said the additional charge was for a fundraising draw but Croke Park regarded it as a levy and took a poor view of it.
HQ has insisted the county board offer all clubs a refund and there has been speculation that, in light of Donegal's historic All-Ireland success, many clubs are likely to waive their right to a refund.
But the board are clearly worried about the situation and treasurer Boyle believes if there is a scramble for returns then their ability to fund the team holiday to Dubai after Christmas will be affected.
"If there's a run on clubs looking for the money back it could place the county in a very serious situation with regard to finances," she said at a county convention.
Boyle confirmed that all of the county's clubs have been written to and that they have been asked to reply by the end of this month.
"The county team holiday is on the table and the flights are booked," she said. "Croke Park has allocated €80,000 (for the holiday) and we have set aside €100,000, but we may not be able to fund it if clubs seek a refund."
Meanwhile, Donegal's All-Ireland winning management came in for some criticism for their ability to intervene in club fixtures.
"Jim McGuinness is entitled to come in here and ask (for fixtures to be postponed) but the county board have to take responsibility," said Dr Austin O'Kennedy, a former county team doctor.
He was responding to the controversy surrounding the fact that his club, Four Masters, were forced to play five games in less than three weeks because the championship had been postponed due to the county's senior success.
Sean Dunnion (Four Masters) defeated Mick McGrath by 88 votes to 79 to take over as the new Donegal chairman after outgoing vice-chairman Charlie Cannon was eliminated after the first round of voting. Danny McNamee is vice-chairman, Jim Quinn is the new PRO and Brendan Kelly is Donegal's new Ulster Council delegate.