Friday 20 September 2019

Rossies boss McStay calls for a more level financial playing field

Roscommon manager Kevin McStay. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile
Roscommon manager Kevin McStay. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Roscommon football manager Kevin McStay has urged the GAA to pay the travel and catering bills of every competing county to create a more level financial playing field.

McStay has previously flagged the financial challenge of a county like Roscommon competing at the top table when their team budgets are set at €15,000 per week.

In an interview with this week's 'Roscommon People', McStay has revisited the financial crux for his county, describing the challenge as "monstrous".

"It's down to simple mathematics. The amount of money that's coming in is not enough to cover what's going out to pay for the game at all levels.

"I would say Roscommon has the smallest budget of any county in the top two divisions. But that's where we're at and we have to accept it.

"We are going into Division 1 next year and hopefully we will have a good summer this year but we simply cannot compete in terms of funding," he said.

McStay feels the GAA's financial model must change to create a fairer platform.

"Croke Park are committing to change it, but that will be a slow burner and could take 10 years.

GAA Newsletter

Expert GAA analysis straight to your inbox.

"If they want counties to be operating on a level playing field they could, for instance, pay the mileage and catering costs of every county in the country.


"That would give us the space here in Roscommon to operate without our hands tied behind our back. It would cost the GAA eight to €10 million for the whole country," he estimated.

"It would take people out of the hardship of trying to operate year-in, year-out. I don't know how they operate in Roscommon. It's a credit to them.

"We have a couple of great sponsors but it is very tough. We have 26 players in Dublin.

"Every time we bring them down the country for a training session it costs €1,000 for taxis alone. Just think about that. Club Rossie are doing a great job but the income is not there."

McStay also revealed to the 'People' that Ciaran Lennon, his regular league full-forward, has been committed to the U-20 campaign after agreement with U-20 manager Shane Curran.

That followed the example set in Offaly with Cian Johnson.

"Ciaran's form has complicated matters. He played eight national league games and played well in them all," said McStay.

Roscommon have four U-20s on the senior squad and all will be staying with their own age group.

"We think that is the right thing to do," he said.

Irish Independent

The Throw-In: 'Jim Gavin has achieved what Mick O'Dwyer and Brian Cody couldn't do'

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Also in Sport