'Not everything is for sale' - New boss Ryan rejects claims GAA is too commercialised
New GAA director-general Tom Ryan has said he is more concerned with how money is spent than how it is raised as he rejected any suggestion that the GAA is too commercialised.
Ryan, who has taken over from Páraic Duffy after 11 years as director of finance, said he didn't always think things through in his previous role from a financial perspective and hopes he can show that in the years ahead.
But he insisted that revenue-raising was a fact of life for any sporting organisation on the GAA's scale and that's why a broadcast deal with Sky Sports and other ventures remain important as they seek to employ coaches and support capital projects across the GAA landscape.
"I'm always more concerned with what we do with the money as opposed to where we take it in from," he said.
"I think there is a natural balance to things. I hope people will recognise that. We don't operate in an environment where everything we have is for sale. We don't want to do that. We go into the market, for want of a better word, with a view to trying to generate a fair and reasonable income with which to fund things which we are obliged to prove."
Ryan said he is "broadly happy" with the current Gaelic Players Association deal and feels the Club Players' Association's ideals largely mirror their own at central level for the club landscape.
"What they're seeking to achieve is not unreasonable. Everybody would like to see it get to that stage where we have a decent fixture programme mapped out in advance for people. It's how you go about doing that because there are all manner of local complexities attached to fixtures born out of the size of different counties."
But Ryan doesn't think there is much scope for even earlier conclusions to the championships and still sees better local solutions to club fixture programmes rather than centrally-enforced penalties.
"I'm not sure penalties are the way to go about it. Sometimes we introduce penalties for things and we don't observe them strictly enough," he said. "Of course we have a role. If I was to say we don't that would be a serious abdication of duty. But I think where real change can be effected is locally."
He said a two-tier football championship is worth looking at but could never envisage a day when counties would merge for competitive purposes.