Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

GAA gets ready to absorb major financial hit

The GAA is bracing itself for a massive cut in gate receipts this year.

It has been estimated that the Association could suffer a drop of perhaps up to €6m as the economic recession bites hard.

At next month’s Congress in Cork, delegates will be told that there will be belt-tightening throughout the GAA.

The Finance Committee’s projections suggest that there will be a potential 10 per cent drop in overall revenue to €57.5 million.

County boards will meet with the Finance Committee in the coming weeks, having already been asked to submit a budget before the end of this month to draw down money for team grants, mileage and a basic payment that goes out from Croke Park.

Cutbacks will be on the agenda at the meeting, but Croke Park chiefs are determined to ensure that any cost-cutting measures will not affect the key issue of player welfare.

GAA President Nickey Brennan said: “We are going through a challenging period in financial terms and this will involve sacrifice at different levels.”

Meanwhile, it is believed that legal action could be brought against the Cork county board by a club if it insists that no further votes or discussions on Gerald McCarthy’s position as senior hurling manager will be allowed.

Cork officials are expected to refer to Rule 59 of the GAA’s Official Guide in the likely event of a motion of no confidence in McCarthy being tabled at next Tuesday night’s crucial county board meeting.

But the Croke Park authorities are so concerned about the challenge by a growing number of clubs in the county that their Management Committee will meet tonight to establish a position of the use of Rule 59 to block any further vote or discussion.

The rule decrees that a board can "determine all matters relating to the management and selection of its inter-county teams."

But it’s not expected that the Management Committee meeting will throw up any new proposals aimed at solving the ongoing dispute involving the 2008 hurling panel, the county board and Gerald McCarthy - a dispute which is now a major blot on the GAA landscape and which looks set to run on for some time.

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