Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Ulster Council’s attitude not the ticket: McHugh

Martin McHugh has raised serious concerns over the 2009 Ulster senior football championship.

The former Donegal ace, now a TV and radio pundit, believes the Ulster Council erred in not reducing its admission charges for this season’s championship.

“In a time of recession when people are losing jobs and money is scarce the GAA should have made some kind of goodwill gesture.

“The GAA prides itself on being a family driven sports organisation, but they have missed out on a glorious opportunity.

“There is a real danger here that the men at the top are losing touch with the ordinary rank and file,” he warned.

McHugh also insists that the Ulster Council should have kicked off its championship with the glamour game of the first round — All Ireland champions Tyrone against Armagh.

“The GAA had no problem in pulling out all the stops on two separate occasions for the start of the Allianz League udner lights in Croke Park.

“And yet this weekend the beginning of another championship is very low key,” he added.

GAA President Christy Cooney though is quick to dispute McHugh’s claims.

“I genuinely believe when push comes to shove we’ll have very good championship attendances in the weeks and months ahead.

“We will always have to compete with other sports, whether it’s soccer or rugby. As regards admission prices we have made an increased number of family tickets available,” he said.

It seems that many GAA fans aren’t aware that tomorrow’s Ulster championship opener in Brewester Park is actually an all ticket affair.

Fermanagh PRO Deirdre Donnell confirms that today is the last day tickets will be available for the game.

No tickets are expected to be on sale on the day of the match.