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GAA knows the price of everything and value of nothing

By Declan Bogue

The email caught a few of us off-guard, it must be said. From the offices of the Cavan county board, it read: "Going forward we are asking you to refer to our grounds at all times as 'Kingspan Breffni'. We are dropping the word 'Park' from the official name."

There are many things wrong with that, not least the use of 'going forward'. But now we are not to call one of the most storied and famous football grounds in Ireland by the time honoured name, 'Breffni Park'.

One of Cavan's Ulster-winning heroes of 1997, the goalkeeper Paul O'Dowd, was fond of saying when he worked in journalism that there was no purer sentence than a match preview leading off with: 'All roads lead to Breffni Park on Sunday'.

Apologists for this tawdry scheme, and there are some among the people I would class as friends, defend the deal with the rationale that the ground is not named after a particular person, and that Kingspan are chipping in with roughly 40 large per annum, which can directly benefit the county football team.

But, ah here. Does everything need to be endorsed, or commercially partnered up with the GAA at the same time? Is the purpose of the GAA just to get more money to spend on the preparation of football and hurling teams? Given how little the results have changed down through the years, it feels like a bonfire might be a better use of all this money.

Right now, the GAA chases too many avenues of revenue, both centrally and at county level.

The GAA itself launched an official bread (Pat The Baker) last week. They even have an official chocolate bar in Moro, nice and all as they are, but jeez…

Dublin have commercial link ups with Subaru (official car partner), Benetti (menswear provider) and, rather hilariously put, The Gibson Hotel (official sleeping partner)!

Shucks, isn't it great to see those amateurs out there, entertaining the crowds before delivering your milk, teaching your children, milking your cows the next day?

Belfast Telegraph


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