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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Dublin likely to be hit by funding cuts

In attendance at a GAA Annual Report for 2015 Finance media briefing were Peter McKenna (left) (Commercial Manager, Stadium Director, Croke Park) and Tom Ryan (Director of Finance) at Croke Park, Dublin (SPORTSFILE)
In attendance at a GAA Annual Report for 2015 Finance media briefing were Peter McKenna (left) (Commercial Manager, Stadium Director, Croke Park) and Tom Ryan (Director of Finance) at Croke Park, Dublin (SPORTSFILE)

Dublin are likely to see a gradual reduction in funding from Croke Park over the coming years after the GAA's establishment of a committee to oversee a change in the methods of central finance distribution.

Yesterday's published financial report showed that monies from Croke Park to Dublin GAA in 2015 again dwarfed those of any other county.

Indeed the total figure of €2,821,990 awarded to Dublin last year under headings like Games Development, Capital Grants and Team Expenses was greater than the amounts granted to three of the four provincial councils.

"If it was easy to resolve in 12 months, I suppose you might have seen a change," explained the GAA's Director of Finance, Tom Ryan.

"It's quite complicated, you have to look at the relative cost bases in the different counties, you've got to look at the scale of the different counties and you've got to look at the level in which they are fielding teams in both codes.

Dividends

"There is a small group that has been established under the auspicious of the National Finance Committee to look specifically at that question," he continued.

"It's not a question of trying to take resources away from particular counties, the job really should be to provide extra for all of the other counties.

"It's going to be a job of work that will probably take up to three years in terms of re-balancing competition dividends and things like that, but you will see some changes emerging from that group over the course of the next 18 months to three years. We're conscious of the discrepancies, we're conscious of the challenges that it poses for counties. I don't think you can solely attribute playing success or otherwise down to purely financial reasons.

"Quite an amount of it depends on financial resources, I know that, but there are other factors at play as well.

Unfair

"There is a small group that has been constituted to look specifically, not at Dublin. It would be unfair to characterise it as Dublin, but just to look at the total amount that we generate in a year and if you think in terms of discretionary spend.

"We're looking at that, it will mean some increases for some counties, some reductions for other counties, it will mean looking at the league model and how we financially allocate the league dividends.

"But what you'll see, I think, is maybe a gradual change over the course of the next 18 months to three years rather than something revolutionary.

"We don't do revolutionary stuff anyway as you'll know.

"Because a lot of that cost is based on, to be honest about it, people employed we're not going to be able to change that at the drop of a hat."

Peter McKenna, meanwhile, revealed that the GAA's new National Centre of Excellence at Abbotstown will open at the start of April.

The Centre reportedly cost in excess of €8m and will feature five Prunty pitches, all with floodlights, four of them full-size and one with the exact dimensions of the pitch at Croke Park.

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