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Mayo GAA count the cost

Sport

Mayo GAA Board Chairman Paddy McNicholas surveys the floor at the Mayo GAA Convention in Breaffy House Hotel.
ROOM WITH A VIEW
?Mayo GAA Board Chairman Paddy McNicholas surveys the floor at the Mayo GAA Convention in Breaffy House Hotel.?Pic: Ray Ryan

Mayo GAA count cost


Finance
Daniel Carey

THE cost of preparing the Mayo senior football team jumped by almost €170,000 last year, it was revealed at the County Board Convention held in Breaffy House Hotel on Sunday.
The increase was largely attributable to the team holiday, treasurer JP Lambe told delegates, adding that the trip to Miami last January had cost ‘in the region’ of €156,000. Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday (Monday), the Garrymore clubman clarified that that figure includes a grant of €80,000 from Croke Park, meaning the cost to the County Board was €76.000.
Travelling expenses in 2013 ran to more than €405,000, compared to just under €271,000 in 2012. Catering and medical expenses for the senior football team also rose, while the cost of sports-gear was slightly down. That left total expenses for the senior team for 2013 at €646,440, compared to €480,334 last year.
Bord na nÓg secretary Seán Mac Éil noted the huge cost of preparing ‘one team for one year’ when he backed a motion calling for extra coaching personnel. He recalled comments made some years ago by RTÉ pundit Colm O’Rourke, who noted on a visit to Mayo that if ‘a fraction’ of what was spent on inter-county teams went on coaching, it would make a big difference.
Mac Éil added that set in the context of such a ‘serious’ increase in senior team spending from 2012, savings should be made ‘within the existing system of expenditure’ so that €30,000 to €40,000 could go towards hiring an additional coach. Motions seeking additional coaching personnel were passed and will be referred to the Coaching and Games Committee. The amount spent on coaching and games development in Mayo fell by almost €40,000 in 2013 to €277,498.
The County Board’s overall income and expenditure both topped the €2 million mark in 2013, with treasurer Lambe reporting a small surplus of €69,155 for the financial year of October 31, 2013. Commercial income and fund-raising activities brought in considerably more than in 2012.
Minor football expenses topped €102,000, but as Lambe pointed out, ‘the minors won the All-Ireland’. The board ‘tried to cut back on all teams’, he added, noting that the reduction of €26,000 in spending on the county hurlers was largely explained by the fact that they had made two trips to London in 2012.
Gate receipts were down almost €20,000, with Lambe explaining that was down to a combination of increased Cáirde Mhaigheo sales plus a number of underage games played under lights in October.
In his first report as secretary, Vincent Neary noted that finance had ‘dominated’ the County Board’s agenda “all year long”. He admitted that the debt on MacHale Park in Castlebar is ‘a constant struggle to keep serviced in economic times like this’, but noted that the board had ‘managed’ to do so with the help of clubs. The pitch and stand at the county ground are valued in the board’s balance sheet at almost €18 million, but the stand is calculated as having depreciated in value by €150,000.
Mayo are due to travel to New York for the Connacht Championship opener on May 4. Asked by Ballaghaderreen delegate Con Moynihan about the financial implications of the transatlantic trip, chairman Paddy McNicholas replied that there is a grant for travelling to ‘the Big Apple’ and the board hope that fund-raisers ‘will take care of any shortfall’.
The Kiltimagh clubman noted that the season tickets and County Board Development Draw had been ‘very successful’, but added that there had been a ‘very disappointing’ response to other fund-raising initiatives.
JP Lambe confirmed there were ‘no payments’ made in grants and subscriptions to Cumann na mBunscol, Mayo Colleges, Mayo Vocational Schools, Mayo Colleges, the promotion of Irish or Mayo Scór in the last year. This prompted a question from post-primary representative John Horan, who asked: “If clubs are levied [for schools], surely that should be passed on?”
Replying to Seán Duignan (Moygownagh), the treasurer said the €1,000 levy that gave clubs access to extra All-Ireland tickets was included ‘under Cáirde Mhaigheo’ in the accounts. Auditor Michael McHugh confirmed that there was ‘no club money’ in the sundry debtors list, which increased by over €140,000 during the last financial year.