Breaking Ball - Clubs being crippled by levies

Breaking Ball - Clubs being crippled by levies
At club meetings the length and breadth of the country members are contemplating how to raise funds just to keep going for another year.

At club meetings the length and breadth of the country members are contemplating how to raise funds just to keep going for another year.

Finance committees have the duty of making sure that first of all costs in the club are kept to a realistic level and to make sure that there’s enough finance in place to meet the cost of running the club, from player insurance, bus travel, the cost of running the club rooms, keeping all the playing surfaces up to scratch and paying affiliation fees to their respective county boards.

This year the GAA decided to run a national club draw. For those of you who are not familiar with the draw the prizes for the draw would be put in place by the GAA, the clubs could then sell their tickets within their own area and keep all the money they collected, a great idea.

There is a presumption with many people that the GAA is the richest sporting organisation in this little country. They, of course, would be spot on but who do they think gets the cash at the end of the day? Do they think the clubs get their hands on some of it? Well that would be a no. Do they think the county boards get their share? Well they get a bit but not near enough especially as not every county is not on a level playing field when it comes to raising finance.

So where does it go? Well most of it will go back to the bosses in Croke Park who then decide how it is best to share the spoils out. So where does it go? Well in 2012 the GAA took in over 52m euro and had running costs of a few grand over ten million which gives us a very healthy profit. So you might wonder why is it at every turn you will see the local club or the county board out with their collection buckets.

In 2012 they paid out a whopping 33m euro to cover administration, teams’ expenses, player welfare, games and organisational development and nearly nine million was shared between county and provisional boards.

The outstanding eight million or so was to pay of another slice of Croke Park and put a bit aside for the rainy day.

It’s important for people, especially those who are asked for a donation and likewise for those who have to go out and ask for that donation. Of course it is not made any easier in this county because of the levies that are placed on the clubs. I would hazard a guess that most of the money raised by clubs on the national draw in Donegal will go towards paying the levies, administration and insurance so is it fair to call it a club draw?

At last week’s county committee meeting the clubs decided to keep the levies at the present level. Did any club member think of ringing a club delegate in another county and see how little clubs in other counties are asked to pay? I suspect they didn’t.

Donegal are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to raising funding to run their affairs.

We don’t have any huge urban areas; we don’t have any multi national companies willing to put any huge promotional or sponsorship deals in place but the annual levies that we have in place are killing the clubs slowly and need to be addressed.

There is no point in crippling the clubs when they’re the ones that’s promoting the organisation locally. Times have been changing for a while now; we can’t keep going back to the same well all the time because when we least expect, it could turn out to be dry.

Paul Galvin retirement

Very few players have ever grabbed the same attention for one reason or another as Kerry’s Paul Galvin. He was one of those players that if you were an opposing supporter you hated him but if you were a player in the opposite team you wished he played for you.

He was one of those players that managers love; he did the dirty work; send him out to do a job and to the letter of that order he would carry it out. He played on the edge. If the opposition had a player who was known for maybe being on the edge at times Galvin would never be that far away letting him know what the game was all about.

He covered his own team mates when they were under pressure and whether they know it or not in Kerry he will be very hard to replace.

To be fair to him most of the criticism came because of his off the field activities. GAA supporters were not ready for one of their wing forwards to be on the catwalk modelling the latest fashions and sporting tattoos. They weren’t ready for the designer stubble or the tanned Hollywood look. Mr Galvin supplied the lot, a real character.

But behind all of that he was a brilliant footballer, one you would have wanted beside you and what came across most when you watched him play he usually wanted to win more that anyone else,

Galvin, along with his fellow county man who retired before Christmas, Tomas O Se, belonged to a certain breed. While they were admired by supporters and many from the media, they were most admired by their fellow players who knew their worth far and beyond anyone else.

Good win in Galway

Another great win in Galway last weekend for Donegal. Two wins out of two is exactly what Jim and the players would have wanted.

Monaghan will provide a sterner challenge in the next outing and it will be important to lay down a marker for the Ulster championship ahead.