Donegal GAA clubs opted to stick with the existing levy system after hearing that the county’s finances are not as rosy as was believed.
The clubs made the decision after hearing from new county treasurer Cieran Kelly,that while the end of year audited accounts showed that Donegal had made a healthy profit of €234,000, when a money raised by Club Tirchonaill and a club levy for MacCumhaill Park was taken into account the actual working profit was substantially less.
“The €234,000 is not a true figure of where we stand. It was a profit alright but not an operating profit. Club Tir Chonaill raised over €105,000, which was ringfenced for the new training centre in Convoy and there was €72,000 raised in levies from the clubs for the refurbishment of MacCumhaill Park,” the treasurer told county committee.
“Those figures were included in the €234,000, but when you take them away you are left with an operating profit of in the region of €57,000 which leaves us in not as rosy a position as some people think.”
County auditor Enda Bonner, who was at the meeting in his capacity as Dungloe club delegate, reaffirmed that €234,000 was the profit for the year.
The treasurer went on to state that there was €20,000 currently in the No.1 one account and if they paid all outstanding bills, which were somewhere between €50,000 and €60,000, they would find themselves in the red.
“It’s not hard to do the sums on those figures,” said the treasurer.
But he also pointed out that they were due funding of €45,000 from Croke Park and clubs owed the board in the region of €40,000, down €15,000 from the end of last year.
Clubs that owe this money were urged by the chairman, Sean Dunnion, to make an effort to pay the board to help with the county’s coffers.
The treasurer also told the committee that they had €349,000 ringfenced for the Convoy development and he insisted that money would all be spent in the course of the year.
The proposal to reduce the existing levies by €1,000 per club was proposed by Naomh Ultan with Terence McGinley, the club chairman, making the case for the reduction. The Naomh Ultan officials claimed that clubs were finding it difficult to stay afloat financially in what were difficult economic times.
He received support from Diarmaid Keon, Aodh Ruadh, and Danny McNamee, Naomh Brid.
However, after hearing from the treasurer on how they were looking at ways of saving money and raising funds and that as far he was concerned all aspects of spending and funding raising were being looked at from county teams to administration, the clubs opted to retain the existing system.
“We are not going to cut for the sake of cutting. As I see it, it is more a case of looking for value for money in all our dealings,” insisted the treasurer.
And also the realisation if the levies were reduced by €1,000 per club that would lead to a shortfall of €40,000 in the county’s projected budget for the year the proposal was defeated on a vote.
The vote was 25 for and 45 against and clubs will once again pay their annual levies - senior clubs €6,500, Intermediate clubs €5,500 and junior clubs €3,500.