Donegal Co. Secretary Aideen Gillen
The fact that clubs are being deprived of their county players for club league matches is damaging the competition and the finances of the clubs.
That is the view of Donegal Co. Secretary, Aideen Gillen, who makes reference to the difficulties in her annual report to Co. Convention, which she will deliver on Friday night in Jacksons Hotel, Ballybofey.
The secretary says that the increasing demands by county managers all over the country is depriving clubs of their best players and as a result local club derbies games are being played in front of very small attendances, thus depriving the clubs of much needed finance.
In her report she says: "The club as described in Rule 3 of T.O. is described as the basic unit of the Association and it’s object shall be the promotion at local level of the Association’s aims . Some people indeed claim that the Club is the integral part of C.L.G. The club of today are experiencing problems from within and without.
"The ever increasing demands by county managers (who themselves have to prepare teams at the same level as other counties) are at times depriving county players from playing with their club. This is a nationwide problem that appears to be left with individual counties. In the past we had local club derbies but nowadays with weakened teams, patrons show little interest and club finances suffer accordingly.
"Like many we look forward to the new football structure commonly known as the Super 8. No doubt for the participating 8 counties this series will create much interest. I hope that we can be still involved at this level. What I hope for is that the extra revenue generated by these games can be filtered down to all counties to alleviate the costs that counties now incur in preparing teams.
"Hopefully the Fixtures Forum can solve some of the problems that our CCC incur in running our county competitions. Last year I mentioned in my report that we should look at Leagues being organised as a club’s championship status. Of course this would mean that there would be no promotion or relegation as per league standings but I feel that a full round of games could be played without fear of relegation," said the secretary.
The secretary also revealed that membership of the GAA in the county is down considerably in 2017.
"There was a substantial decrease of 1556 in the number of registered members for 2017. At the 31st March 21,544 members had registered with our forty clubs. A total of 12,171 were full adult members, a decrease from 13,400 from 2016," says the secretary.
In 2012 there were 6,913 full members and 7,088 youth members registered in Donegal, a total of 14,001.
In 2013, there were 12,117 full members and 7,241 youth members registered in Donegal, a total of 19,358.
In 2014, there were 11,189 full members and 9,026 youth members registered in Donegal, a total of 20,215
In 2015, there were 14,290 full members and 8,862 youth members registered in Donegal, a total of 23,152
In 2016, there were 13,400 full members and 9,577 youth members registered in Donegal, a total of 22,977, says the report.
The secretary's report gives a comprehensive rundown on Donegal's games participation in 2017.