Major challenge to solve Tipperary GAA debt crisis

Tipperary GAA officials have been warned they have to be ruthless in implementing cost cutting measures in 2013 following a massive financial loss this year.

Tipperary GAA officials have been warned they have to be ruthless in implementing cost cutting measures in 2013 following a massive financial loss this year.

Heading into a new season the stark financial reality facing Tipperary GAA was highlighted at the county convention.

Tipperary’s 2012 financial statement revealed a massive €246,939 loss for the year and follows a deficit of almost €220,000 for the previous year.

Con Hogan, a former GAA trustee and Munster Council Chairman, told the convention that officials had to be ‘cold and ruthless’ in a proposed cost-cutting plan in the year ahead.

In the last four years Tipperary GAA has incurred losses of over €650.000.

Mr Hogan said that delegates could not walk into convention again next year to hear a similar story.

“Last year there was no comment whatsoever from convention on the accounts. This year, it was looking as if there wouldn’t be again, almost as if convention is happy to follow the pied piper of Hamelin over the financial hit. I know at first hand the efforts that the chairman, treasurer and secretary have made to try to reduce expenses but putting it bluntly, there will have to be more”.

“There is no other way. We can’t walk in here again next year with a financial report like that. If we don’t do something about it, our creditors will. It’s as simple as that”.

Calling for a 10% reduction in expenditure in 2013, Mr Hogan said that projected income for next year must be in line with projected expenditure.

“Is there anyone in this room that can tell me that we can’t reduce it by 10%? If we do we’ll solve our deficit and that should be our objective,” he said.

The Marlfield man said he was disappointed at gate receipts, down by €26,170 in 2012, and said he was not surprised at the takings because the product could have been better.

“It’s clear the reason why gate receipts continue to decline. We have a bad product. There were thirty games up to the county final in this year’s championship – fifteen were won by more than seven points, twelve by more than ten. I ask you, who is s going to spend money going to games when they know the result before they go?”.

He was supported by Ballina delegate Michael Hayes who said the county senior hurling championship was not what it needed to be and he warned that the county board was facing “financial ruin” if the trend of falling income continued.

County Chairman Sean Nugent said it was not sustainable to continue without addressing the problems.

“The most difficult problems that we have at county board level at the moment are reducing expenditure and raising finance. Serious attention will have to be given to that in the New Year,” he said.