‘Cheques in the post’ but Tipp refs threaten go-slow over expenses delay

A number of referees in Tipperary are threatening to limit their services for the 2013 season after being kept waiting for their 2012 expenses payments.

While asking that their names be withheld, whistlers spoken to by the Irish Examiner expressed their hurt and anger at the delay in receiving monies owed, and about being left out of pocket for Christmas.

When contacted, a county board official refuted the claims and said everything was in order and cheques would be sent out today and with a postal service running over the weekend, they will be received before Christmas. However, certain referees have highlighted an eight-day clearance period on cheques and the fact they won’t have the money in their accounts in advance of the holidays.

“Some referees are owed €700 or €800,” said one referee. “They haven’t got a penny for county championship and county league games. As far back as February they’ve been paying for petrol and diesel and car repairs out of their own pockets and they are supposed to be reimbursed at the end of the season.

“Usually that’s in October or November so it was presumed that would be the case again this year. Many have banked on this for Christmas, they presumed it would be there and budgeted that it would be there.

“Naturally, some are out of work. I spoke to one such referee who has young kids and he is distraught as he was counting on that money and now won’t have it.”

While money was paid by divisional boards for games under their jurisdiction, this delay is the latest in an uncomfortable relationship between referees and the county board in Tipperary. Back in March, the Irish Examiner reported on referees in the north of the county considering their options over a lack of clarity regarding taxation issues.

One referee said: “The feeling I’m getting having spoken to several referees is they may well limit their services for games next year after this. They are furious.”

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