Boost for Tipp coffers as club hurling brings in €250,000

THE feelgood factor surrounding Tipperary hurling in 2009 resulted in a significant increase in gate receipts as the county senior hurling championship raked in a whopping €250,000 this year.

The race for the Dan Breen Cup totalled 55% of income from local club games as the Premier County prepares to buck the economic trend by reporting a sizeable jump in revenue.

Annual accounts are being finalised before official publication at annual convention but early indications are that monies generated from local fare at all grades is in the region of €425,000, up €100,000 from 2008.

The official attendance of 10,000 for this year’s county senior hurling final was double last year’s figure and helped to ensure that total revenue from the county SHC rose by some €50,000 compared to 2008 figures.

Writing in his annual report, the county’s full-time secretary Tim Floyd said: “Despite the current economic climate, I am happy to report that we kept our heads above water in 2009. I suppose the successful run of our county senior hurlers was a big factor, as supporters love to come out and see their stars in the club championships.”

Meanwhile, Floyd has insisted that if Croke Park’s doors remain open to other codes on a long-term basis, all money generated must go directly back to GAA clubs and county boards in the form of grant aid.

Floyd is dismayed by the postponement of Government grants for sports projects, insisting that it will have a major impact on clubs hoping to develop their facilities.

But he believes the problem can be alleviated if counties voting on allowing Croke Park to remain open insist the rent from future rugby and soccer matches returns to GAA clubs and county boards.

Floyd said: “The GAA must decide if the opening of Croke Park will extend beyond the construction period of Lansdowne Road.

“I believe before this vote is taken, counties must have a clear understanding of where the rent from future rugby and soccer games in Croke Park is to be invested.

“I will be recommending that this rent of field income be ring-fenced for a sports capital investment programme to grant aid GAA clubs and county boards whilst the current National Lottery funding is being used by the Government to bail us out of the current recession.”

Floyd also called for an end to what he describes as the “ridiculous” situation where two sets of awards are handed out to the players of the year on an annual basis, adding that improved relations between the GAA and Gaelic Players Association will see a return to just one annual awards function.

Floyd has welcomed the interim agreement between the GAA and the GPA and in his annual report to Tipperary GAA convention on December 14, he writes: “I hope it also eliminates the present ridiculous situation where we have two different sets of All Stars and player of the year awards.”

Elsewhere, the county boards in Wicklow and Monaghan have voted in favour of the GPA deal.

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