Business gurus get behind Kildare

KILDARE GAA have revealed the two mystery men they hope will get the Lilywhites out of the red.

A crippling €200,000 debt forced the county board to bring in former EU commissioner and Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy as an advisor recently. Last night they added ESB chief executive Padraig McManus and Tegral managing director Paddy Kelly’s names to the special committee.

“We are looking at how we can exploit other commercial markets and there’s some high-powered people who would be committed, passionate Kildare GAA people who are looking to work at that with me,” said the board’s commercial director, Martin McEvoy.

“We’re shaping a significant plan to reduce our costs and increase our revenues with a view to turning around our finances. That’s the bottom line.”

McManus has grown the ESB’s revenues to more than €3 billion since taking over the role in 2002 while Kelly started his company’s sponsorship deal with Kildare GAA. The board plans to use their expertise to build on the county brand by opening their first official store in Newbridge on Thursday, the same day the county launches its 2012 jersey.

“This is one of things I have put a lot of work into in the last few month,” he said.

“Exploring the opportunity, sitting down with Whitewater shopping centre, sitting down with our suppliers O’Neills, saying how can we tap into the market that is Kildare GAA. What I’m looking to do here is create awareness around the brand that is Kildare GAA and tap into a very large community with a high population. If you’re going to buy a Kildare jersey for your son, daughter, brother, sister, please buy it from Kildare GAA because the money will go back directly to Kildare GAA.”

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