Cash-strapped Déise may call halt to jersey swaps

WATERFORD County Board chairman Tom Cunningham spelled out the stark realities of the county’s financial situation at last night’s annual convention in Dungarvan.

And Central Council representative Paddy Joe Ryan said the Déise should even consider not swapping team jerseys after games in a bid to save money.

In a year when the county recorded a deficit situation in excess of €210,000 to add to the €90,000 loss in the previous 12 months, Cunningham said it had been extremely challenging, and the economic state of the country had impacted very negatively on both their own board and on the association as a whole.

Cunningham, who was returned unopposed as chairman, stressed their income in 2011 was “very substantially down”, and overall they had incurred a loss of more than €120,000.

“That has to be taken serious cognisance of and reacted to in the most positive manner.”

Chillingly he warned: “If this situation is to continue we will be left with an overall situation that would be beyond being rectified by this board.

“In this matter both the board and the clubs have a joint responsibility. And while I fully accept that the clubs themselves are currently virtually fighting for survival, it is still one on which they have a total obligation to the board to help to resolve.”

While the board and delegates want to see their fortunes on the inter-county front shining as brightly as they possible, Cunningham warned they must first accept the absolute the need to have finance in place.

“For those counties who are at the top right now the situation has developed so professionally that cutbacks in our preparation can only lead to one thing — failure to make that all important breakthrough,” the chairman said.

And while looking on the field of play, Cunningham said the past year has been only moderately successful for their county. He accepted the failure to win a Munster championship title at any grade was a huge disappointment but called on delegates to remember they must not forget the county contested both the minor and senior hurling provincial deciders.

“And later both teams advanced to the All-Ireland semi-finals before bowing out in the most gallant of manners,” he added.

The chairman lauded Waterford IT’s development of facilities on the outskirts of the city at Carriganore which had proved to be such a valued asset to their various county team training sessions during the year and where they had also played a number of their county finals.

Cunningham disclosed a further €10m development is planned to commence at Carriganore next month and expressed hope that, in the near future, it will be designated a centre of excellence for the south-east region.

On the brighter side of things Fitzgerald disclosed that the board still has net assets of €2.7 million but the board’s net current liabilities have increased this year to €385,000.

However Central Council representative Paddy Joe Ryan said that with proper management of their accounts, they can have that under control in a matter of years.

However he warned too that county board has now become “a business’’, and many more years like they had in 2011 would leave them in very serious trouble. “The Celtic Tiger is long gone,” said Ryan. “And we should even consider the issue of swapping team jerseys in the coming year.’’

De La Salle chairman Seamas Quirke noted that the returns from gate receipts at €153,500 this year is almost €20,000 less in 2010 and is well below their sponsorship total of €244,000.

Committee (2012): Honourary Life President Seamas O’Brien (Abbeyside/Ballinacourty); Chairman; Tom Cunningham (Stradbally); Vice do; John O’Leary (Ballyduff Lower); Secretary; Timmy O’Keeffe (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg); Treasurer; Joe Cleary (Abbeyside/Ballinacourty); Childrens Officer; Liam Cheasty (Butlerstown); Oifigeach Gaeilge; Tomas O Cadhla (Abbeyside/Ballinacourty); Development Officer; Brendan Tobin (St Mary’s/Sliabh gCua); Games Development Officer; Michael Murphy (Passage East); Central Council Representative(1); Paddy Joe Ryan (Fourmilewater); Munster Council (2); Anthony Walsh (Colligan), Pat Flynn (Passage East); PRO; Emer Barry (Lismore).

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