Tipp board must slash costs as finances in ‘precarious’ state

Tipperary GAA officials have been told by independent auditors that their finances are in a “precarious” state.

The stark warning was issued on the same night that county board secretary Tim Floyd revealed a substantial bill for under-declared VAT has been settled. A VAT audit of the Tipperary GAA shop at Lár Na Páirce in Thurles concluded that charges totalling €56,713 was made up of €40,000 VAT and the rest in penalties, were in order.

Audited figures presented to Tuesday night’s special board meeting, convened to discuss the current financial crisis, confirmed a deficit of €244,390 for the 2012 financial year.

In the last four years, losses totalling over €650,000 have been recorded in Tipperary but chairman Sean Nugent is determined to arrest an alarming slide.

Addressing delegates, auditor Ronan Spain said: “Finances are in a precarious position and need to be turned around after three years of losses.”

In 2013, Tipp top brass want to make a €400,000 saving, slashing expenditure by €200,000 and raising an extra €200,000.

Nugent admitted: “We need to take on the challenge in the strongest possible terms. The picture there is presented in black and white and action is required urgently.”

Nugent conceded team administration costs will remain high, as he naturally wants Tipp’s inter-county football and hurling teams to be competitive. Spending on inter-county teams exceeded the €1m mark for a fourth successive year in 2012.

Car-pooling and bus travel for county players is expected to alleviate costs. It has also been confirmed that players at various inter-county grades will receive 20 cent per km travel costs, with seniors entitled to 30 cent per km.

Senior hurling team training sessions could also take place at different club grounds, with the county board and the host club sharing the associated costs.

Savings in relation to team gear and strict enforcement of budgets will be explained to players and management teams, with no jersey swapping permitted.

To raise money, an attractive Premier Gold plus package has also been announced, where supporters can gain access to the five fixtures in Division 1 of the Allianz HL, plus the Munster SHC semi-final against Limerick on June 9. In addition, those signing up to the package can purchase championship tickets after the Limerick game, while entry to all Tipperary adult club games is also covered. This initiative has been priced at €200 and is also available for football.

‘Free’ match passes will now be subject to a €25 levy and, with an estimated 700 passes in Tipperary, this could raise over €17,000. Each pass holder from county board chairman down to referees and umpires will pay the charge.

Meanwhile, a request from Aherlow and Lattin-Cullen to amalgamate for senior football and intermediate hurling was approved.

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