The Munster Council announced on Tuesday night they are pouring €500,000 into Déise coffers as part of their five-year budgetary framework unveiled in January.
Waterford County Board currently owe €463,000 on an AIB loan and €250,000 of the financial package secured with provincial top-brass will service this debt. €150,000 has been earmarked for day-to-day costs, while the remaining €100,000 is ring-fenced for future capital development.
Ryan says the Munster Council allocation will end the practice of late payments to coaches, county board staff, hotels and bus companies.
“We could not operate as we were operating before and what this €150,000 means is that when the senior hurling and football teams send in their bills at the end of the month, that we will be able to pay them,” noted Ryan.
“We found it hard at times to pay for things such as meals, hotels and buses because we didn’t have the cash flow.”
He continued: “The majority of our income comes from gate receipts but most of the club championship games don’t take place until the summer. The only cash flow coming into the county board at present is sponsorship.
Munster Council are front-loading us with €150,000 so we can pay for stuff now that we would have once put on the long finger or just couldn’t afford to pay or didn’t have an overdraft for. We are extremely grateful to the Munster Council.”
The half a million cash injection also eases the financial burden on Waterford clubs. The 50 clubs in the county are contributing €104,000 annually to service the existing debt of €463,000, with senior clubs forced to pay €2,500.
“When I stepped into this position 20 years ago the county board was in financial turmoil. Now I feel it is the clubs who are in trouble. This money takes the pressure off them.
“Had there been no assistance available, the club levy would have continued for up to six years in order for the debt and interest to be cleared. Now the debt will be paid off within two years. It is fantastic to think we will be debt free in two years.”
The cost surrounding Waterford teams rose from €498,356 to €569,933 in 2014 and the chairman vowed there would be no further increase in this department.
“We have a budget drawn up with all the county managers. We have to stick to those. We can’t afford nor can we allow this figure continue to rise.”
Said Munster Council chairman Robert Frost: “We are delighted to be in a position to help Waterford. We didn’t point the finger at any one. They found themselves in financial difficulty and we were happy to help them out. I have every confidence in the officers of the Waterford County Board that the problems they once found themselves in won’t happen again.
“Counties need to take a step back and look at the money they are spending on county teams. Some counties do go over-board in their spending of teams.”