End of club levy is in sight as Waterford's debt  burden eases

Waterford county board chairman Paddy Joe Ryan assured delegates at last night’s convention at Lawlors Hotel, Dungarvan, that the end of the club levy is in sight and that spending on county teams will be carefully monitored.

End of club levy is in sight as Waterford's debt  burden eases

Auditor David Power revealed that the board made a reduction of €332,366 on their debts, down to €130,625, and Ryan acknowledged the contribution of Déise clubs in easing the financial burden on the board.

“I would like to thank clubs for their commitment to paying their county board levy, thankfully the end is sight for the present payment structure, and the board should be debt free in less than two years.

“I would like to thank the Munster Council for their financial contribution that gave such a boost to our finances which have improved significantly over the past 12 months.

“The biggest financial burden is the training costs of our inter-county teams and going forward, our present module is not sustainable, thus major decisions will have to be made sooner rather than later. Prudent financial management is very important.”

The board earned a small surplus of €5,374 in 2015, primarily through a €250,000 contribution from the Munster Council. The cost of Waterford teams soared to €664,485.

During an hour long debate on finance, Lismore chairman Jimmy O’Gorman queried the expenditure on county panels and urged the board to control costs into the future.

“Can we sustain the spend on county teams? If it weren’t for the money from the Munster Council, we would be in a serious mess this evening. The Munster Council bailed out the five counties in 2015. I’m warning the top table that if we are not prudent and not look after the huge panel numbers and huge entourages, we will be in trouble. Clubs are under serious pressure and they have responded.”

Ryan replied that they will disclose figures at every county board meeting in 2016.

“We’ve met the senior managements and discussed the size of panels for 2016 and we are happy. Last year, we showed figures every three months. This year, we will produce accounts at every county board meeting. I’m never again going down the road for a club levy to fund the cost of county teams.”

Ryan also wants to run off all championships on schedule next year after senior football winners Stradbally only had 23 hours to prepare for their Munster quarter final against Nemo Rangers.

“My priority is to ensure all club championships are finished earlier. This is my personal project for 2016. I am giving a commitment tonight that I will work tirelessly to achieve that, but I need huge support from all clubs and all team managers and mentors. I support the idea of all club championships nationally being finished in the calendar year.”

He acknowledged the progress made by the Waterford hurlers. “Winning the National League title from Division 1B was an outstanding achievement. We are all hoping that 2016 will see a National League-All-Ireland double and that we can build on the excellent progress made in 2015.”

He also targeted promotion for the senior footballers to Division 3.

Outgoing PRO Emer Barry was elected development officer, defeating Gerry Whelan by 86 votes to 72. Owen Sauvage (Mount Sion) filled the role of PRO with 110 votes, while Tommy Hennessy (Kill) received 107 votes to retain his position on Central Council.

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