The company, CSF Funding Co Ltd, was established in 2016 to provide the Cork senior footballers with an additional finance stream to that provided by the Cork County Board, but it is to be renamed Cairde Chorcaí and restructured, with more figures from the Cork GAA community becoming involved in the organisation.
Originally set up by current and former Cork footballers to help resource the senior football team, the new version of the group will also help fund the county hurlers as well as becoming involved in other, longer-term projects.
CSF received significant backing from the business community in Ireland and in the United States, with fundraising trips to Chicago and San Francisco undertaken in the last two years. It’s understood that the new organisation’s range of objectives which will be outlined in detail at a formal launch in May.
It’s generally recognised that escalating costs associated with the preparation of elite GAA teams have put county boards all over Ireland under severe pressure to resource their senior sides, particularly if those counties are competing in both Gaelic football and hurling at the top level.
Few counties are able to compete with the resources at the disposal of the Dublin County Board, for instance, given the commercial opportunities available in the capital city.
However, other counties have been proactive in raising funds for their teams, particularly in the US in recent years.
Kerry GAA officials were able to fund a new centre of excellence in the Kingdom with a series of events in the US which generated €1m, for instance.
Another county which has been very successful in raising funds through a supporter-driven initiative is Tyrone through its ‘Club Tyrone’ group, which helped resource the northern county’s successful drive for All-Ireland senior titles in the 2000s.
Club Tyrone has raised over £4 million for the county footballers through a variety of schemes involving supporters in the county and beyond.