The cost of preparing the Cork senior ladies football team in 2019 came to €111k, a 37% increase on the previous year’s figure.
Despite the county failing to reach this year’s All-Ireland final, as they had done in 2018, there was a year-on-year increase of almost 30k in the cost of readying Ephie Fitzgerald’s team.
The accounts presented to Monday evening’s Cork LGFA convention show that expenditure on the county’s flagship team reached €110,995, significantly up on the 2018 total of €81,142.
The cost of preparing all Cork teams in 2019 - from senior down to U14 - was €158k, a rise of 40k on the previous year.
There was a separate spend of €17,630 under the heading ‘medical/physio’ in 2019. There is no comparative figure for 2018.
Cork’s 2019 spend still pales in comparison to the money being pumped into the men’s game.
Leitrim’s team expenses for 2018 came in at €298k, the smallest total of all 32 counties last year, and yet the Connacht county’s outlay on their flagship sides is still almost double that of the Cork ladies football board.
The notable hike in Cork’s senior team expenses contributed to overall expenditure jumping by nearly €100k in the past 12 months.
The Cork ladies football board recorded a deficit of €8,382 for the year ending October 31, 2019.
Income for the year totalled €354,414, a significant improvement on the 2018 figure of €299k, but this was offset by increased expenditure, which rose from €267k to €362k.
At Monday’s convention, Neilus Carroll defeated Tom Scally by 40 votes to 39 to succeed Robbie Smyth as chairman.
Outgoing secretary Marian Crowley is the new board treasurer, while Kieran Keane, who preceded Crowley as secretary, comes back into the role for a second term.
Outgoing Cork LGFA development officer Eamonn O’Connor, in his report to convention, lamented that there are still club mentors for whom “winning is far more important than the participation and inclusiveness of all of our players in team squads and selections.”
O’Connor added: “There are some coaches and mentors of teams more interested in developing their own portfolio than that of the young lady players they mentor and coach.
"This comment may seem harsh to the genuine coaches out there, but I am very sad to say it is a realistic situation.
It is most demoralising and unfair treatment of our young players to be treated differently, especially at the development stages of their footballing career.
“We need to keep all of our young players, so as we approach 20/20 for equality for our ladies in sport, let us all make a 20/20 resolution: Don’t lose more young ladies from our games because of the lack of understanding of their coaches and mentors who see winning as success.
“The ‘having to win’ attitude serves no good for our children going forward."
Fixtures secretary Ken Whelan highlighted a shortage of referees.
“The number of referees on the panel is reducing each year. On a few occasions this year, we were close to postponing championship matches due to the shortage of referees.
"In some divisions, games were cancelled due to the lack of referees.”