Cork GAA chiefs abandon plan to charge All-Ireland winners for match passes

The scheme was criticised when first raised at a board meeting in February
Cork GAA chiefs abandon plan to charge All-Ireland winners for match passes

The Cork County Board has abandoned its controversial plan to charge All-Ireland medal-winners for their match passes to games within the county.

At a meeting held this morning, the executive decided to row back on the scheme, which was criticised when first raised at a board meeting in February.

Since the 1920s Cork players who have won an All-Ireland senior medal in football or hurling have traditionally been entitled to a pass allowing free admission to games in the county for life. 

Today’s decision means that tradition continues.

The executive is also considering a shake-up of the Cork GAA clubs draw, which is one of the prime fundraising sources for the GAA within the county.

In operation since 1992, it has raised €20.5 million for Cork clubs since then, with 159 clubs involved in the draw every year, while its 16,000 members contributed €1 million to the redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

An annual contribution to the draw costs €100, which breaks down on average as €35 to the administration of and prizes for the draw, €47 to the club involved, and €18 to grants, development and coaching: draw funds do not go to the stadium debt.

However, take-up varies widely from club to club. Some large clubs are understood to be under-represented in terms of the numbers of their members availing of the draw and the Board is anxious to raise participation levels.

It’s understood that one of the possibilities being considered by the executive is a change to the proportion of the draw revenue going to the club based on the number of tickets sold within that club, though it has already been pointed out that clubs with smaller memberships would be at a disadvantage if that change were introduced.

Board PRO Joe Blake confirmed today, however, that no decision has yet been made on the format of the draw, adding that several board sub-committees are looking at all aspects of revenue and income for the Board.

The Cork County Board remains under severe financial pressure, given the multi-million euro overrun on the redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

In addition to those problems all units of the GAA, local, county, and national, are experiencing financial pressures because of the unprecedented lockdown and loss of revenue since the middle of March due to the coronavirus.

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