Michael Duignan: Smaller counties should be receiving larger GAA grants

As counties continue to wait on their coaching and development funding due to administrative issues with the new model, Duignan still feels there is disparity in how some monies are distributed to counties albeit not in the new C&D structure.
Michael Duignan: Smaller counties should be receiving larger GAA grants

CHANGE NEEDED: Offaly chairman Michael Duignan. Pic: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Offaly chairman Michael Duignan maintains smaller counties should be receiving larger GAA grants than those who have the means to get by without them.

As counties continue to wait on their coaching and development funding due to administrative issues with the new model, Duignan still feels there is disparity in how some monies are distributed to counties albeit not in the new C&D structure.

Offaly are in line to receive almost €300,000 in coaching and development funding, which is over €80,000 more than what they received in the last non-pandemic year of 2019, as the GAA is set to bump up its total C&D budget to €12 million from €8m three years ago.

The delay in the distribution, which was due to take place last Saturday at the start of the GAA’s new financial year, is frustrating several counties. However, the two-time All-Ireland SHC winner points out some of that money promised is offset by monies provided to counties from Croke Park during the year.

Speaking at last year’s Annual Congress, Duignan hit out at the disproportionate funding received by Dublin, who are due to take nearly a €500,000 hit under the new model, and demanded an equalisation of the funding.

Duignan still insists the operational grant of €30,000 is not sufficient for a county like Offaly and not every county should be receiving it when they can easily afford to do without the assistance.

“I know that it is difficult to find a way of distributing funds but my thing is giving the same amount to every county regardless of their means is a bit too simplistic,” he said. “Particularly around staffing and things like that. At the moment, we have no full-time staff and it’s that sort of inequality I have been talking about.

“The (coaching and development) funding, of course it is needed, but we have embarked on a serious review of our own finances and sponsorship over the last couple of years. I wouldn’t say we don’t want it but we’ll manage on and in fairness to Croke Park and Leinster things like handling the players’ expenses centrally has helped. We’re paying a portion of that but they did look after the admin of it. Leinster have been good to us too in terms of funding individual projects.

“There is a €30,000 grant towards staffing but that doesn’t go far even in a small county. In terms of the overall funding, we don’t have any issue.”

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