Waterford GAA’s cash crisis deepened in recent weeks with players’ expense cheques ‘bouncing’ when presented for payment, the Irish Examiner has learned.
Players on the county’s senior squads confirmed yesterday that expense cheques issued by the board in the last two months have bounced when brought to banks in the South East.
“It happened to me and I’m not the only one,” said one player, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Several other players have had issues with their expenses.”
Another player alleged that attendance at county training sessions fell because college students were not getting expenses to cover their travel back to Waterford.
It was also suggested the Waterford county footballers had been told to drive themselves to a game in Leitrim and not to expect travelling expenses. Waterford County Board chairman Tom Cunningham hit back at the suggestions yesterday, however, saying players were not cashing cheques promptly.
“One player was carrying a cheque around in his back pocket for months,” said Cunningham.
“We paid out cheques for €85,000 last Friday and they were honoured.
“It is not true that the footballers were told to drive to Leitrim. We laid on a bus — we have a sponsorship agreement with JJ Kavanagh for travel to games but the players insisted themselves on driving in their own cars.
“As for the college students not getting expenses, that is not true either. All players are paid up-to-date expenses, per month. At times there might be a small bit of a delay but it is very seldom that that happens.
“County boards are hard pressed all over the country, we’re all doing our best.”
Cunningham added Waterford are holding a golf classic to raise funds for their GAA teams next week, while a fundraising music festival is planned for the end of next month.
“We have the High Kings and Bressie playing in Fraher Field on June 30 and Jedward on July 1.
“That’s to raise money for our county teams!.”
Waterford are not the only county board suffering financial hardship at present. The Kildare County Board was recently advanced €300,000 from Croke Park to ensure it doesn’t fall into financial difficulties again, while Mayo County Board recently secured a deal with creditors to write off over €600,000 they owe relating to the redevelopment of Elverys MacHale Park, Castlebar.
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