Cunningham warns need to generate funds in 2013 is ‘greater than ever’

Delegates at last night’s Waterford annual convention at Lawlor’s Hotel in Dungarvan aired their views in a frank and lively discussion on the state of county’s finances.

Auditor Maurice Fitzgerald and county board chairman Tom Cunningham confirmed to the meeting that they had negotiated a €600,000 loan to be paid off between eight and ten years.

Fitzgerald began the meeting by presenting a detailed breakdown of the figures to the assembled delegates. The accounts for 2012 revealed that the county mounted up a deficit of over €212,000. He said: “The bottom line is that we made a loss this year.

It has put the county board’s overall position under strain. It cannot continue to produce losses like this year.”

In relation to the €600,000 loan he stated: “The bank have indicated a willingness to move forward with us.” Fitzgerald also informed the meeting that he is forecasting a deficit for the next two years; €18,000 in 2013 and €15,000 for the following year.

Several delegates requested to know what the precise situation was in relation to the debt. Tony Mansfield from the Abbeyside/Ballinacourty club asked: “What is the bottom line?

It’s €600,000 from what I can see.” Fitzgerald replied: “We lost €212,000 this year so I don’t know where €600,000 is coming from.”

Mansfield also believed that clubs were provided with inaccurate information at last year’s convention. “We were given the wrong figures last year, that’s my opinion.”

James Tobin from Shamrocks then asked Fitzgerald what the position was in relation to the loan and he was told that the county board had agreed a long term of €600,000.

Paddy Joe Ryan (Fourmilewater) also issued a stark warning. “If we have another year like this year we will be in huge trouble. I’m appealing to the clubs that we are all in this together. If we have another year like 2012, this county board will be no more.”

County chairman Tom Cunningham confirmed that all money raised from the club levy will go towards the repayment of the loan.

He also told delegates that spending on county teams will be limited to €525,000 for the coming year.

He has assembled a six man committee to meet with the team managers in this regard. In his address to the convention Cunningham admitted: “The past twelve months have been extremely challenging and difficult.” He also conceded that the €40,000 loss on a concert at Fraher Field “impacted severely” on the finances.

He stressed the importance of improving fundraising efforts next year. “The need to generate funds in 2013 is greater than ever.”

He described the fortunes of the county teams over the past year as “moderately successful.” Cunningham also called on RTÉ to make a greater effort to promote football and hurling between September and May.

De La Salle were named as club of the year.

Kevin Moran won the hurler of the year award and Shane Ahearne took the footballer of the year gong.


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