Waterford board spending ‘can’t be sustained’

Waterford chairman Paddy Joe Ryan has warned that increased spending on inter-county teams is at unsustainable levels.

Déise chiefs splashed out €664,485 on their various sides in 2015 and Ryan is due to tell county board delegates on Monday this year’s figure will be far higher.

But Ryan insists Waterford will be debt-free by the end of 2017 — and is confident a €130,000 deficit reported last year will be reduced considerably before annual convention.

Levies from clubs will help to alleviate the situation but Ryan admitted Waterford would have been under serious financial strain but for an NHL replay with Clare that increased their share.

Ryan insisted: “Somebody will have to sit down and sort out where we’re going. We have to give players their expenses but sometimes we’re struggling to find it (money).

“I’d like people to tell me where we’re going to get it because while we have two full-time officers working very hard, the vast majority of us are volunteers. We’d view the money spent this year as money well spent but we’d be showing a big deficit this year if we weren’t in a league final replay. I’ve spent most of my time going around trying to finance things. This is a serious situation for county boards and I don’t see how it’s going to be sustained.”

Ryan confirmed spending on Waterford teams will be “a good bit up” this year compared to 2015 figures. He said: “We’ll be a good bit up on that this year. We’re up on that already without a lot of bills in.

“We’ve had great assistance from Munster Council and our clubs but I said if I was to serve my full term as chairman, I promised clubs we would be debt free by the end of it.

“I hope we’re down to €50,000 by the end of this year and hopefully debt free by the end of 2017. They’re aspirations but we’re well on course to be there.

“The main thing is I just can’t understand for the life of me how smaller counties, dual counties, who haven’t been making league finals, survive. We have only 48 clubs, a very small base, and we don’t have the gates (at local club fixtures).

“Cork would take in more on a good county final day than we would from all of our games. Our club gates are small and now we’re playing all of the matches together, it doesn’t help. People are drained between supporting the senior and U21 teams.”

Waterford chiefs aim to conclude the league sections of their county senior hurling championship over the next two weekends, before running off quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final. Ryan is confident that Waterford will have a representative in time for the Munster Club quarter-final against Tipperary opponents on October 30, with the county football champions due to play their Limerick or Cork counterparts on November 13.

He said: “If we don’t have draws, we’ll be finished in time for the two of them.”


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