The cost of preparing the various Limerick hurling and football teams in 2015 ran in excess of €1m.
At last night’s Limerick GAA convention in Rathkeale, it was revealed that team expenses for the year reached €1,040,967. This figure represented an increase of 33% on the 2014 total of €783,807.
Given both the Limerick senior hurling and football teams, as well as the county’s minor hurlers, exited their respective championships earlier than was the case in 2014, the €257,160 hike was largely attributed to the Limerick intermediate and, in particular, U21 hurling teams.
County Board secretary Mike O’Riordan also pointed to the large number of senior players who underwent surgery this year as another contributing factor in the spend increase.
Of the €1.04m, treasurer Donal Morrissey said medical expenses accounted for €130k, players expenses (€130k), catering (€160k), facility hire (€100k), gear and equipment (€180k), transport and accommodation (€80k) and management (€100k).
Limerick GAA secretary O’Riordan defended the figure and did not envisage a reduction in team expenses next year.
“It might be a big figure, but I couldn’t see it being reduced when you look at the volume of players we have in the system at minor, U21 and senior level.
“We just have to source more revenue streams,” he told delegates.
“We had a number of players who required surgery this year. We had a physio at every single training. It is important to note that the U21 hurlers carried a panel of 40.
“Each player was given equal opportunity in making the team and match-day squad. Every player was fed, kitted out.
“It must be remembered too that we got teams to Munster finals at minor, U21 and intermediate. There was also the senior hurlers travelling to London.”
He continued: “You get extra revenue how you progress in competitions so this year our hurlers didn’t get a quarter-final place and our footballers didn’t travel as many rounds through the qualifiers as they did the previous year.
“We also had a hurling league quarter-final at home last year which we didn’t have this year.”
Blackrock delegate Hugh Murphy called for a tightening of the purse strings in 2016.
“Our treasurer has pointed out that we had more games at intermediate and U21, but we had less games at senior.
“We got to Croke Park in 2014. We didn’t get to Croke Park this year. The €1.04m is a huge jump on what we spent last year.
“We are going to have to tighten the purse strings somewhere along the line. We all want to see Limerick win, but not at a cost like this.”
Responded treasurer Donal Morrissey: “To get to where we are at and if you want to be on the winning side, the expenses of county teams in Tipperary is €1.4m.
“The expenses of county teams in Cork, and I don’t think they have won a whole pile in recent years, is a similar figure.
“If we want to compete at the highest level, if we want to prepare our teams as best as possible and try and get them over the line, you are looking at a budget of €1m for four football and four hurling teams.
“We have to resource the teams as teams expect to be resourced. You take the big ticket items, like facility hire and medical expenses, they are all well managed.
“When Mick Neville Park is completed, perhaps we will move more of our training from UL back there.
“The preparation of inter-county teams requires spend and I just can’t see that being achieved by taking money off it.”
Total income for the year stood at €2,127,504, a rise of 10% on the 2014 figure.
Total expenditure was reported to be €2,112,689, an increase of 9% on the 2014 spend. The Limerick County Board recorded an overall surplus of €14,815.
In his chairman’s address, Oliver Mann expressed his staunch opposition to the proposed abolition of the All- Ireland U21 football, junior football and intermediate hurling championships.
“I was at a Munster Council meeting two or three weeks ago and Limerick was the only county in favour of retaining the junior football and intermediate hurling which is very disappointing.
“I would not like to see these competitions go.”
The Limerick County Board executive was returned in full without any challenge from the floor.
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