Mayo GAA chiefs have secured a deal with creditors to write-off over €600,000 they owe from the redevelopment of McHale Park.
Mayo County Board owed €1.615 million for outstanding costs relating to the €18 million redevelopment of the county grounds in Castlebar but secretary Kevin O’Toole confirmed an ‘arrangement’ had been reached with their primary creditors which will see them pay just €1 million to finalise the outstanding costs. The largest creditor was the main contractor for the redevelopment, Mountain View Securities, while substantial monies were also owed for architect fees and various legal costs.
The €1 million is being financed by ‘additional funds’ Mayo County Board have secured from Croke Park.
It comes following a turbulent spell for the board after the extent of their financial debt relating to McHale Park was revealed. The situation came to a head last November when, after meetings with Croke Park, the board were instructed to give clubs in the county a full appraisal of the extent of the debt.
In total €16.637 million was spent on McHale Park at that point while the €1.615 million owed to creditors was in additional to that. It brought the expected total cost to €18.252 million but the deal struck with creditors now means that the total cost will be €17.637 million.
The 38,000 seater stadium was opened in 2009. Up until the extent of the crisis was revealed last November, the Board had been paying under €500,000 per annum which Board treasurer JP Lambe conceded was covering little more than the interest on loans received.
The board received €10.5 million in loans from Ulster Bank and Croke Park. They received an additional €5 million grant from Croke Park for the redevelopment. To date capital repayments of €700,000 on those loans have been paid. Initially the loan term was 15 years but the board have negotiated a longer term, believed to be between 20-25 years.
Repayments will be, said Kevin O’Toole, a maximum of €590,000 per year from next year.
“The financial situation isn’t over but it is under control provided we can keep raising the money we are raising now,” said O’Toole.
Since November, the board have begun a new fundraising initiative, Cáirde Mhaigheo, which aims to centralise all Mayo GAA fundraising initiatives through the county board. The Mayo GAA season ticket has been their chief source of income and, to date, they have sold over 800 €200 tickets. The main existing fundraising effort is the County Board Development Draw which sees the board sell €100 tickets for a number of prize draws.
O’Toole added that the outstanding works on the media tower were close to completion and would be ready for the Connacht Senior Football Championship semi-final clash against Leitrim or London at McHale Park on June 24.
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