Tipperary GAA chiefs are bracing themselves for another tough financial statement when 2012 figures are revealed at annual convention on December 17.
Significant savings in expenditure are predicted as Premier County top brass have been “ruthless in enforcing cost-cutting measures,” according to board secretary Tim Floyd.
But writing in his hard-hitting annual report, Floyd admits that “the overall short term effect will not be evident this year as our income side has been badly hit.”
Tipp reported a massive €220,000 deficit last year, with spending on inter-county teams topping the €1m mark for a fourth successive year.
But Tipp officials have worked diligently to trim expenditure, while a novel Team Tipperary telethon raised €20,000.
Floyd, however, has expressed huge concern with another drop in local gate receipts, down by €26,000 this year.
And he explained: “Our revenue from the Tipp GAA Shop [in Thurles] has suffered from not reaching the 2012 All-Ireland SHC final and most fans purchased their new gear in 2011 with the commencement of the Skoda sponsorship.
“But the biggest blow from the shop was the payment of an outstanding VAT bill, which evaporated any contribution from our merchandise outlet.
“Whilst we held a Greyhound Benefit Night and Team Tipperary Telethon fundraisers along with a season ticket package, we still failed to reach the kind of figures raised from All-Ireland fundraisers in the previous two years.
“The other big burden we have to carry at the moment is the monthly repayments of our loan from Croke Park, which amounts to almost €100,000 over the year.”
Elsewhere in his report, Floyd deals at length with the fallout from the 18-point hammering at the hands of Kilkenny in the 2012 All-Ireland SHC semi-final. During the game, Thurles Sarsfields players Lar Corbett and Pa Bourke became embroiled in a bizarre sideshow involving Kilkenny pair Tommy Walsh and Jackie Tyrrell — and Corbett came out late for the second half.
Floyd dismissed claims of a half-time bust up in the dressing room.
Floyd revealed: “I can confirm that the atmosphere [at half time] was upbeat with absolutely no negative vibe from any area.
“Lar Corbett was encouraging all the players and warned the subs to be ready to come on and finish the battle. Conor O’Mahony spoke about the pain of losing last year to Kilkenny and asked every player to make sure it does not happen again. I feel I must dispel all the unhelpful speculation which has no foundation whatsoever. Regarding Lar’s late arrival for the second half, when I realised he was not on the field, I returned to the dressing room to find him changing his boots.
“He spent most of the half-time break rousing the other players and obviously left it late to attend to his footwear. Croke Park stewards place a lot of pressure on teams to get back out on the field once the 15 minutes are up and it’s often chaotic when the exit time arrives, so I’m not surprised a player can be left behind. I think a less high profile player would not have been missed during those 35 seconds.”
Floyd admits that Tipp’s dramatic second-half fadeout took much of the gloss from two successive Munster championship wins during Declan Ryan’s term as manager.
Hinting that discipline must improve off the field of play, Floyd adds: “Most of these players have sufficient character to rise again and I have no doubt they will.
“They must remember they have a duty to carry the blue and gold jersey on their back even when off the field.”
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