Convention report details Cork GAA's financial issues and hurling frustration

Convention report details Cork GAA's financial issues and hurling frustration

Cork GAA secretary Kevin O'Donovan.

CORK GAA managed to reduce their losses significantly this year, coming in at €132,000 compared to almost €560,000 in 2019.

As expected the stand-out item revolves around the huge drop in gate receipts from county championship matches.

They fell from €785,000 last year to just over €161,000 arising from number restrictions in the early part of the new-look format to games behind closed doors for the majority of the championships.

Returns from Cork’s share of the national leagues dropped appreciably, too, falling by half from €169,000 last season to around €79,000 this term.

Over €60,000 came in from the hurlers, down 50 percent, with the footballers bringing in over €17,000, again well short of the €46,000 from 2019.

Main sponsors Chill Insurance chipped in with €260,000 down from €330,000.

The income side also showed €70,000 from the Irish Examiner, €50,000 from Cairdre Corcai and €40,000 from county championship sponsors, Bon Secours in football and Dairygold Co-Op in hurling.

On the expenditure side, the cost of putting out inter-county teams again topped the €1m mark, though expenses dropped to €1.17m from €1.62m in 2019.

The various sections like catering, players travelling expenses and travel and overnights all showed less spending compared to last year.

And there was a huge drop in the cost of coaching and youth games development, which came in at €1.23m last year and just shy of €199,000 this year.

There was a surplus in the members’ draw of €246,000 compared to €160,000 the previous year.

Treasurer Diarmuid Gowen’s report will be discussed at the annual convention on Thursday night which this year is a remote event because of Covid restrictions.

Pictured at Páirc Uí Chaoimh with the famous trophies are captains Tomás Mulcahy (hurling captain) and Larry Tompkins (football captain), Lord Mayor Cllr Joe Kavanagh and his wife Stephanie (Lady Mayoress),  Teddy McCarthy and Kevin O'Donovan, CEO, Cork GAA along with Cork fans Sean and Ciara Nolan. Picture: Brian Lougheed
Pictured at Páirc Uí Chaoimh with the famous trophies are captains Tomás Mulcahy (hurling captain) and Larry Tompkins (football captain), Lord Mayor Cllr Joe Kavanagh and his wife Stephanie (Lady Mayoress),  Teddy McCarthy and Kevin O'Donovan, CEO, Cork GAA along with Cork fans Sean and Ciara Nolan. Picture: Brian Lougheed

And there will be no motions as outlined in a directive from Croke Park, governing the practicalities of organising votes in such a setting.

Meanwhile, Kevin O’Donovan, CEC/Sec, hits a nerve in his annual report about the current standing of the Cork senior hurling team.

“Perhaps, the penny has dropped in terms of how far off the top table we find ourselves at present,” he said.

“The year got off to a disappointing start against new-look Waterford at Walsh Park in what was a sign of things to come, with our dreadful record in the league since a last title in 1998, continuing.

“While a primary goal in the league will always include blooding new players, our traditional indifference towards the competitive might be worth reviewing,” O’Donovan commented.

In terms of the championship, which moved from round-robin in Munster to straight knock-out, he said of the opening tie with Waterford, ‘the game never saw the team come to grips with the fire and passion of our opponents.’

“A number of changes in both personnel and attitude followed for the round 1 qualifier against Dublin and this immediately paid dividends with a stirring victory, giving some hope of a fork on the road for Cork hurling.’

But, he remains optimistic about the future on the basis of recent improvements at underage levels as well as from the club scene.

“Hopefully, a better quality of player will emerge from the club game over the next few years.

“The path back to the top could be accelerated with a renewed focus on the fervent application required to play at the highest level.”

FOOTBALL FORTUNES:

As regards the senior footballers, O’Donovan said the Munster final defeat by Tipperary ‘was the reminder needed that the journey from division 3 to the ranks of serial All-Ireland contenders may see a few set-backs along the way.’

“Nonetheless, it’s fair to say that the past 18 months have seen progress at senior level and while there was a sting in the tail of this year’s campaign, patience with the new generation of Cork footballers will be vital, as will a solid start in Division 2 next year.”

On the club front, O’Donovan said the county championships received a much-needed shot in the arm with the new format.

“The introduction of group stages, relegation and reduced teams per grade all resulted in a greater quantity and quality of games.

“Of course, the format means a testing programme of games for dual players and ideally a 14-week window for club games will soon follow.”

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