To paraphrase Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler, times are tough in GAA land.
With county boards already facing massive drops in gate receipts from restricted spectator numbers and growing uncertainty about national football and hurling championships, news broke in recent days that Carlow GAA were looking at record losses in the region of €400,000.
“That’s what we project come the end of the year”, according to Carlow GAA operations manager, Ronan Dempsey on Monday’s KCLR Live.
“We’re like a lot of other medium to large sized businesses out there. We are in a precarious position with regards to our finances at the moment.”
“The scale and the sphere of GAA activity in any county is quite vast, from the bottom up, game development all the way up to your inter-county team. There is no doubt, our finances are very clear and transparent at the end of the year, reports (sic).”
Mr. Dempsey had told KCLR news earlier that they will be looking at how activities are structured and where savings and come about.
“It can be clearly seen that the biggest spend – and it wouldn’t be ourselves, it would be most counties – the biggest spend in any county is on their inter-county setups because they are behemoths in their scale, scope and in their need for professional addition to an amateur game. That’s where the majority is spent.”
“The biggest hit for us, no more than other counties, would be the loss of our gate receipts. You’re really only looking at 100 (people) in through the gate for any of our big games.
“Last weekend just gone, a very big round for us with regards to attendances, and then into the semi-finals for our hurling (championships) which traditionally would be huge gates for us.”
“That’s where the biggest losses are, then obviously the whole overall spend, but particularly so with the inter-county setups. You can see where the massive holes start to appear there.”
Listen back to the full interview with guest presenter Edward Hayden on KCLR Live below, beginning from the 23 minute mark.