LIMERICK GAA officials have defended their spend of over €1million on preparing inter-county hurling and football teams in 2015.
This Monday night’s Limerick GAA Annual Convention revealed that there was almost a 33% increase on team expenses over the past 12-months, and that was despite the senior hurlers and footballers exiting earlier than previous seasons.
Indeed the figure of €1,040,967 is up almost 50% over the last five years.
Just twelve months ago the figure was €783,807.
The increase of €257,160 was defended by Limerick GAA Treasurer Donal Morrissey and Limerick GAA Secretary Mike O’Riordan.
“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,” said 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. 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,” he said.
“The preparation of inter-county teams requires spend and I just can’t see that being achieved by taking money off it.”
He didn’t give a break down of the varying teams but did give a rough list of the key costs - medical (€130,000) players expenses (€130,000), catering (€160,000), facility hire (€100,000), gear and equipment (€180,000), transport and accommodation (€80,000) and management expenses (€100,000).
Secretary Mike O’Riordan added his support to the treasurer.
“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, U-21 and senior level. We just have to source more revenue streams. 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 U-21 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,” outlined the secretary, when the expenses were questioned by Blackrock’s Hugh Murphy and Kildimo-Pallaskenry’s Emmett O’Brien.
“It must be remembered too that we got teams to Munster finals at minor, U-21 and intermediate. There was also the senior hurlers travelling to London. 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,” explained the secretary.
Limerick’s total expenditure was €2,112,689 but overall there was a surplus of €14,815.