The spiralling spending of GAA inter-county teams

Irish Independent's Colm Keys sets out the increase

The spiralling spending of GAA inter-county teams

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

According to an article in the Irish Independent, the total figure spent on GAA intercounty teams has gone over the €20 million mark.

The figures relate to 2016 and show that a combined €23,315,284 was spent on Gaelic football, hurling and development teams.

Six counties spent over a million each on their setups. They are Mayo, Dublin, Cork, Galway Tipperary and Roscommon, while Kerry spent just shy of the €1 million mark.

All Ireland senior football runners up Mayo topped the table with just over €1.6 million.

On tonight's Off The Ball, the Irish Independent's Colm Keys spoke to the show about finances and figures within the inter-county scene.  

"Since 2011, this has been going up anything between 5 and 10% each year," said Keys of the spending figures.

"The overall percentage increase in five years is 25%. So it's high. But I suppose you have to factor in a couple of things. As you said at the outset, it's surely higher because we've all heard the anecdotal evidence of the slush funds for certain counties and there's no doubt about it, they're there.

"They're a facility to look after certain players in certain cases, to look after certain coaches. That happens. I know of one county last year who were pitching their preparations at 900 grand if they reached an All Ireland final in September and that didn't come to pass. But still the overall figure for the county came in at a good bit less than that. That's probably what you're dealing with there, that there is this hidden treasure of money that's also being spent that is not in the figures.

"But yes, it's been increasing 25% and it's been going up since 2011. It did dip in the early years of the recession around 2009 and 2010 where it started to come down and there was a lot of belt tightening. But now it's full steam ahead."

As Keys added, revenue generated balances out the rise in spending.

On the individual spending of counties, big dual counties like Dublin, Tipperary, Cork and Galway would be expected to be high on the list. But on others, Keys described Roscommon's figure of over €1 million as a "real eye opener" and also felt that Mayo were a "surprise too", although in their case "you'd have to qualify that €150,000 of that was carried over from the previous year and also their under-21s won the All Ireland title, they had an under-21 B Hurling team in the Nicky Rackard and then a replay as well, so that's a lot of trips down to Dublin for their teams."

He also explained that Mayo raised a lot money through sponsorship and Cairde Mayo which balances out spending.

Keys explained that the area to watch in the table of spending are the teams in the middle as they would generate less revenue than the likes of Mayo.

He also explained that there is a good degree of transparency when it comes to financial figures emanating from the GAA in comparison to other sports.