BY CHRIS MCNULTY
THE Donegal County Executive is to table a motion to tonight’s meeting of the Donegal County Committee calling for clubs to agree to making a contribution of €10 per adult member to the county coffers.
At the March meeting of the committee, clubs agreed – after much discussion on the night and at a previous finance meeting – to meeting an €81,000 shortfall in relation to financing development works at MacCumhaill Park and the provision of temporary changing facilities at the Convoy Centre of Excellence.
The formula was initially based on obtaining, from the clubs, a contribution of €10 oer adult member with an estimated 8,000 members in the county. Since then, membership figures have rocketed – with 12,438 registered adult members in Donegal by the March 31 cut off.
At last month’s sitting, county officials agreed to revisit their plan. Following a meeting of the executive recently, however, the Donegal News understands that a motion will be tabled by the executive asking clubs to retain the €10 per head contribution.
“The matter was discussed by the Executive and something will be before county committee on Tuesday night,” was all the county secretary, Aodh Mairtín Ó Fearraigh could say when contacted.
Clubs were to have half of their contributions by Friday last, May 3, or face the prospect of having their ticket allocation for the upcoming Donegal v Tyrone game sliced in half.
It is believed that the vast majority, if not all of the clubs had met the contribution.
Were the clubs to agree to retaining the €10 formula, it would mean an injection of some €124,380 into the county finances.
There will be an intense scramble for tickets for that Ulster Championship clash in just 20 days time. Around 6,700 tickets will be allocated to Donegal, but when season tickets and tickets for players are removed, the net figure to be distributed among clubs will be 5,750.
“It is way short of what the demand will be,” said the county chairman, Sean Dunnion.
“It isn’t what we hoped for.
“Unfortunately that’s something we have to deal with. We’re entitled to our home match but it will be a difficult couple of weeks ahead for the county executive and club officers.
“With over 12,000 adult members registered this year, you can see that it’s less than one ticket for every two members. The demand and pressures on club officers will be huge.”
Clubs’ tickets will be allocated solely based on membership – and the figures plainly show that there will be scores of disappointed fans throughout the county.
Mr Dunnion said: “I would appeal to members to give club officials the opportunity to look at it and stay calm. Hopefully people heavily involved with clubs will get the opportunity to attend this match.
“We have to use every advantage. This Tyrone game could define our season. Jim, the management team and the players were very keen for it to be at home. Tyrone are going to be a huge task, they have really excelled.
“We need to have every advantage. There will be disappointed supporters, but we had to get this game to Ballybofey.”