By Frank Craig
At last night’s County Convention in Ballybofey, Treasurer Alan Boyd’s accounts report showed a profit for the year of €311,430.
However, the Gaoth Dobhair man explained that the majority of that surplus will go towards the Training Centre in Convoy.
“There is a profit this year,” he said. “But that figure comes with a warning. The surplus is because of extra fund-raising, extra gates and extra sponsorship. But we’re still just about breaking even.
“That €300,000 will be put into Convoy.”
Donegal’s income for 2019 came in at €1,704,482 – up from €1,419,206 the previous 12 months. Expenditure was down from €1,411,939 in 2018 to €1,393,052 this year.
“We’re down on expenses €18,000 from last year,” the treasurer explained.”
Boyd also appealed for Donegal supporters to get behind the current House Draw as the final push towards completion of the facility ramps up.
Some notable figures from the accounts showed team expenditure this year at €949, 270, down from €1,007,170 in 2018. Match expenses though were up, a jump from €39,742 in 2018 to €75,886 this season.
“The more matches you have the more match day expenses go up. That can be linked to the two extra county final replays. Even though the income goes up there is still extra cost on the other side.”
Player travelling expenses came in at €213,669, again a drop from €271,849 the previous year. Catering was up €17,000 from €180, 634 to €197,790 while medical expenditure was down from €181,282 to €166,468.
Gate receipts were up to €209,961 from €147,337 in 2018. There was an €84,000 rise in sponsorship from €218,000 to €302,424. Boyd explained that was due in large to a grant of €50,000 from Donegal County Council.
Merchandise royalties of €96,124 from the likes of O’Neills, was also logged. Licensing of €96,124 was due to live TV and the streaming of some live matches which Boyd said was very beneficial.
Creditors and accrued expenses was recorded on the balance sheet at €482,278, down from €603,299 last year.
The net current liabilities was pencilled in at €191, 241.
Boyd said that an amount due to Central Council of over €200,000 is listed but had now paid. “As of today, we owe Croke Park nothing. The last cheque was sent today.”
St Eunan’s delegate John Haran queried why expenditure on coaching and games development had dropped by €30,000 from €248,963 to €218,562 this year.
“We’ve been given an increase of a grant of €15,000 from Ulster Council. Why are we reducing costs on development and coaching? When we’re getting a bigger grant we should have more coaches.”
Enda Bonner, accounts auditor, explained that there was actually an increase in expenditure regarding coaching of €35,000. Additional spending on coaching and child awareness courses hadn’t been accounted for in the report.
Muff delegate Michael McMenamin demanded to know why the services of two Inishowen coaches could be dispensed with and why payment for their services had been so difficult to acquire.
“It’s a poor way to treat two employees that have given 15 years of loyal service to the GAA to be told ‘you’re finishing up in November, you’re finished up in December’.
“Now we’re told it’s to be extended to February. We’re glad to hear that. But it’s a very poor way to treat anyone. This is partly funded by the schools of Inishowen and partly funded by Donegal.
“We’ve already collect half the money from the schools. We’re now due to collect the other half. I don’t know what to do as the scheme could be finishing up. What sort of publicity would that be for the GAA in Inishowen, Donegal or indeed Ireland?
“To be quite honest, it’s a disgraceful way to treat two employees.”
A heated debate with county chairman Mick McGrath ensued. McGrath explaining that the topic wasn’t on the agenda and that convention was not the platform to discuss the issue.
He did however say that the county executive had extended the payments for the coaches in question until the end of February and, that subsequent discussions would take place regarding the situation beyond that period.
McGrath said: “I’m asking you to liaise further with me on this. But this isn’t going to become a badgering match between you and I this evening. We’ve taken up enough time with this.”
After some further back and forth between the pair, proceedings were eventually moved on.
Killybegs’ 1992 All-Ireland winner John Cunningham wanted some clarity on the county’s historical debt.
Boyd said: “There are one or two that go back to 2016. There is one specific one of €38,000. But all the historical creditors are paid at this stage.”