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GAA Discussion / Why The GAA invest so much in Dublin
« on: July 31, 2019, 07:27:52 PM »
Wrote this recently here-

Basically it’s an original opinion on why the GAA invest so heavily in Dublin.

Over the past year the focus on Croke Park’s funding of Dublin’s games development project has ballooned into the biggest issue facing the association’s hierarchy. It’s begun to get ugly for the GAA’s president John Horan who, as a Dublin native, is facing accusations that he’s acting in Dublin’s interests above the GAA’s. Horan and other members of the hierarchy haven’t helped themselves by some of their claims when they talk to the media. The claims made last year by Tom Ryan (Director General of the GAA) that funding to Dublin was being reduced and recently by Horan that Dublin didn’t receive money from the Leinster provincial council were false when they said it or proved to be false almost immediately after.

The latest claim by John Horan on the funding figures is that he is going “to get someone to just have a look at it and analyse it”, all the while persistently defending the dispersal of the funds. This approach is going to further antagonize the increasing numbers who believe Dublin’s success is linked to the financial assistance it received.
As Dublin go for the five in the row, their dominance is being acclaimed but the dropping attendances at games suggest the reality that this Dublin team are close to unbeatable. This is leading people to see games against them as a write-off rather than a huge challenge. Dropping attendances means dropping revenue for Croke Park. So the question has to be asked; if the GAA’s revenue is dropping in the Dublin dominated era why is the hierarchy so protective of the funding remaining in place for Dublin?

The reasoning the GAA provide is to grow the game in Ireland’s largest urban centre by going into schools and clubs and provide them with basic coaching that gives the GAA a head-start on other rival sports in the heart’s and mind’s of Dublin’s pre-teens. Gaels outside Dublin with an axe to grind say these coaches allow Dublin to provide professional coaching to their most promising players. I’m not sure I buy either the GAA’s reasoning or those outside Dublin with complaints about the funding dichotomy.

The reason or at least my reasoning for the imbalanced funding is the level of return Dublin clubs get for the level of investment in GDO’s (Games Development Officers). To explain, lets look at the economics of a Dublin superclub. John Horan’s club Na Fianna to be exact. Na Fianna claim they have 4000 members and 400 of them are nursery members. This means they are aged between 5-7 years. Their parents pay 85 euro as the annual Nursery membership fee. So the maths on that is a total of 34000 euro is coming into Na Fianna’s coffers annually. A GDO’s salary would be a bit more than that i believe. Maybe coming in at under 40000 Euro. So Na Fianna are almost covering the entire cost of a GDO from the money coming in from 10% of their membership. That 10% of the membership only pay 85 euro in fees while the juveniles and adult playing members pay 155 euro and 265 euro respectively. And of course Na Fianna don’t have to pay the entire salary of the GDO. Na Fianna only cover half. Croke Park covers the other half.

The truth of the games development question I posed about why the GAA invest so much in Dublin is that the return is so lucrative. There are so many youngsters in Dublin clubs that can generate so much in income to Dublin GAA. It’s basically it’s own industry where the outlay for a GDO is covered many times over by the membership fees of Nursery and Juvenile members. The parents of these kids are used as cash machines to bankroll the club’s plans and expansions. That is why the GAA continued to pump money in to the Games Development funds for Dublin. Because the “resources” there in terms of children available to coach are so much greater than other parts of the country and that equals “Bank”. Other factors work in their favour such as they have a small network of clubs servicing huge populations as opposed to the situation in most of the rest of the country were there are more clubs for small clusters of populations.

The GAA won’t be forthcoming about this reasoning as the above paragraph isn’t very idealistic in a sporting sense and if it were known it wouldn’t appease the critics. However it does make sense from a purely economic viewpoint. The GAA for now have responded to calls for more equitable funding with the “East Leinster project”. This will invest 500,000 euro annually in much the same structures that were put in place in Dublin for the last fifteen years. It will focus on four counties; Kildare, Meath, Wicklow and Louth. This is been talked about as a way to bridge the gap between Dublin and the rest. Really I would imagine the aim is pretty much the same as in Dublin. It will focus on the big commuter belts with large populations and get these coaches to pay for themselves by the level of income they bring in from the Parents’ membership fees. It is less about developing players as about developing income sources. It is also worth mentioning that this isn’t a huge investment being made. 500k a year across 4 counties will pay for an extra 12 coaches (the money from the clubs will add a further 12) for as long as the project lasts. If the money rolls in like in Dublin perhaps the GAA will consider extending it. However the project has been knocked back in Newbridge where they are happy to proceed with their own structure of coaching with volunteers instead of professional coaches. 500,000 euro is not much when I’ve shown the kind of money that gets brought in from just one nursery of a Dublin Super club. There are at least another ten Dublin superclubs with memberships and revenue streams similar to Na Fianna.

Moving on, there is a an upshot from the above writing that I wish to dissect.

It’s now becoming almost fashionable to cite the development funds as the reason Dublin are so dominant/unbeatable. This, to me at least, is a huge misread of the development funds and their value and purpose. Of course they have a value all the way to the senior team but gradually there is a movement to say that these funds are the reason Dublin are dominating. I think this should be debunked as I don’t think a transposition of the funds to other Leinster counties would be that instrumental in closing the gap.
Up to 1990, Dublin were the second most successful county in Ireland at Gaelic Football. The second most successful by far. Between 1990 and 2016 Dublin’s population increased by 300,000 people according to national statistics. 300,000 is far more than, for instance, Meath’s and Kildare’s entire present population. A lot is made of Kildare’s and Meath’s population explosion in the last twenty years but when the entire populations of these counties is outstripped by just the population increase in that period in Dublin...well is it any wonder Dublin’s have a far better team than Kildare and Meath?

Population is often disregarded as not a creditable reason for Dublin’s current superiority but this again is a complete misread in my opinion. It is dismissed because Dublin always had the population advantage. It doesn’t factor in the statistic in the paragraph above showing that despite the population explosion in Meath and Kildare that Dublin added significantly more people. Crucially even that doesn’t factor in the socio-economic changes in the composition of Dublin’s population of the last thirty years. Of rural people, many of them sons and daughters of farmers, attending third level education there, taking jobs there, moving into the suburbs there. Bringing their traditions of Gaelic games with them. The shift from Gaelic Football being viewed as a “bogger” sport to being seen as part of the mainstream in the capital.

So what is the bigger factor in Dublin dominance? This enormous socio-economic shift and huge increase in population in a county that was already hugely successful or Dublin having seventy professional coaches going into clubs and schools since 2005? For me it’s a complete no contest.
The East Leinster project will generate revenue for clubs in the area in the large population belts just like it did in Dublin. But don’t expect it to magically close the gap with Dublin. This will be a far more difficult problem to resolve given the huge differentials I’ve highlighted in population.

Going back to the original point the idea that the professional coaches are the factor that created Dublin as the GAA’s Death Star is a far fetched one. It has been missed up to now the real purpose of these coaches is the enormous income they generate. I don’t think the Dublin project was ever even about creating adult club players. If it had been it would have really focused on starting new clubs as well as just coaching within existing clubs. There are so many club juvenile and nursery players going through the Dublin system that there probably wouldn’t be room for 20% of them were they to try to be senior players in the existing club network in the capital.

The Dublin project was about monetizing the incredible numbers of Dublin’s youth through the county’s underage club structure and using that money to make Dublin the base-rock of the GAA financially. The 18+ million euro in development funds Dublin have received since 2005 is definitely an eye bulging figure but it is largely a “McGuffin” for understanding why Dublin football is dominating. That dominance requires more subtle analysis of population shifts to Dublin’s suburbs back through the 1990’s and further.

Yet again it's amazingto see how much work people put into analysing dublin's spending but do f**k all for their own county. Have a look at Cork's plan and tell me how much funding they should get in your opinion. God knows Galway can't be trusted with any grant money.

Have you any idea how many ex county players have been involved in coaching underage teams in Dublin. They don't get paid for it, but they are giving back to the county. How many other counties can say that in football or hurling.

I actually feel sorry for some of you that instead of enjoying watching some of the greatest players ever like McCarthy, McCaffrey and Cluxton your begrudgery,bitterness and or jealousy leads you to claim their success/ability is down to money.

How about channelling your energy into something positive lime demanding your club/county managers actually play football instead of the safety first defensive rubbish introduced by McGuinness and Donegal. That might actually encourage people to attend games. Galway v Monaghan last week for example was two of the top sides playing sh*t football that no one wants watch, yet people blame falling attendances on dubs domination.

Mayo fundraised 1.761 million euro over 2016-17. Dublin raised 161k over 2015-17. It doesn’t sound to me like Dublin are making much effort at grassroots level to raise funds from their fans. They are lucky to have the GAA as their main sponsor so they don’t have to raise their own funds.

GAA Discussion / Re: Club Championships Jan-Mar 2019
« on: February 17, 2019, 01:02:20 PM »
I have been told some of the gweedore lads went hard on the sauce over Christmas which would be frustrating for the lads that didn’t. You only get one crack at games like this if you are playing for a fairly unheralded club like Gaoth Dobhair. Maybe its not true at all, I don’t know.

GAA Discussion / Re: Club Championships Jan-Mar 2019
« on: February 16, 2019, 11:27:22 AM »
Ah right

GAA Discussion / Re: Club Championships Jan-Mar 2019
« on: February 16, 2019, 11:13:17 AM »
How come one of the provincial winners didn’t play the UK winners this year?

So basically you were all happy for the Dubs to fund your clubhouses and county grounds, but the minute Dublin got organised and spent money well, waaah waaah.

Happy to have a situation where counties can only spend what they earn.

Dublin - Because they’re worth it

GAA Discussion / Re: the GAA's supercrisis and the 2018 annual Report
« on: February 09, 2019, 12:40:20 PM »
So its Dublin GAA's fault thst rural Ireland is unsustsinable?

If rural Ireland is unsustainable then the present intercounty system in GAA is unsustainable so what’s easier to do? Write off the county of Dublin in its present state or write off the entire rest of Ireland?

GAA Discussion / Re: the GAA's supercrisis and the 2018 annual Report
« on: February 08, 2019, 07:15:56 AM »
I love Hound's bit about asking Club members to put €14k of Clubs funds towards paying a coach......
That rules out about 90% of Clubs in most Counties.

Surely clubs should invest in promotion officers rather than paying outsider manager to manage their adult teams. Clann na Gael , St Brigids, Garrycastle and St Lomans all midland clubs paying outside managers 150-200 a training session. Stephen Rochford was 250 a session with Corofin and they trained 3 nights a week. James Horan was getting something similar with Westport.

A bit pointless when Dublin clubs not only pay managers, they also pay outside the county players to play for them.

GAA Discussion / Re: the GAA's supercrisis and the 2018 annual Report
« on: February 07, 2019, 01:45:01 PM »
You’re failing to grasp 3 things:

1- that Dublin have the biggest access to commercial revenue hence they already have revenue streams no other county comes close to so shouldn’t need massive cash injections from HQ

2- Cork the second biggest county is not even getting 10% of the development grants Dublin have over the past 13 years.

3- Dublin have received the most development every year for at least the last 13 years. That is arguably straight up financial doping to an already very successful county.

GAA Discussion / Re: Club Championships Jan-Mar 2019
« on: January 22, 2019, 07:53:55 AM »
If Dr. Crokes win their semi, it would mean 3 Kerry clubs within a 5 mile radius would be in the 3 Club All Ireland finals

Dr Crokes, Kilcummin & Beaufort all in Kerry division 1 league for 2019?

A Junior team in Div 1? They’ll be blown away :D

Beaufort won 4 games in Div 1 in 2018 (John Mitchels, Glenbeigh-Glencar, Kerins O'Rahillys and Killarney Legion) and had 1 draw (Rathmore).  They finished 3rd from bottom, only a point below Killarney Legion and Dingle.  They suffered their biggest loss of the campaign to Dr. Crokes, going down by 10 points.  Other biggish losses were by 8 (St. Mary's) and 6 (Spa).  Tight losses by 2 to both An Ghaeltacht and Templenoe and a one point loss to Dingle show they were not far away from picking up points.

Although relegated, they were far from blown away.  The fact that they have no county men meant they had a full squad for all league games, barring the usual injuries, players on holidays and suspensions.

So Beaufort were in division 1 last year (of an 8 team league) and are playing in the Junior Cship.

Right so.

Sounds fair

It’s sounds unusual. Don’t see how it’s unfair.

GAA Discussion / Re: Club Championships Jan-Mar 2019
« on: January 21, 2019, 09:22:00 PM »
How many senior clubs are there in Kerry?

GAA Discussion / Re: Club Championships Jan-Mar 2019
« on: December 10, 2018, 12:58:50 PM »
Will venues be confirmed over the 2 days?

GAA Discussion / Re: Ulster Club IFC/JFC 2018
« on: October 10, 2018, 07:50:35 PM »
My club played Emyvale in the 2013 all ireland club semi, was shocked to see them back at junior level. How’d that happen?

GAA Discussion / Re: PAY-FOR-PLAY
« on: October 06, 2018, 10:32:17 AM »
4- the intercounty system doesn’t work. There are too many small counties who are making up the numbers and need to realign with other neighboring small counties to become viable competition to the big teams. Ireland is now an urbanized economy so the county system doesn’t work for small rural counties.

GAA Discussion / Re: PAY-FOR-PLAY
« on: October 06, 2018, 10:26:20 AM »
The reasons GAA will go professional are numerous but the main ones are

1- thats just how the global economy works in capitalism, income generators receive reward in line with the income they generate
2- every sport in the world works this way, to think the GAA is immune to this because its only played in ireland is nonsense. Ireland is a big economy and it will support the same economic eco system as any other global economy which means the big sports are professional sports.
3- the intercounty players always win any arguments they enter into; the cork hurlers and footballers, the Galway hurlers, the Waterford hurlers, the newbridge or nowhere. The intercounty players simply have too much economic power to ever lose any argument with GAA bureaucrats. This argument will be big and bitter when it happens but eventually the players will win because there is no show without them.

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