If you haven’t heard of Cáirde Mhuigeo yet, then the chances are that you will do so soon. A useful primer in this respect is this piece by Edwin McGreal in the Mayo News which summarises what this initiative is all about.
In essence, Cáirde Mhuigeo aims to bring under one roof the various different supporters’ groupings that have developed in quite a fragmented way over the years and to do so with an enhanced season ticket as its centerpiece. Up to now, different fundraising schemes – most of which have involved a season ticket scheme of some sort – have been on offer through the Mayo Supporters Club, the Patron Scheme and Club Mayo Dublin, with additional fundraising also occurring through supporters’ groups in London and in the USA. This plan will see the amalgamation of all these different fundraising efforts into a single vehicle through which there will be a range of different options for providing financial support to Mayo GAA.
The new ‘all-in’ season ticket which will be available under the Cáirde Mhuigeo banner will grant you get free access to each of our National League matches and our first Connacht Championship match as well as free admission to all Mayo club games at all levels. It also includes an option to buy a ticket for every subsequent championship match the seniors are involved in, up to and including the All-Ireland final. From my own perspective, that’s a better option that my current Club Mayo sub, which only gives me free access to our home league matches and the club games.
Added benefits from subscribing to Cáirde Mhuigeo include a branded jacket and the option to take part in what will be a monthly Cáirde Mhuigeo lotto draw. Subscribers will also get discount vouchers worth up to €100 from Mayo-based businesses who have agreed to join forces with the County Board to help drive take-up of the season ticket. In this respect, the County Board have issued an open invite to Mayo businesses to take part in this scheme, pointing to the obvious advantages to both parties from doing so.
The new season ticket retails at €200 per annum and there are other options (at €120 and €60 per annum respectively) to join the fundraising scheme if the season ticket doesn’t rock your boat. These give you access to either the Cáirde Mhuigeo lotto draw (the €120 option) or a club lotto draw (the €60 option), with 40% of the price of the latter going back to the buyer’s nominated club.
Personally, I think this is a great initiative and one that deserves widespread support. From what I’m hearing, the initial projections on likely take-up are fairly bullish and so there’s every chance it will prove a hit with punters. The aim to ensure that all revenues raised from fundraising come into the one pot is both overdue and perfectly sensible while the tie-in with local businesses is clever, in particular given the austere economic times we live in. For me, it’s a no-brainer to support and I suspect that this will be the case for many other Mayo GAA devotees as well.