The sun is shining and the sky is blue this morning and although yet another bloody storm is on the way for later on it almost feels like spring right now. I’ve good and bad news to relay today too but, like the weather, let’s leave the negative stuff for later and start with the positive.
The good news relates to Elverys, with confirmation yesterday from the County Board that the county’s sponsorship deal with the company is indeed secure and has been in no way affected by the temporary receivership into which the company went late last week. That decision was explained at the time as being purely a technical move, as a precursor to a management buy-out, which has now been completed. It was confirmed yesterday that not only is the sponsorship unaffected but so too are the 650 jobs within the company.
So it’s good news on the double. It also means, of course, that the inflatable elephant that we’ve all grown to know and love at big games in MacHale Park (try as I might, I have to say that putting the sponsor’s name in front of the ground is a step too far for me) should remain in place, going forward as they say. I know poor old Nellie has been the butt of jibes about white elephants and what-not – I’m colour-blind but even I can see she’s not that colour – but you might be interested to know that this particular Heffalump has a proud literary heritage. Elvery’s Elephant House was a well-known landmark in Dublin’s O’Connell Street, formerly Sackville Street, going back over a hundred years (I don’t honestly know if it’s still there – I think it’s gone but I’m not sure) and it even gets a mention in Ulysses. So there.
Other good news on the wider GAA front from yesterday came with the news that, more than likely for the first time in its history, Croke Park is now debt-free, with the cost of the enormous redevelopment of the stadium completely paid off. That’s a hell of an achievement, not least given the times the country has gone through of late, and HQ should now become a major cash cow for the organisation in the years ahead. To boost the coffers still further, one thing I think they might look at is to start charging the Dubs some serious rent for using the stadium as their home venue, now that it’s clear they’re never going to have to play an away championship match ever again. Apart from anything else, a nice, fat rental bill might go some way towards kick-starting a bit of financial fair play within the association.
Okay, onto the bad news. The Mayo News (digital and paper versions) have confirmed this morning that Tom Parsons has been told to avoid all contact sports for the next 4-6 weeks arising from the injury he suffered early in last Sunday’s match. Realistically, that means he’ll be doing well to be back in contention for selection for our final league match against Derry in early April, which is such a shame given the hard work he’s done to get back into the squad. We can only hope that his recovery goes well and that he’s fighting fit once more as soon as possible.
That’s it for now. Keep those votes coming in, as well as the comments, on what to do about the players’ rating feature – the way I’m thinking now is that it’ll require a GAA Congress-style majority to pass, as I think something like a 51:49 vote wouldn’t be a sufficient mandate for pursuing something like this. As I’ve said already, I’ve a completely open mind on the issue but I do think a clear majority will be needed to go ahead with it in anything like the format proposed. So if you haven’t already voted, then please do – every opinion counts.