Work to restart shortly on McHale Park

This report in the Mayo News confirms that work will shortly restart on McHale Park, which will see the protracted redevelopment project finally completed by April this year. As this report makes clear, there are three drivers for making this happen, i.e. Croke Park’s acceptance of the Fundraising and Finance plan put forward by the County Board and the consequent release of funding by Croke Park to enable the remaining work to get going, the negotiations which have taken place with the contractor and others who are owed money on the project, which has resulted in a 33% haircut in the total amount owing and the approval by the County Board and Croke Park of the Cáirde Mhaigheo initiative, which enjoyed a successful launch last Saturday night.

It’s important to note from the first report above that Croke Park has stipulated that all future fundraising for Mayo GAA must come under the Cáirde Mhaigheo banner, which means that all other existing initiatives in this area (such as the long-running supporters’ club, Club Mayo Dublin and the recently-launched London supporters’ effort) will now have to become part of the wider Cáirde Mhaigheo endeavour. What this will mean in practical terms is that everything that’s raised from a fundraising perspective will go into the same pot while everyone who signs up to support the initiative will all be entitled to the same benefits, in terms of the season ticket, entry to lotto draws, discount vouchers and so forth.

When the full extent of the financial crisis facing the County Board was finally revealed back in November, it was obvious that rapid action needed to be taken to avert what could quite easily have mutated into a complete financial catastrophe. While the crisis is far from over and clearly won’t be for some time, it now appears that the kind of action that was urgently required has been taken. Croke Park’s approval for the McHale Park work to be completed can therefore be seen as a significant vote of confidence in the Board’s efforts to take some decisive initial action to deal with the crisis.

It’s also obvious that the Cáirde Mhaigheo initiative will be central to the Board’s effort to pull Mayo GAA clear from this crisis and the strong take-up so far of the new season ticket (with half of the 2012 target of 1,000 tickets already sold) would suggest that a good start has been made in this area too. Much more needs to be done, for sure, before we’re out of the woods but at least a solid start to dealing with the crisis would now appear to have been made.

Back to on-field matters, where James Horan has confirmed to the Mayo News that both Tom Cunniffe and Trevor Mortimer will both miss the early stages of the NFL. That’s no harm, really, as others – including the likes of Eoghan Reilly, Lee Keegan and Colm Boyle – could do with some game time over the next while as we look to deepen the squad in the build-up to this year’s championship.

Finally, Conor Mortimer has been speaking with John Fogarty in the Irish Examiner following his comeback appearance for the county team at Ballyhaunis last Sunday. In this report, Mort gives some insight into what he’s had to do to battle back to fitness following his cruciate operation last February and what he thinks of his chances of making the cut in James Horan’s squad this year. And, no, he has nothing to say on the burning issue of the socks.

41 thoughts on “Work to restart shortly on McHale Park

  1. Willie Joe, this all sounds very positive.

    Would it be possible to clarify the following statement which appeared in the Mayo News.

    “A letter from the aforementioned Cathy Slattery was also read to the meeting which outlined the approval, in principle, of the ‘Financial Plan’ with agreement that any funds raised would be first used to offset the debt in place, and that all future fund-raising for Mayo GAA would come under the umbrella of Cáirde Mhaigheo”

    It would appear from the above statement that ALL money raised through Cairde Mhaigheo will go towards the reduction of debt on McHale Park.

    Is this the case?

  2. PJ it seems quite clear – we’re in bailout territory. The noose is around the neck. Pay the huge debts and if by some minor miracle you have anything left it can go into onfield activities. Dreams of Sam Maguire have never been further away

  3. I would be greatful if Anthony Hennigans piece in this weeks Western people might be attached to WJs site. Actually Anthony has two pieces. They are well worth reading. I am totally confused such is the spin in my head.

    Conors socks are a pleasure to discuss. Flip/flop, spin/swivel, twist/turn, rock/roll the Mayo wagon trundles on.

  4. The financial recovery plan is all good and well but is a reaction to a series of cock ups by the same people who have come up with this plan. Why is no one held to account for this? its bizarre really.

  5. London Supporter, this is my fear and it was always the fear of the Steering Committee.

    Was it not only last December that Mayo County Board launched the London Supporters Club and promised the Supporters that ALL the money raised would go towards preparing the teams.

    It would appear that the Strategy and mesage is all over the place.

    Can we trust a County Board who ‘forgot’ to disclose € 1.5 million of laibilities in their 2010 Accounts?

    Was the Auditors of Mayo County Board aware of this huge liability?

    Has anyone seen sight of the Plan which was submitted and approved in ‘principle’ by Croke Park?

    Has anyone carried out an impact assessment on how this Plan could impact on the future of Mayo GAA?

    Some serious questions need to be answered!!

  6. Does anybody want to confess to paying €200 for a season ticket that the GAA are selling for €75 – the maths don’t work?

  7. We’re definitely in bailout territory but, like the national situation, I’d view this as a positive because, like the country, if we didn’t have access to the bailout facility then we’d really be screwed. Also having Croke Park (think Troika) involved means that there’s now proper oversight in place and so things that should have been done in the past but weren’t will, at Croke Park’s behest, have to happen now. As well as this, Croke Park are insisting on twice-yearly updates on the financial situation, which is clearly the other end of the spectrum as regards financial transparency and oversight compared to what has gone on heretofore.

    I’m not sure, PJ, what exactly the story is with fundraising but from what I know that Mayo News report was accurate as regards what was in the letter from Croke Park so I think the words can be taken at face value. It’s worth noting, though, that fundraising isn’t just the monies raised by the supporters’ club in Mayo, Dublin and London – far from it in fact. Indeed, I understand that these three initiatives only contributed just under 10% of all fundraising income in 2011 (i.e. less that €50k out of a total of just under €500k) with the bulk coming from hardy annuals like the County Board draw and the summer camps.

    I don’t think the position is as bad as has been painted by London Supporter either. Team expenses in 2011 came to a bit over €500k and I’ve been informed that funds of this order (with annual year-on-year increases) have been included in the financial plan for the next few years that Croke Park have signed off on. In return, the Board has to ensure that the revenues that have been budgeted materialise (including the revenues from Cairde Mhaigheo). Providing they do, then the financial situation should not put any squeeze on funding on-field activities.

    I haven’t seen Anthony’s pieces in the Western, ontheroad, and I don’t think they’re online yet. I’ll look out for them, though, and post them here when they do come online.

    As regards taking up the Cairde Mhaigheo option or going for the standard season ticket (€200 v €75) this is obviously a matter of personal choice. The two aren’t the same, in that the Cairde Mhaigheo one also provides unlimited access to club games within the county, €100 of discount vouchers, entry to the lotto and all the benefits that go with membership of a single broad-based Mayo supporters’ club. I guess it comes down to whether or not these things are important to you or not. In my case, it’s a no-brainer: I’m currently paying €240 annually to Club Mayo Dublin so I’ll gain €40 while getting access to more games and the possibility of an All-Ireland ticket if we make it that far as well as the other bells and whistles.

  8. Some serious questions asked by PJ there alright , for my part it waqs confirmed to me that the funds would be ring-fenced to support the players.

    If we look at it that team expeneses of 500K or a similar amount due to inflation and progress in the championship is available however for the foreseeable future , then i see no problem with the county board using it to pay down the debt and i have to say i am happy to see that the 33% haircut was negotiated, the lad who organised that now needs to be sent to sit at endas right hand when the real TROIKA next come to town.

    People being held responsible for the mistakes of the past is all good and well but it heartens me to think that a plan is now in place with creditors and croke park all on board.

    looking forward to seeing how my short lived london supporters club membership now develops into a chairde muigheo ( london) membership…

  9. Hi WJ, the following from your piece above is interesting

    “When the full extent of the financial crisis facing the County Board was finally revealed back in November, it was obvious that rapid action needed to be taken to avert what could quite easily have mutated into a complete financial catastrophe.”

    I am kinda curious as who this was revealed to ? the common gardener follower such as myself or revealed to themselves ie the county board? Because if it was to the general public of the wider Mayo church then great. If, as what I can take from recent reports in the Mayo press that this was some kind of revelation to the Mayo county board then I am flabbergasted.

    Last November twelve months I, who am a low ranked soldier of the Mayo fraternity, was aware that Mayo football had significant financial woes. What I take from the recent musings across the boards is that this news came as a surprise to those who should have known.

  10. From what I know, ontheroad, it was only in November that the precise position was revealed to the County Board and, at the same time, to clubs and the wider public. You’re right, of course, that it was common currency well before then that things were in a bad state but the full details of how bad the situation actually was wouldn’t have been known to all and sundry. I doubt if the November revelation came as any surprise to those who should have known but, like the rest of us, I gather they wouldn’t have been made privy to the full facts until then. As a result, November marks a clear turning point in the road and Croke Park’s requirement for full six-monthly updates on the financial position should ensure there’ll be no backsliding in this area in the future.

  11. Those pieces in the Western that ontheroad mentioned are now online. There are three in all: here, here and here. The first is consistent with what’s already been reported, the second provides some useful insight into how and why Croke Park intervened on the issue while the third deals with Club Mayo Dublin’s protestations to the County Board about the new world order as regards fundraising for Mayo GAA.

  12. What i take out of all that Willie Joe is that 3 creditors have taken huge cuts on what they are due.. Well done to whoever negotiated that but the Board did not meet their obligations and the agreements they made. Will they let the supporters down now and let the football suffer?

  13. I hope there is some agreement with Club Mayo Dublin and the County Board, we all need to band together. I also think Club Mayo Dublin is a great asset to Mayo GAA. I suspect other counties would only love to have this additional branch of support. Let’s hope the letter strikes the right tone.

  14. stone cold-the 200euro ST gives you more than the 75 euro one, the extras are a mayo jacket, 100euro worth of vouchers and entry to all club games and underage in mayo. you pay min 10euro to a club champ game for adult so if you go to 3/4 in the year that should cover the extra. i already bought the gaa one for 75 and dont think ill upgrade

  15. My poor old mother hated to owe a penny. We bought a car LIZ 249 for £500 and we paid for it on the HP. My mother could barely bring herself to sit in it until she paid off the last installment. Today she would be laughed at and regarded as a simpleton.

    So can I compliment the Mayo County Board for turning what should be a source of mortification into what has now assumed all the appearances of a good news and success story. I am not sure whether we owe 11 million or 16 million but I do know the national press are more interested in the paltry 200K the Kildare county board owe. 200K would barely keep a high powered adviser content in government for a year.

    I lifted this quote from the Hogan Stand

    “The contractor, engineer and solicitor for the project were owed an estimated €1.5 million, but this has been reduced to €500,000 after two of the three *debtors agreed to cut their costs.” Read that carefully. What do you take from it? To me its simple, two out of three took a cut and one did not. So we ask,as if its any of our business, who was the one who actually looked to get paid what they were entitled to.

    The slant is pure genius. What should be a story about owing three companies 1.5 million becomes “whose the company who wont help poor old Mayo out in their hour of need”. Again I take my hat off to the angle hewn.

    In order to pay for me to waste 5 years in secondary college my mother stood over a knitting machine in a cold scullery at night. The fishermen, farmers, indeed the community sought her fine jumpers. The fishermen and farmers paid her immediately in cash for their gansai. The few that owed her long after she passed away were the very ones who could have bought and sold the rest of us.

    Many lessons she taught me were wasted but I will never forget her simple values…owe nothing. So I again salute the board. We move on, a new future, a new jersey a new team but do you know what after six generations of waiting for Sam I have had enough. I have stood knee deep in shite, I have sat with the seagulls high in Croke Park as Kerry ate us, I nearly had a heart attack as we won the 2001 league final from sheer joy but the one thing I will not allow anyone do is take me for a fool.

    Mayo and its people are mingled in my blood but asking me to believe that Santa Claus on his way north in November 2011 dropped into Castlebar and told the denizens of Mayo football that their Christmas sock had a hole of gigantic proportions in it and that it needed massive stitching is asking me too much.

    We are asked to believe that last November or lets narrow this down, free from bullshit, two and a half months ago, many of the Mayo top table were made aware that we were slightly burning oil is like asking me did I actually spot Santa a month ago….follow my drift in case any child reads this.

    I knew November 2010 , a full 14 months ago that we …ahem… might have difficulty meeting our obligations and I would not be let in the door of the county board to sweep the floor. But that was then and this is now as the politician might say.

    I have no faith, no belief and no love for what has happened to us. I have no need to stand and watch as we spoof our way around, scrap for a few bob here, a new jersey there, try and get others to take a cut for the auld sod.

    There is a guy , a big tall fine man on the real Dragons Den as opposed to the pantomime here. When he is not going to buy he says this “Look this is where I am…I am out… good luck and thank you”

    Before I sign off for good I want to thank Willie Joe for a magnificent site. It is a lightning rod for robust and honest debate about what is dearest to our hearts. Long may this site remain free from any other influence other than its contributors and head bottle washer, the great WJ.

    I will miss Conors socks but having lasted six decades and life went on I might as well get back to my old love Leeds United….now where are they at the moment…is Don Revie still with them, Giles, Reaney, Madely Charlton, Lorimer and Clarke.

    Folks this is what the great Eamon Mongey said and I will leave out a part lest I offend people “What we achieved was despite some people” . When I mention Mayo football I immediately and silently preface any comment with Eamons words. We could be great and we should be great. You decide over the winter why we aint. Slan agus beannacht don suibh seo agus gach ath do na daoine iontach as an contae iontach…Muigheo.

    * My definition of debtor is a person who owes a debt to a company person or individual. The three companies mentioned above in the quote are thus not “debtors” but are in fact “creditors”. They are owed the money. The “Debtors” are the Mayo county board. That is a very important distinction.

  16. ontheroad the green and red runs far too fast through your veins. your frustration is understandable.

    coming at it from a completely different angle from you i believe the count board did the right thing to borrow to redevelop the ground , what they did wrong was the amounts involved, agreeing to the fees charged and the financial planning ,

    the truth is that the mayo board, the country itself and at a micro level even joe soap on the street can now swallow the bitter pill and pay back in full what they owe….

    or we can move on , have some of the debt renegotiated and be able to shuffle off the shackles eventually.

    i applaud whoever achieved this haircut , i really do. now the board must ensure that the players at all levels are unaffected by any financial goings on.. becuase once the financial straits encroaches onto the field of play you will lose the lifeblood of what makes the GAA what it is , the volunteers for and supporters of the cause.

  17. from reading the third article , i can only say that club mayo dublin seem to be well within thier rights to withold their funding , this needs to be handled with extreme care , people who were happy to contribute to club mayo might not feel happy with the cairde mhaigheo option at all….

  18. Roger I can see how Club Mayo Dublin would be unhappy too but the County Board are the people in charge. There is obviously a good base in place in Dublin that has done hard workand I hope the County Board can work with them so that everybody is working together and that will benefit members, supporters and Mayo.

  19. ‘ontheroad’, I really hope that ‘my people’ paid your mother for her jumpers, otherwise, I will not be able to look you in the eye ever again!

    Having read all the posts over the last few days there is an element of defending the indefensible going on and I must say WJ that some of your posts are doing this and as much as I respect your view I would have to disagree with it on this occassion. Like all great Wars the truth gets lost and once again it is going to happen here.

    In life and in business there are consequences for ones actions. We have all made huge mistakes over the years, me included, but we must live with the consequences. So too must the people who have brought Mayo GAA to its knees.

    What amazes me about Mayo GAA is that the individuals who got us into this mess are stilling hanging around trying to sort things out and in doing so creating the greatest financial cover up ever witnessed by the GAA world. Let’s be honest, this is on a scale never before witnessed by the GAA. It is the GAA’s Anglo.

    Let’s just look at the players involved during this saga, the Vice Chairman is now the Chairman, the PRO is now the Secretary, the Treasurer is still the Treasurer, and the Auditor is still the Auditor. Are all these Guys saying that they didn’t know what was happening? If they are they are either totally incompetent or ……….

    Can the Treasurer and indeed the Auditor explain how they signed off the 2010 Accounts in the knowledge that there was still € 1.5 million of Creditors owed money? Did the Auditor know about these Creditors? Did the Treasurer know about these Creditors? Did the former Secretary know about these Creditors? Did the current Chairman know about these Creditors? Did the former PRO know about these Creditors? Did all these Guys know that they signed off the 2010 Accounts and misled Croke Park, the Connacht Council and most importantly Mayo GAA?

    Can someone please explain why we had such high legal costs outstanding at the end of a Project?

    I wonder did the € 1.5 million of Creditors ever exist. Were these phantom creditors created so that the so called ‘New Guys’ could position themselves as great dealers?

    What really stinks about the recent developments is that the ‘New Guys’ at the top table have continued with the cover-up and tried to spin a positive story from something that is either a complete lie or for something that the Chairman, the Secretary, the Treasurer and Auditor should have resigned or be sacked over.

    WJ, I would make the following points in relation to your point that the need to now submit regular reports to Croke Park should be viewed as a positive move;

    1. Croke Park are not looking for reports to do what is right for Mayo GAA

    2. They want reports as they want to control the financial affairs of Mayo GAA as they are on the hook to Ulster Bank for the huge debt

    3. They need to make sure Mayo GAA is giving them every penny that is available for fundraising, irrespective of the consequences to Mayo GAA

    4. Has Croke Park asked Mayo GAA to demonstrate how they are going to win an All Ireland in the next 10 years? Do they really care?

    Every Business has to report to higher powers so that these bodies can get what they are entitled to in terms of tax, vat, compliance etc. Mayo GAA is no different. The GAA has decided to take a heavy handed approach to Mayo GAA as we could not manage our own affairs in the past or indeed put forward a viable plan to demonstrate that we can manage our affairs in the future. This approach is not as a result of incurring the debt but as a result of how we have reacted to the mess we find ourselves in.

    For the ‘New Guy’s to think that they can now wrap this mess under the term Cáirde Mhaigheo’ and that the money will start rolling in shows an amazing naivety. To think that people will give their hard earned cash to a County Board who has lost all credibility just to pass it on to Croke Park is an insult to the intelligence of the Mayo GAA Supporter.

    The spat between the County Board and the Dublin Supporters Club which is a very interesting development. For the record these Guys refused to engage in the Strategic Review Process as they felt they were outside the remit of the review. It’s our ball and we will do with it what we like, you get my drift.

    Mayo GAA needs to be cleansed by way of;

    1. an Independent Financial Review,

    2. the resignation of the County Board, including the so called ‘New Guys’ for continuing the Cover Up,

    3. a Plan needs to be developed where the future of Mayo GAA comes first, the plan needs to be implemented

    As a consequence of the success of the Plan Croke Park will get its money back. That is the order of events and if we settle for anything else Mayo GAA will suffer.

    As Mayo people we will never be able to witness what my 8 year old son witnessed last September when he stood in Croke Park and watched his Dublin team win an All Ireland. Even at that pint he was able to turn to me and say that it would be a better day if Mayo had won. Mayo blood runs deep and it goes through the generations no matter where we take up residence.

    In a post last December I stated that the affairs of Mayo GAA would be played out in the Boardroom of Croke Park and Ulster Bank and this process has now commenced. Some person at HQ has a file marked ‘Mayo GAA’ and the future of our County rests with its contents.

    Willie Joe, you have created an amazing site for Mayo GAA Supporters Worldwide to have a say into the affairs of the County and its Teams and I would urge you not to allow it become a platform for the County Board to spin their views. They have their own website and let them use it or else let them come on here and face the ordinary supporter.

    Finally, ‘ontheroad’ when you say that you are gone I do hope that you are not actually ‘gone’. This site would not be the same without your opinion and views.

  20. PJ I think you have said all I would have wanted to say on this subject. How the same people who created the mess are left to clean it up is beyond belief. There are so many parallels to the state of the country. The new stand is lovely( even though the blue seats baffle) but 16Million….nah, sorry, dont for a second think it was worth that. It sounds to me like people were overpaid to do the work but sure i suppose when you’re spending other peoples money……The county board will never be trusted by anyone again and fundraising will suffer as a result and things will get worse. The only way is for the CB to move on and let people with proven competence take over. It needs to be run like a business now, not a “make it up as you go along” type project.
    Ontheroad, just let the frustrations subside and get back in the saddle again asap! Your fellow bloggers need you!

  21. london supporter , Club mayo dublin raised their funds on the proviso that they were going directly to the team , if the cairde mhaigheo money is going primarily to servicing the debt then club mayo could actually be in the wrong to hand it over.

    i think you were in tommys the night of the london supporters , we were told that cash was going to the team as well , will tommy withhold it now ? should he ?

  22. PJ , you probably know all of the main protaganists personally , i would not know any of them , but i can imagine if i was on the county board i would be fighting tooth and nail to keep my position.

    you ask the hard questions there , i wouldnt be expecting any answers ! perhaps a few of the journalists who read this site might pose them to the board members?

  23. PJ – I have no problem with your saying that you disagree with what I’ve been writing of late about the Mayo GAA financial crisis – it’d be a very dull world if we all agreed on everything, after all – but I do have a major problem with your allegation that I’m “defending the indefensible” or that I’m allowing this site to “become a platform for the County Board to spin their views”. Without wishing to sound in any way pompous, I think my track record over the years as regards independence of thought on this site speaks for itself and I intend to continue to be an independent voice where it comes to Mayo GAA in the future. I also intend to continue making this platform available to others (hopefully including ‘ontheroad’- you’re not really gone for good are you?) to voice whatever opinions they want but I draw the line at allowing it to become a place to hurl unfounded allegations. PJ, the same rules apply to you as they do to everyone else: if this is the level of debate you want, then please take it elsewhere.

    As regards the financial crisis itself, I first raised concerns about the McHale Park issue almost three years ago (here) at a time when nobody else was doing so. I expressed concerns then that I still hold now about the project and I wholeheartedly agree that those responsible should be held to account – in particular one Office holder whose position, in my view, is and will remain untenable. But if there are major issues of accountability about the whole Board then why wasn’t this acted upon at the County Convention before Christmas by which time the full scale of the crisis was known to everyone?

    From my reading of the position (and this is only my view – take it or leave it) a clear change of direction has occurred since November and I think (my view again) that the measures that have been taken since then will help to pull us back from the precipice and set the county on the road (which will still be a long one) to financial recovery. In my view (though I accept it’s only my opinion so make of it what you will) we’ll know soon enough – say, inside 12-18 months – if things are moving in the right direction. For now, I’m happy to give the current policies (including Cairde Mhaigheo, which I strongly support and of which I think, PJ, you do a considerable disservice) the benefit of the doubt.

  24. Willie Joe, if the views expressed are your own personal views then I accept and respect them.

    If the views expressed have in anyway been influenced by the County Board or its members then for me the independence of your site is damaged and this is a great pity and I am happy to take my views elsewhere.

    As bit like the Supporters Club in Dublin, this website is your ball so do with it as you see fit.

  25. We are a great county for conspiracy theorys. Mayo GAA built a stand, Mayo GAA will have to pay for it. That is the way the world works. Sure it is a lot of money, put it will be repayed.
    Having a go at WJ will not help the situation.
    There is only one Mayo team and come next summer we will all be supporting them. Mayo abu.

  26. Roger, yeah I was in Tommys the night of the launch and had a good (too good) night. Tommy did confirm and the County Board members there agreed in front of everybody that all the money that would be raised was for the players. because of the uncertainty I held off before signing up and was coming home anyhow. My brother over there has been told that London will be allowed to do their own thing.

    I think Willie Joe is right that what is being done will hopefully set the finances right but will it help what is happening on the pitch. It can’t in the short term. THe accounts are a disaster that has to be sorted. But is Cairde Maigh Eo not a rushed plan. It should have been sold to everybody so they could sell it to others. Instead we are all fighting amongst each other and it may never get off the ground. How can you sell the concept of paying off the debt. Alot of people have put a lot of hard work into fundraising and those sources of money may now be lost. If the teams expenses which the London supporters club is to cover are not paid for then it is either up to the County Board to pay them or the team to go without them. So I guess painful times lie ahead and the football will suffer in the short term at least. I know a budget has been promised for the teams but if things get even tighter and there is a sum of money there the debt will get priority.

    Willie Joe i think PJ raises serious questions and what struck me is what he said about Croke Park being interested in the good of Mayo or simply looking to have the money paid. I think your love for the green and red is colouring your view here, or it may be a simple accepting of the fact that we must pay the debt and come out of it but a wider discussion was needed and it looks like there will be a iceberg ahead.

  27. PJ – that’s twice today that you’ve made insinuations about me which I greatly resent and take deep offence at regarding my bona fides in expressing the views I have made. You clearly have a different view on the issues under discussion but I would never for one minute presume that I have the right to cast doubts on or to speculate about your motivations for holding these views. All I ask in return is that you accord the same respect to me, nothing more, nothing less. I value greatly the community that has developed here over the years but I know from experience that it’s only a community that will thrive if basic standards are adhered to by those who take part in it. Presuming to know about how and why others say what they say – especially if what they say differs from your own standpoint – and expressing those presumptions publicly isn’t something I can allow to pass unchallenged. I wouldn’t allow it (and have more than once deleted comments) where slurs have been cast on players and I’m not going to allow it where it comes to me either. Just in case you’re in any doubt, have a read at this post I did last year on my house rules for comments. As you’ll see, you’ve twice today fallen foul of rule 4. A third time will have consequences, I’m afraid.

  28. * Ontheroad, I would be entirely disheartened were you to slip into apathy. I don’t want to meet another Mayo person who has been too hurt by what they’ve been through to want to not have to go through it again if they have to.

    * It’s the naughty corner for PJ.

    * Why are the seats blue?

    * Regarding ceideboys comment “Mayo GAA built a stand” – Nobody asked me did I want a stand built. Nobody asked me do you think it’s a good idea to pay 16 million euros for it. Hands up if you would have said yes to a 16m stand if you had been asked?

    Spending money that is not yours and not asking the people who give it to you what they want it spent on is criminal. And I don’t mean that in the sense “Ach sure isnt it bad”. I mean, it’s a crime, it’s thievery, it should be punishable. It happens in every facet of society in every country in the world. Part of the problem is that there are people who do it, and just as big a part of the problem is that there are people who let them do it out of ignorance. And another part of the problem is a lack of what I will term “united initiative”, that is, a group of people who believe in something not getting up and doing something about it.

    Virtually to a man (and woman) here, we believe there needs to be major changes made in the governance of our game. So I ask the questions, and in all seriousness:

    What can we do about it?
    What are we going to do about it?

  29. PJ,I have utmost faith in the integrity of WJ and this site.Having said that,I would hate to see a rift between yourself and WJ,as I believe both of you have only the best interests of Mayo football at heart.As for ‘ontheroad’……….shur ‘twould be like the Kerry team without the Gooch!!

  30. Wille Joe, please accept this post as my apology for any offence I may have caused you as I clearly have upset you by my comments. I can assure you that my post of earlier today was not intended to offend you. 

    Notwithstanding the fact that it was one of the Strategic Plans Key Recommendations, I am unable to support Cairde Mhaigheo initiative for the following reasons;

    1. It is based on what I view as a rotten foundation and controlled by individuals who have lost all credibility

    2. None of the money raised goes towards the development of GAA in Mayo

    3. It is a front for Croke Park to collect their debt under the friendly guise of Cairde Mhaigheo

    4. It has no context in the greater plan for Mayo GAA as no such plan exists

    A few months back I decided to post on this site under my own personal name as I feel so strongly about what has happened and what continues to happen with the finances of Mayo GAA. 

    Given my former role as Chairman of the Finance and Funding Sub-Committee for the Strategic Review I got to have a close look at the finances of the County and even with the shutters down I could see that this Board was rotten to the core and the greatest cover up was unfolding right in front of our eyes. For 6 months we fought a good fight without success and as far as I am concerned the fight goes on.  

    We called for an independent financial review because we were so concerned about the financial status of the County but the Officers of the Board blocked this in an attempt to cover up the mess, the majority of these guys still sit at the top table.  

    For people directly involved in the County Board to come out now and say that they didn’t realise that things were that bad amazes me. But what amazes me even more is that so many people are willing to believe them and to let them go unchallenged. 

    The County Board with the same people in place, but wearing different numbers are now are asking us, the Mayo Supporter to give them our hard earned money to bail them out of the mess they created.  

    Having seen what I seen and for as long as the same people are in charge and I include all the current Officers, even the so called ‘New Guys’ I would not give one euro to Mayo GAA. 

  31. Digits, here are some things that we can do;

    1. Send Croke Park the signal that we will not be bullied by refusing to support the Cairde Mhaigheo initiative

    2. Start a campaign calling for the resignation of the entire County Board

    3. At the upcoming National League game in Castlebar refuse to occupy the New Stand as a mark of protest against what is happening

    4. Form an Independent Supporters Club which will act to effect change within the structures of Mayo GAA

    I could go on but I have said enough for one day!

  32. Just a wee comment here
    The co Board make decision which have the necessary support of elected club delegates from all clubs in the county.
    If youre not an elected club delegate you cannot do **** so whether we serfs agree with the notion that the development in mchale rd was very stupid overpriced or worse is academic isnt it??

  33. i think you all are missing the point. They changed the guard in mayo county board. Since then, there has been a crisis in McHale Park, crisis with Croke Park, crisis with supporter’s club. Everything would appear to be exaggerated.

    The question i have is, who is calling the shots in the county board?

  34. PJ – apology accepted, thanks. I know that your views are strongly held and that you have genuine reasons for holding them and I respect your position in doing so. I’ve always been more of the glass half-full mentality myself, which perhaps explains to some extent why we don’t agree on this particular issue. I do agree with you that there are serious questions to be answered in relation to the McHale Park development, as there are about so many things that were done in this country in the years leading up to 2008, but regardless of how these very valid questions are answered (or not, as the case may be) there remains a financial crisis which has to be dealt with and dealt with effectively.

    In this respect, I think it’s perfectly valid to be supportive of measures now being taken to drag the County Board finances back from the cliff but that shouldn’t be seen as an endorsement of everything that went before. I’m not sure there’s much merit, to be honest, in damning equally the decisions (and those who made them) which led to the crisis and the decisions now being made (and those making them) aimed at financial recovery. To me, that’s just baby and bathwater territory.

    As I’ve said already, I think the proof of the pudding on whether or not the current County Board is able to chart a way out of the financial crisis (leaving aside the issue of how and why the crisis arose in the first place) will be how things pan out over the short-to-medium term, given the decisions made since November and the path now being embarked on. Personally, I think a good start has been made since the crisis came to a head in November but it is only a start and there’s a long road ahead yet. I know you won’t agree but I think we are at least pointed in the right direction now; whether or not we get where we want to go (and when) is another question entirely.

  35. “Leaving aside the issue of how and why the crisis arose in the first place”

    I think PJ is trying to make the point that this should not be left aside.

  36. WJ, I am glad that we have made up.

    Yes, we are going in a new direction, the question is to we know where we are trying to get to?

    Pat, Croke Park are calling the shots.

  37. I’m not saying it should be, Digits, just that the separate questions of accountability for how we got into the mess and decisions now being taken to try to get us out of it shouldn’t necessarily be tackled as one and the same issue. Regardless of who is to blame and made accountable, the crisis needs to be sorted or else it’ll just become a bigger one. If our main focus is on how we got into the hole, it’s a hole we’ll never get out of.

  38. I agree WJ, we must get out of it, in the best way that we can. Apart from the Cairde Mhaigh Eo thing, is there anything else we can do to improve the situation? This is indeed a main focus.

    But once we as supporters have done what we can for that issue, our focus should be on what got us into the mess in the first place, and how can we prevent that happening again in the future.

    But fair enough, first things first, is there anything else we can do to improve this financial situation?

  39. Thanks for that, Heimat – I think we can all agree, as you say, that we all have a common desire to see success on the field. Maybe it’s my glass half-full thinking again but I’ve got a real sense of optimism on that fron about the year ahead. No more than the financial issue, time will also tell whether or not my faith there is misplaced.

    I’m not sure, Digits, what else can be done in the short-term to improve the situation further. I guess a mixture of cost containment/reduction and measures taken to boost revenues is what can be expected over the medium-term.

  40. I think we are certainly going in a new direction. I hope it pays the bills – how long with that take?

    But paying the bills will means that even though we will have teams on pitches we wont be avle to do anything creative or beyond basic preparation.

    We do need to continue to look back, though when many of the people that were there then are the guys looking forward for us! And its going to be hard to motivate the ordinary fans to pay the bills but fans will always dig deep for the team

  41. In the Green corner it is WJ and in the Red corner it is PJ – – who needs Sky Sports when you have “Gladiator Contests” like this! I was just looking forward to the first drop of blood of 2012 being spilled when all of a sudden ye put your swords back into your scabbards and peace has broken out. On a more serious note – there can be no doubt but that ye present very well informed viewpoints for both sides of the argument. I would like to agree with my neighbour WJ towards seeing the future on a positive note but I think PJ’s finger is most definitely on the pulse with regard to what did happen and of course many of those gobshites are still there. Personally I have never in the past been slow to contribute financially to Mayo’s cause but this time I’m not so sure – I’m going to think about it. The main reason I would give – .is that I am an admirer of James Horan and the way he is going about his business – and that basically is the bottom line. I was very dissappointed to hear that “ontheroad” is going off the road. This first-class site would be much poorer in his absence – – rumour has it he was last seen in a light-house off Blacksod Bay tearing out the last few remaining follicles from his nearly bare pate. We dont want him to take the same route as the dodo or the corncrake or the much cherished curlew that he often wrote about. I have a feeling like Rocky – – – he will be back – – – – Come back “ontheroad” – your county needs you.

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