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Jim Roche: Dublin's appeal helps GAA financially

Updated: Friday, 29 Nov 2013 16:42 | Comments

Dublin have signed a €4m deal with AIG
Dublin have signed a €4m deal with AIG

Dublin assistant secretary Jim Roche has claimed that other counties benefit from the All-Ireland champions' financial success.

Roche has said that Dublin’s ability to draw large crowds to Croke Park benefits the GAA as a whole, and that the county therefore deserves to be able to land larger sponsorship deals than other counties.

The comments come in the wake of Kildare secretary Kathleen O’Neill’s call for the pooling of individual county board sponsorship deals following Dublin’s signing of a €4m deal with AIG.

Roche has also praised the financial officers of the Dublin County Board for ensuring the county’s coffers are in such rude health.

"My thoughts on it would be very clear. We have looked after our money very well," Roche told the Irish Examiner.

"After we did up Parnell Park [opened in 1995], we were in trouble but [current chief executive] John Costello and the late John Egan [former chairman] worked hard to pay the money back."

Dublin went €1m into the red to refurbish Parnell Park, but have repaid those debts and are now making profit season-on-season.

Roche added: “John Costello balances the books all of the time. You have to have somebody there keeping a very close eye on it. And we have a good treasurer in Finbarr O'Mahony, who took over from his father.

"It’s not our fault that somebody wants to be our sponsors. And where would Leinster be without Dublin and Croke Park? 

"John and myself and Andy [Kettle, chairman] get on well with every other county and we wouldn’t like to see anybody in trouble but you have to manage your money.

"I'm not going to go into it with Kildare but they were in trouble. But if you hadn't got a strong Dublin outfit, you wouldn’t have a strong Leinster budget or Croke Park budget."

“It’s not our fault that somebody wants to be our sponsors. And where would Leinster be without Dublin and Croke Park?" - Jim Roche

He went on to state that Dublin’s successful brand is due to success on the pitch and putting the right structures in place at underage level to create that success.

He said: “If you have a brand, you can sell.

"Obviously our brand is not only sold by us but by Croke Park and Leinster.

"And how you can compete is to put the proper structures in place." 

He also referenced Kildare as a country that could have a similar draw to Dublin but haven’t been able to put in place adequate structures to capitalise on their playing numbers.

He said: “Kildare were, for a long time, beating us all round at underage. What happened to the good fellas coming through?

 “I can understand [that] Kildare went through fairly major problems with their finances.

"The only thing I know about that is from reading the papers. They would know themselves where the money was spent and what they got back out of it.

“Our auditors come to us every year and even if our finances are good, they tell us what we should be looking at.

“It’s difficult to speak about somebody else but it could be like looking at your next door neighbour driving in a big car and you might be in an ordinary car but have more money coming in.

“I would know every county in Leinster and have good relationships with them all but if you have problems with your money, what caused that?

"We’ve come from being £1m in debut and now have a development (Parnell Park) used by everybody. It’s one of the better places to watch a match.” 

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