By Paul Keane
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
DUBLIN GAA chairman Andy Kettle has revealed the record breaking cost of the county’s breakthrough season – €2m.
That’s the figure Kettle expects Dublin will have to shell out as a result of four of their county teams reaching All-Ireland finals.
The majority of the spend will go on preparing the senior squad who qualified for a first decider in 16 years by beating Donegal. They’ll be joined at Croke Park on final day by Dessie Farrell’s minor team who take on Tipperary.
In fact, Dublin are in the privileged position of becoming the first county since Cork in 2000 to have both minor teams present in their respective finals. Throw in the fact that the U21 hurlers are also through to their decider against Galway while the seniors reached the last four and you can see how the expenses totted up.
“If it’s not (€2m) then it is fairly close to it, yes,” confirmed Kettle of the extraordinary expenditure. “That’s just a fact of life. Players are entitled to their expenses, they are entitled to a fair shake. Success becomes expensive.
“I don’t know the exact figure but we are very conscious of it being more than last year and we would be looking at perhaps some ideas to see if we can get contributions to the coffers to alleviate what is going to be a substantial bill.
“It has never happened before that we have four teams in All-Ireland finals. And with the Dublin senior hurlers, in years gone by, they would have gone out early in the Championship. But this year to their eternal credit they were just a puck of the ball away from an All-Ireland final.”
Meanwhile, the Dublin chief confirmed that Dublin will appeal the red card picked up by Diarmuid Connolly in the senior football semi-final against Donegal.
Connolly received a straight red for a strike at Donegal’s Marty Boyle. Dublin expect the standard proposed suspension of four weeks for the dismissal but, according to Kettle, ‘it seemed to have been a harsh decision’.
As such, the appeals procedure is expected to kick into action on behalf of the full-forward with Kettle arguing that ‘natural justice’ would see the St Vincent’s man cleared to play in the historic final against Kerry.
“I was talking to Bryan Cullen who was quite close to the incident and Bryan’s opinion was that it was handbags,” said Kettle. “Two players pushing each other and not, in his opinion, deserving of a red card. The CCCC will view the thing…and there is not a lot they can do once a red card has been issued. It is a minimum (suspension they propose). Unless the referee revisited it, which he can’t do now under the rules, it will be up to the Hearings Committee.”