CARBERY GAA Chairman Tom Lyons has urged the county board to postpone its new draw scheme, Rebels’ Bounty, until a later date.
The new draw is expected to be officially launched in early December, but in his chairman’s address at next Tuesday night’s virtual Carbery AGM, Lyons will call on the county board to hold off on rolling out Rebels’ Bounty because GAA clubs are already under financial pressure in this Covid-affected year.
Because of the pandemic clubs have been unable to hold their usual fundraisers. In July one Carbery club, St James, launched a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money to keep afloat after they revealed they had only one month's funds left in their bank account.
‘We acknowledge the financial difficulties many clubs are in because of the lockdowns and short season and we, as a board, have endeavoured to lessen the financial burden in different ways,’ Lyons said.
‘We were disappointed to see the county board going ahead with its plans for a new county board draw, placing an unwanted extra financial burden on clubs and, even though we know the county board is in big financial difficulties, we would ask them to seriously consider postponing the new draw until clubs get back on their feet properly.’
Rebels’ Bounty will replace the traditional Cork GAA club draw, and it will offer €500,000 in cash prizes. In a press release in late August, the board said: ‘The proposed new system is designed to maximise return to clubs and is part of the overall drive to raise revenue for reinvestment at local and county level. It will also give clubs an opportunity to generate funds at a time when traditional methods are restricted because of Covid-19.’
The new Rebels’ Bounty draw will see clubs, depending on their grade, set a minimum target of tickets to be sold. Once clubs sell above this set number they will keep 100 percent of the profits generated for themselves, but there’s concern that clubs, many already struggling financially, will be unable to meet their target. If they don’t, then they will be asked to make up the shortfall.
The county executive has set up a sub-committee to offer a support structure to clubs that have raised concerns – and Carbery GAA Secretary Donal McCarthy feels that this sub-committee needs to take on board the views of cash-strapped clubs.
‘A big concern for clubs is the newly-proposed Rebels’ Bounty county board draw,’ McCarthy noted in his secretary’s report for next week’s Carbery AGM.
‘All clubs at senior, intermediate and junior level have been levied with a number of €100 tickets to sell without getting any commission. In order to get commission, they need to sell more tickets than the amount they have been levied.
‘Some clubs are experiencing severe financial difficulties at the moment and I suggest where clubs have problems in selling the allotted number of tickets in this proposed new draw that this would be taken into consideration by the Draw Sub-Committee.
‘The Draw Sub-Committee should consult with the clubs who are very concerned. We must take into consideration that club members want to support their clubs and that was happening in the existing draw. Everyone is better off with consultation and bringing all the clubs along together in order to make the draw a success.’