CORK GAA CEO Kevin O’Donovan has urged clubs that have reservations with the new Rebels’ Bounty draw to engage with the process – and reap the benefits.
Tickets for the new draw go on sale this Friday, December 4th, from 3pm, and Rebels’ Bounty offers a huge total prize fund of €500,000. However, some clubs, including a number from the Carbery division, have voiced their concerns about the new draw that sees clubs, depending on their grade, set a minimum target of tickets to be sold.
If clubs don’t hit their target, then they will be asked to make up the shortfall, but once clubs sell above this set number they will keep 100 percent of the profits generated for themselves – and O’Donovan feels this new model is the fairest method to proceed with and the best way forward.
‘Of course we hear the concerns of clubs, and there are 20 percent of clubs who would not vote for Rebels’ Bounty in the morning,’ O’Donovan told the Star Sport Podcast.
‘We have got feedback and we have discussed it, but I’ll be honest, half of that objection is coming from the Carbery division. Part of that is real genuine concerns and another part of it is probably canvassing and an organised campaign against it.
‘Again, I won’t doubt the bona fide of those who have raised concerns but I have to put that in context that 50 percent of the opposition is coming from one of our eight divisions.
‘In mitigation, a support committee has been set up, and Conor Counihan, project co-ordinator for football, is coming across to support this project. They will deal with that 20 percent of clubs and see what can be done to support their genuine concerns and challenges in the selling of tickets and the setting of targets.’
While O’Donovan understands the concerns raised by clubs, he again has reiterated that Rebels’ Bounty has, potentially, big rewards for clubs that embrace the new model. There’s an incentive now for all clubs to reach their targets.
Rebels’ Bounty will offer €500,000 in cash prizes, with one lucky club member set to win €100,000, and all the funds raised by the new scheme – which replaces the traditional Cork GAA Clubs’ Draw – will be directly and indirectly invested in Cork GAA clubs. The the county board also feels this gives clubs an opportunity to generate funds at a time when traditional methods are restricted because of Covid-19.
‘The difference with this is, before if you sold a ticket 50 per cent of every ticket came back to central funds,’ O’Donovan explained. ‘We found then that a small numbers of clubs were doing fierce heavy lifting in the draw, like Aghabullogue and Bantry selling hundreds and hundreds of tickets – and here we were taxing every single one of those tickets. Other clubs might be selling zero tickets but still got our coaches, still played in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on county final day. We said we need a way to spread that load.’
He added: ‘We feel this is a really quick, clean and transparent way for members to engage with their club, and once you sell that minimum number of tickets – 55 for a junior club, 35 for a junior B club, 70 for intermediate and 100 for a senior club – then you are in clear water and that money doesn’t leave your parish.
‘We feel this is the best model to go forward. We looked at other ways of setting quotas, like affiliation, like population, like urbanisation and so on but the most simple and transparent way that we could find is to say that the fundraising capacity of a club is related to the level at which they play.’
O’Donovan accepts that Rebels’ Bounty may take time to find its feet but he believes, long term, clubs that engage with the new draw will benefit.
‘We know it’s daunting being given a target at the start if it’s a club that didn’t engage with the clubs’ draw previously. If they are a club that engaged with the clubs’ draw previously they will make more money out of the new model. It’s very much incentive-based,’ he explained.
Tickets for the draw cost €100 each, and tickets will be sold directly by your club or on line at corkgaa.ie/rebelsbounty. In every draw, there are 30 cash prizes, ranging from €100 to €20,000. In April and December, the top prize will increase to €25,000. In December, the bumper prize of €100,000 will be given away. The first draw will take place on Wednesday, February 24th where prizes will be draw for January and February 2021.