Rising unemployment, soaring day-to-day costs and rapidly declining revenue streams is likely to force a growing number of GAA clubs to amalgamate and in some instances possibly close, a Longford Leader investigation has found.
Those are just some of the gloomy predictions given by leading officials from a worryingly high percentage of the county’s 24 registered clubs this week.
The worst affected are predominantly rural-based organisations, some of whom are running everyday spending on overdraft facilities in order to make ends meet.
In other pockets of the county, crippling medical bills and vastly reduced income channels brought about by job losses and falling consumer sentiment has left some clubs staring at mounting financial losses.
This, combined with incessant player departures due to emigration, has likewise taken its toll.
Depending on a particular club’s locality, managers have seen anything from one or two to up to almost a dozen players leave over the past 18 months.
“It is very difficult at the minute,” said Shroid Slashers’ Vera Corrigan. “We have a draw once a year and only for that we would be gone,” she candidly put it. “Financially, it is very bleak.”
To read this story in full and to find out how your club are coping with the recession, see this week’s Longford Leader.