McGee keen on narrowing GAA’s financial gap

Football Review Committee (FRC) Chairman Eugene McGee says part of its work will focus on ensuring the financial gap between the likes of Dublin and Kerry doesn’t leave smaller counties like Longford out in the cold.

Football Review Committee (FRC) Chairman Eugene McGee says part of its work will focus on ensuring the financial gap between the likes of Dublin and Kerry doesn’t leave smaller counties like Longford out in the cold.

The 1982 Offaly All-Ireland winning manager believes tackling the GAA’s inter-county financial issues will allow for greater competitiveness across the board.

“We have to look at finances. The way teams can spend up to €1m to reach an All-Ireland final, smaller counties like Longford and Leitrim will never have that.”

McGee’s role as the committee’s chairperson only came to many people’s attention last week. According to the Colmille native, work has been steadily been going on behind the scene’s for some time.

“The public only really learned of what we were doing when we launched our website www.frc.ie which we hope will encourage as many people as possible to put forward their own submissions.”

At the top of the committee’s review list, as widely documented in the national media, are key debates concerning the workings of the championship, handpass popularity concerns as well as how much time is lost on kick-outs throughout the course of matches.

That said, the Colmcille native is keen to get across the message that all aspects, controversial and some deemed more pedantic elements of the GAA, are up for discussion.

“We have a questionairre set up on the website which deals with everything. What we want is to look at - all features of the game, the good, the bad and the indifferent.”

On foot of those submissions, the committee have earmarked the end of the year, possibly November, when their final recommendations are put forward.

He says the findings and whether they are implemented or not will ultimately lie with GAA senior figures headed by its president, Liam O’Neill.

“We are not that kind of a body. We will prepare all of the facts, but it’s up to the President (Mr O’Neill) and the General Council to decide what they want to pursue.”

Tasked with leading the panel, much of McGee’s time will be also spent travelling the country talking to players, coaches and officials. And while it’s an assignment he is very much looking forward to it will, by his own admission, be his last.

“There is a good bit involved, but this (role) is only for one year. I was on one (committee) around 10 years ago and that went on for three years. I had a bit of spare time which is why I took up this as I wasn’t working full-time. This though, will be my last committee for sure,” he added.