Galway GAA say they’ve nothing to hide after Supermac’s queries

County board chairman said they were surprised by ‘unprecedented’ statement issued

Supermac’s have provided Galway GAA with almost €1.6m in sponsorship since 2015. Photograph: Inpho

Supermac’s have provided Galway GAA with almost €1.6m in sponsorship since 2015. Photograph: Inpho

 

Galway GAA chairman Pat Kearney says they will meet main sponsors Supermac’s in the coming days to deal with any queries about how their money has been spent but he said they have nothing to hide.

Kearney said they were surprised by the ‘unprecedented’ statement issued by Supermac’s on Tuesday night seeking clarification on how almost €1.6m in sponsorship since 2015 was spent.

Kearney said that it costs around €4.5m to run the GAA in Galway each year and that last year €1.7m was spent on preparation of county teams. He said that Supermac’s sponsorship last year - over €320,00 - contributed to meeting this cost.

Kearney said they distributed a Mazars report into the county’s finance last December and would soon publish an independent audit report and that GAA officials in the county were surprised by the Supermac’s statement.

“We were surprised with this kind of unprecedented statement. We weren’t aware of it until it appeared on social media. We were at a Galway GAA meeting and Michael Burke, who is our relationship manager with Supermac’s, received a call from Pat McDonagh himself.

“The Mazars report was sent to all clubs last December and the other internal audit report will be published as well. There might be some small legal restraints on that but it will be published.

“The Galway County Board accounts are audited every year. The Galway GAA budget is in the region of €4.5m each year. That is transparent and audited each year. Last year our accounts showed we spent €1.7m on our teams. This year I would expect it to be around €1.6m. The accounts will close on October 31st, these accounts will be audited and they will be submitted to Connacht Council and Croke Park.”

Kearney said they had nothing to hide and would meet with Supermac’s in the coming days to address any concerns.

“Supermac’s sponsorship has made a contribution to the teams,” he told Galway Bay FM. “There is a budget there for all our teams, for training, travelling expenses, meals, professional support, overnight accommodation and so on. It’s all there for everyone to see, it was there last year and it’s there this year for anyone to see where the €1.7m is spent on our teams.

“We will be talking to our sponsor in the next few days and we will go through the figures he has given us and we will show where that is spent on the Galway county teams. I would say there is no difference between sponsoring the Galway county board and the Galway county teams. The county teams are part of the Galway county board.

“It’s the responsibility of the Galway county board to prepare our teams and Supermac’s contribution makes a substantial contribution to the preparing of our county teams. We will meet Supermac’s in the coming days and address their concerns and their questions as best we can. Supermac’s are a supporter of ladies Gaelic football and camogie and he’s a fantastic supporter of all things GAA in Galway, clubs and schools as well,” he added.

Supermac’s, who agreed a new five-year sponsorship deal with Galway GAA in May 2018, called for investigations into Galway GAA finance to be made public in the statement which they posted on the company website on Tuesday night.

“Supermac’s understands that two investigations have taken place into the finances of Galway GAA; one conducted by Galway GAA and a second conducted by Mazars. Supermac’s is calling for these investigations to be made public immediately. The vast majority of the Galway GAA public and mentors, who give their time voluntarily for the promotion and administration of our games and the welfare of our players, deserve no less,” said the statement.

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