County board monitor payments

Payments to personnel who are involved with teams across the county are apparently to be the subject of major scrutiny by the county board, says a source who told me about a questionnaire he claims was sent out to all clubs last week.

The thorny issue of brown envelope payments has been the bane of GAA authorities for many years and, as we all know, it came to a head with Paraic Duffy’s report.

Now I’m told the county board has written to every club in the O’Neill county advising them that it is the policy of the association to monitor the terms of appointments of team managers, coaches and trainers.

They state that the maximum rate of expenses are 35p per mile and are seeking knowledge regarding the qualifications possessed by their team officials, along with details of the weekly amounts or rates of payment of expenses, if any are authorised, travel rates per mile, numbers of miles covered - as well as communication allowances, meals and coaching expenses and any other outlays - with a weekly total sought.

There is also a requirement for the clubs to indicate whether money is paid by a sponsor, supporters club or other outside body or individuals. If the answer is ‘yes’, they request specification.

Furthermore, they want to know whether all such expenses/payments are presented in club accounts at their convention.

And clubs are then required to pledge that all the answers given are a true account of their positions.

That seems like a good idea. I’d be doubtful if this is a solo initiative from the county board or whether it is a Croke Park diktat. Have the people at the top have sent a similar circular to all the counties? But it’s surely an interesting exercise, either way.