Do Dublin get everything? Is GAA an unfair playing field?

There is an argument among supporters countrywide that Dublin get everything, from big decisions in games, to plenty of sponsorship money, to overturned bans etc.
Many people reading this might not agree with me but there is a strong case that everything goes in Dublin’s favour no matter what. So firstly, I have looked at the funding Dublin receives when compared to so-called weaker counties.
Dublin, signed a sponsorship deal with AIG in 2013, which is due to bring in a massive 4 million euro over the next five years. However, we can go can back further than then. In 2011, Dublin spent over 2 million when they won Sam Maguire and the Dublin hurlers reached the last four. Without doubt Dublin are the best footballing team in the country and that’s fair enough, but my argument is why can’t it be a level playing with every county getting the same funding, obviously money goes a long way as it is proven with Dublin’s All Ireland wins.
The GAA is an amateur association, but how can we call it that if some counties are reaping the financial benefits from national companies, international car companies, mobile phone networks, department stores and the like. The rest of the counties are looking at local sponsorship such as Leitrim who are sponsored by the Bush Hotel with a 30,000 euro deal, yes 30,000 compared to Dublin’s 4 million, where is the fairness in that I ask. In 2013 Andy Kettle announced the AIG deal to the Dublin County Board, and said the money is critical in helping club coaching programmes and inter county teams. Some people would say money can’t buy All-Ireland’s or players, but the fact is money can go a long way in buying coaches, programmes and the best backroom team in the game, physio’s, doctors, nutritionists and the likes.
Yes, it is great Dublin bring so money into the GAA, but in fairness it is a lot more than 4 million euro. The Dublin hurlers and footballers also benefit from official energy drink partners, official car supplier, official water etc.. These companies come on board not because the Dublin team is good, but because it’s a capital city and there is a large population base there which makes sense for investors.
However, my argument again is the GAA isn’t a professional organisation, so they shouldn’t be enjoying these monetary rewards themselves. I believe it should be shared around which would even the playing field.
Finally, in 2014 the GAA released their annual report and yet again showed bias towards Dublin. Dublin received 1.46 million in games development funding which in fact was more than the other 31 counties combined. Fairness in the GAA? Not at all. That year Leitrim, Monaghan and Longford received just 39,000 euro according to the Irish Times. Again, how can this be justified? Because Dublin is a big city?
I wonder what the followers of Dublin think of this is it fair? Do you care? Probably not. I just hope that one day there is a level playing field.


  1. Fair to say that the four million they receive is spread across all facets of the sport. The other counties receive sponsorship based on their appeal and the amount of shirts advertise on it, a small town in Dublin could probably market the same return on jersey impressions as Leitrim.

    It’s like Man Utd and Stoke, it’s just part of commercial attraction. Funding from GAA is based on ratio of clubs per county, I’m sure you’ll find analytically it pretty fair enough.


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