A large number of disgruntled and annoyed Galway GAA people mentioned one thing to me last Sunday and all this week. Some even took the time to email me and phone me to voice their displeasure about the €20 entry cost.And there was also much disquiet about the fact that the Luach for the Clár Oifigiúil was a saucy €5.
As one dedicated and most decent GAA woman who attended the game as a neutral pointed out to me early on Monday morning at work, it had cost €50 for herself, her husband, and their Leaving Cert daughter to get in the gate, a tenner for two programmes, and €2 to park in the Tuam mart.
This was her viewpoint and it has a high degree of credibility.
“For €62, you’d want a lot better value than we got from the game. We definitely won’t be going back for the replay. €15 would have been plenty, rather than trying to skim the last few euro from those who are good enough to go. And a fiver for the programme is completely excessive. They’ll be going on until they kill the golden goose. It was a poor game and they’d want to ease back the prices for the replay. Do they not know that we are in the middle of a recession and a lot of people cannot afford that kind of money?”
She makes some valid points. Patrons were in effect paying €20 for one match as it is unlikely most would have had much interest in the Junior “B” county final - or vice a versa.
Likewise the €5 for the programme was too much. There were 58 pages, but over half of those were advertisements.
Compare it to the All-Ireland final programme which was €5 this year and had 98 pages. For many it is a collector’s item and a souvenir of the day out. Likewise the programme for the 2009 Connacht football final was only €4.
Let’s be fair here. GAA people know it costs an colossal amount of money each year to run county teams, and the next few years will be expensive ones for Galway football, but there is a balance that must be maintained. I think that €15 to get in and €3 for a programme would have generated more goodwill rather than leaving people feeling like they had been sheared.
Sheep don’t mind, but people react badly to it, especially if the clippers pinch the skin.
PS - I am not complaining on a personal level as I have an entry pass courtesy of the Galway Advertiser, but many people were annoyed. I would humbly suggest the county board take note for the replay.