By Pierce O’Reilly
After all the huffing and puffing of recent weeks, New York GAA President Monty Moloney and Connacht Council representatives decided unanimously last week that the controversial championship clash between the home side and Roscommon will go forward as planned on May 19.
Connacht secretary John Prenty confirmed that the game will be played at Hyde Park in Roscommon despite the objections of the New York board.
“There will be no change of venue or no change of date,” Prenty said. “We’ve listened to everything Moloney had to stay and discussed the issue for over an hour.
“We’re aware of the excellent work being done in New York to promote the game. However, this year’s schedule will go ahead as planned.”
The good news for New York is that the Connacht Council have agreed to travel on a rotating basis to Gaelic Park over the next five years.
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“The agreement has being written in stone,” according to Prenty, and Sligo will travel next year.
The Connacht Council also agreed to increase the amount of money it would pay New York to travel to Ireland for the third consecutive year. Last year, the New York GAA received _12,000 from the Connacht Council, according to top officials, with a further _9,000 coming from Bank of Ireland.
Prenty declined to comment on the proposal made by the New York Board that if they lose against Roscommon, they have the option of pulling out of the remaining games.
“That issue will be discussed at Congress,” he said.
It’s believed that New York will be aware who their opponents in the second round will be should they lose against Roscommon. The decision to participate in the second-round tie (if New York loses) will have to be made before the Roscommon game is played.
Tiger Woods will collect $54.6 million from endorsement deals this year and most of it will be accumulated off the green. His outrageous earnings will be three times what the second-place player will receive.
The really interesting thing is that the second-place player is Arnold Palmer, who will be 72 in September.
Pennzoil, Cooper Tires and Office Depot are among 20 endorsements that will earn Palmer $18 million this year. In fact, he is the only golfer who can match Woods’s appeal to non-golfers.
Also fascinating is that the third man on the list is Greg Norman, who turned 46 earlier this month. The Great White Shark will earn $16 million with 15 companies, including Titleist, Reebok and Chevy trucks, endorsing him this year.
Others in the top-10 earners’ list includes Jack Nicklaus, Colin Montgomerie and Jumbo Ozaki, each of whom will earn a paltry $5 million.
It’s time to hit the greens, boys.
Man. Utd. have all bases filled
Manchester United and the New York Yankees joined forces recently in a multi-million-dollar marketing ploy to support each other’s merchandise. However, it appears the glamour deal has failed to impress the soccer punters.
New York’s ABU fans feel the venture is just another nail in their coffin and their reluctance to promote or support the idea seems to have stomached both companies.
ABU fans in New York appear to be in the driver’s seat right now and are not impressed, obviously, to see Beckham and Giggie jerseys hanging in the famed stores around Yankee stadium.
Supporters for N.Y.?
Supporters clubs in Ireland, who are allegedly responsible for forking out thousands of pounds to county managers, are coming under severe pressure this year to open their bank accounts to the public.
GAA President Sean McCague has vowed to stamp out all professionalism within the association and has set up a five-man committee to investigate those allegedly paying the top managers.
New York honcho Monty Moloney is now planning a supporters club in the Big Apple to help foot the traveling expenses of the home teams.
“We need help from other sectors,” Moloney told his delegates at a recent meeting.
Plans are already afoot to run a fund-raising golf outing, an idea that seems to have gotten strong support from the floor.
The money raised would go to the traveling expenses and injury fund for the players involved in the All-Ireland hurling and football championships.
The proposal also seems to have the backing of Budweiser, the GAA’s main sponsor. But why won’t they back a supporters club? It will probably get them off the hook of footing the full bill.
Concern for Cheltenham
Irish horse racing fans in the U.S. are holding their breath this week hoping that travel plans to Cheltenham for the annual racing festival won’t have to be ditched due to the recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the UK.
The festival is under threat because a farm in Cloucestershire has come under investigation for a suspected outbreak of the highly contagious disease. A 10-mile exclusion zone has been placed around it.
Although the farm is 27 miles from Cheltenham, concern has increased after a point-to-point meeting was canceled over the weekend because it was too close to an affected area.
Horses are know to carry the disease, which affects pigs and cattle.
Cheltenham is the biggest racing festival of the year and attracts crowds from all over the world. The last outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the UK, in 1967, wiped out the sport for three months.
Last weekend’s racing meeting at Newcastle was also canceled. Racegoers and horses at the Fairyhouse meeting on Saturday in Ireland were disinfected upon entry to the course.
€ “The sport is so corrupt now, I wouldn’t want my children doing it.” Drug-banned Linford Christie on the current state of track and field.
€ “Betting has to be intuition, not spontaneity.” Sir Peter O’Sullivan on what makes a good gambler.
Important GAA meeting
Thursday’s GAA meeting at the Landsdowne is one of the most important of the season. A host of issues to be discussed and put in place.
GAA PRO John Moore said that it’s vital that all delegates and clubs, both junior and senior, are in attendance.
“Things are hotting up now and we need everyone to put their opinions forward,” he said. “It’s no good complaining when things are in place.”
This week, a combined Junior and Senior Board meeting will commence at 7:30 p.m., with the regular meeting at 8. The yearly transfers and the schedule will be discussed on Thursday.