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Burns defends All-Ireland finals ticket price increases

GAA President Jarlath Burns has defended the hike to All-Ireland final ticket prices, but conceded that “€100 is a lot” for the showpiece matches.

At the end of May, the association announced a rise in prices for the latter stages of the 2024 championship, with All-Ireland final stand ticket prices now €100 – an increase of €10 on 2023.

Terrace tickets for the hurling and football deciders will rise to €55, an increase of €5 from last year.

Burns, speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland after the draw for the Tailteann Cup quarter-finals, said: “I understand that there will be certainly eyebrows raised at that.

“It was a very big move for us to go to three figures, but remember, it’s the first time since 2018 we’ve changed (prices). It’s only the second time since 2011.

“We all know where inflation has gone, but I think our members understand that 83% of everything we earn is ploughed right back into the game. We have 350 coaches, we’re spending €7m on those at the minute. That’s going to go up to €12m. We’re increasing that number, we’re actually gving them better terms.

“Over the next year we’re going to spend €5m on our county grounds. Last year we gave €3m to our clubs in grants. That’s going up to €4.5m next year and the year after up to €5m.

“If you have a child and you’re bringing your child to the National League matches it’s free into that. It was only €5 for a juvenile to get into all of the games in all of the championship matches so far.

“It is quite good value, but we do understand that €100 is a lot for an All-Ireland final ticket.”

“We should have a genuine football and hurling setup in every county.”

Burns has suggested before that he’s open to the possibility of tweaks being made to the championship calendar next year. He said there will be efforts made in the coming fortnight to gather feedback from counties around the current system.

“This season was a compromise to the fact that our club players felt so strongly about the way the season had been structures, that they actually set up an association called the Club Players Association to address that,” Burns added.

“It was really to answer those concerns they had, to give certainty to club players that they would know the (club) championship was on a particular date, that date is not going to be moved regardless of how your own county does.

“Once the All-Ireland final is over, if you are a dual county, you have to allow 14 weekends to allow for your football and your hurling. We always have to have an eye on our dual counties because they are not a nuisance or a hassle; they are the aspiration we should all want to attain.

“We should have a genuine football and hurling setup in every county. We have to be mindful of all of that but we are not blind and deaf to the calls that people would like to have later All-Irelands.

“Tonight in Limerick we begin the consultation process again with our provinces. We’re going to do one in each province over the next two weeks. We’re going to meet all of our counties, we’re going to listen to what they say and who knows, it might be tweaked for next year.”

Burns also clarified a remark made by Limerick captain Declan Hannon after his team won the Munster SHC final on Sunday. In his acceptance speech following their defeat of Clare, Hannon said: “We’ve a backroom team of 53 people. I’m not gonna thank them all, but I want to thank in particular John Kiely and Paul Kinnerk for everything they do for us.”

The size of the Treaty’s backroom team sparked some debate, but Burns said Hannon’s comments were misconstrued.

“I did clarify that with Paul Foley the Ard Comhairle rep from Limerick because I knew he didn’t mean that,” he said.

“I can tell you if you’re a captain up there… I’m often standing beside them and I know how nervous they can be. There aren’t 53. I can reassure people around the country if you are trying to get up to that level it’s not… I think it’s 37 on the panel and 16 on the backroom, so he looked at the whole family all as one, 53 people.”

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