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Ulster Council Advice

ULSTER GAA: The club borrowing process

THE Comhairle Uladh borrowing process is the process by which units of the Association seek the permission of the relevant body to borrow funds for capital development from financial institutions. This process is required to ensure all units adhere to the rules of the Association when the unit borrows money either from a bank or from its members.

There are limits set out in the official guide as to how much can be borrowed with the permission of the relevant body. The limits are as follows:

Under to €15,000£10,500 can be borrowed on unit’s own approval; €15,000 to €75,000£10,500 to £52,500 requires the permission of the county committee; €75,000 to €150,000£52,500 to £105,500 requires the permission of the provincial council and over €150,000£105,500 requires the permission of Central Council.

These borrowings are cumulative and any new borrowings are added to existing borrowings to show the total amount of borrowings and to determine the level of permission required. For example, a unit with €30,000 to pay off from an existing loan, and are seeking to borrow €100,000, will have cumulative borrowings of €130,000, and therefore need the provincial council approval to proceed.

Before commencing any project which may require the borrowing of funds, the unit should ensure the Declaration of Trust is up to date. The unit should contact the county development officer, to inform them of the proposed development, or reason for borrowings.

The development officer is best placed to offer practical assistance to the unit in preparing their application for permission to borrow, and is also the units link to the county committee. The unit should evaluate the financial requirements of the project to identify the amount of money it requires to complete the project. It is advisable that the finance sub- committee and the development sub-committee liaise closely on the application process.

Once the level of finance required has been decided on the unit should apply to the relevant body for permission to borrow. In the case of provincial or Central Council this involves the completion of the application form and submission to the Ulster Council office in Armagh for the attention of Paul Sanders, the servicing officer for An Coiste Forbairt Fisiciul Pleanail na gClub.

In addition to the application form, there are a number of additional pieces of information which are required to be submitted, this list is on the back page of the application form. All of these additional documents are required to complete the application.

When the application has been received the unit will be invited to attend the next meeting of An Coiste Forbairt Fisiciul Pleanail na gClub. The officers of the unit should attend along with any other relevant members (development officer). The county development officer should also be in attendance to indicate the support of the county committee for the project.

The unit should make a presentation on the proposed project including all relevant information. The members of An Coiste will then ask some questions regarding the project and finances. Following the meeting with the unit, An Coiste will then make a decision on the project.

In the case of borrowings within the provincial council, An Coiste may authorise the borrowings, and in the case of borrowings above the provincial council level, An Coiste will make a recommendation to Central Council.

These decisions are made on the basis of the information provided. In some circumstances the unit may be asked to revise some of their information where it does not meet the criteria or where the finances may not “stack up”. In the case of an authorisation or recommendation the provincial secretary will issue a letter to the secretary of the unit or the Finance Dept of CLG.

This process, once completed, will allow the unit proceed with the borrowings with the support of the relevant body of the Association. If you would like any further information on the Club Borrowing procedures you can contact me on email at paul.sanders.ulster@gaa.ie or by calling the Ulster Council Office on 028 37521900.

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16 February 2021; GAA Director of Finance Ger Mulryan hosts a remote media briefing announcing the 2020 GAA Annual Report and Financial Accounts. Photo by Brendan MoranSportsfile

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