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Here's How We Should Blow The €13 Billion Apple Windfall

Here's How We Should Blow The €13 Billion Apple Windfall
By Gavin Cooney Updated

Thanks to the good folk at Brussels, who have today ordered Ireland to recoup €13 billion in taxes from Apple, Ireland are about to come into some serious dough.

Apple will have the opportunity to appeal, so before they get the chance to reclaim their billions, we here at Balls.ie propose that it be blown on one of the most important human pursuits of all: sport.

We have a lot of money to play around with, so here is the Balls.ie manifesto on how to blow it all.

Make the GAA professional - €1 Billion

Our beloved national sports are edging towards professionalism, so this is the opportunity to use the revenue to make the final leap and fully professionalise Gaelic football and hurling. Initially, we expect that Gaelic football would be unable to cater for 32 professional teams, so we propose the formation of 16 different franchises. (After much debate, we've decided to split Dublin rather than Longford in two).

  1. North Dublin (Croke Park)
  2. South Dublin (Croke Park)
  3. Kerry (Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney)
  4. Cork (Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork)
  5. Mayo (McHale Park, Castlebar)
  6. Galway (Pearse Stadium, Salthill)
  7. Donegal (MacCumhail Park, Ballybofey)
  8. Tyrone (Healy Park, Omagh)
  9. Kildare (St Conleth's Park, Newbridge)
  10. Roscommon/Sligo/Leitrim: (Dr Hyde Park, Roscommon)
  11. Antrim/Derry/Down/Armagh: (Casement Park, Belfast)
  12. Laois/Offaly/Meath: (O'Moore Park, Portlaoise)
  13. Longford/Westmeath/Cavan: (Cusack Park, Mullingar)
  14. Tipperary/Limerick/Clare: (Semple Stadium, Thurles)
  15. Carlow/Kilkenny/Waterford/Wicklow/Wexford: (Dr Cullen Park, Carlow)
  16. Monaghan/Louth/Fermanagh: (St Tiernach's Park, Clones)

The hurling structure will support eight professional teams initially: Kilkenny, Tipperary, Cork, Galway, Clare, Limerick, Waterford, and Dublin. The rest of the counties will remain playing in a semi-professional capacity.

The entire structure will operate as a single entity structure along the lines of Major League Soccer. Regular league games along with an even spread of investment across each franchise in both codes will generate enough interest to sell a major TV deal to Sky Sports, meaning that it will soon become self-sufficient within ten years. This means that the sport will merely need an initial investment to get it kickstarted, so we estimate a €1 billion investment will be enough to pay wages and give the sport the injection it needs to become entirely self-sufficient by 2026.

Because these kinds of sporting forecasts always work out, don't they?

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Buy Manchester United and move them to Dublin: €3.5 billion

This investment will allow Ireland lay its rightful claim to one of this nation's endless fascinations: Manchester United.

The club is valued at €3.3 billion, so we are confident that another couple of hundred million will earn us the club. This will facilitate the fulfilling of Eamon Dunphy's dream: a Premier League club in Dublin. The staging of all home games at the Aviva will be a major success for the FAI, as a sold-out venue in Dublin 20 times a year will lead to a major cash flow into Irish football.

Having the international behemoth of Manchester United in Dublin may, admittedly, have a detrimental impact on the clubs of the League of Ireland.

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We have realised this, and we are willing to offer each League of Ireland club €5,000 to help them create an atmosphere of future success. We can't envisage them refusing the money.

Buy the UFC - €5.5 billion

Granted, the sale of 'The Company' only went through recently for about $4 billion but we reckon that the new owners may be happy to sell up for such a quick return on their investment. We'll offer €5 billion.

For the UFC to be a profitable investment, we would need large, decadent venues in which to host major events so we propose a €500 million redevelopment of Griffith Avenue, turning it into the Griffith Strip, replete with casinos, strip clubs, and student housing.

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In many ways, the UFC's  reluctance to publish their finances and their imbalanced remuneration of officials and administrators relative to fighters and other, lower-ranked employees is an ideal fit for Ireland.

Replace baseball with rounders - €2.9 billion

This enormous investment allows Ireland to hoist a domestic game to international renown. The gap in the market here is to challenge baseball, which is objectively one of the dullest sports in existence. There is no reason as to why our noble sport of rounders cannot challenge baseball's bat-and-ball prominence, all it needs is some investment.

It's a simple, two-step plan: first we need the world to notice it, and then we need them to stick with it.

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Firstly, following the professionalising of Gaelic games, and the international Sky Sports TV deal that will inevitably follow, big GAA games will be preceded by a game of rounders, to be beamed around the world by Sky Sports.

To maintain interest, however, we need the players to exhibit extraordinary feats of athletic ability; achievements which will have onlookers question the true limits of their mortal bodies.

To achieve this, we need to found a clandestine, state-sponsored doping programme: we need to juice these rounders players to their eyeballs. Obviously, after a couple of years, were this to come out, it would have a potentially detrimental on the sport's reputation, so we are setting aside €8.65 in order to draft a press release saying that, while we take any threat to the integrity of the sport seriously, we reject any allegations of any impropriety.

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Rename the British and Irish Lions the Irish and British Lions - €25 million

We might as well, like. We have no idea how much this might cost. We're guessing it will cost one Yannick Bolasie.

Give FIFA €5 million

Charity begins at home.

Build a wall around Doonbeg to trap Donald Trump before the election - €50 million

We don't know how much a wall would cost, but America will thank us for this: the price of liberty is eternal masonry. We can cover the administrative costs of Doonbeg's eventual attempt to secede.

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Alternatively, we could use all of the money to host the 2024 Olympics.

See Also: 'Talking Shite And Being Ourselves' - O'Donovan Brothers Back In Ireland And Entertaining As Ever

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