Financial performance exceeds expectations within come up 13%
Figures for gate receipts were the best returned since the record year of 2007, with the improvement largely accounted for by the Kilkenny-Galway All-Ireland hurling final replay.
GAELIC GAMES: The GAA’s central financial performance for 2012 exceeded expectations and income was up by 13 per cent, rising €6 million to just under €53 million.
Gate receipts accounted for €2.5 million of this with a similar amount coming from an increase in commercial revenue while the bulk of the balance came from an increased disbursement from the Croke Park stadium company, which rose by €500,000 to €4 million.
Overall, the outcome, in the midst of continuing recession, was described as “solid” by Croke Park’s finance director Tom Ryan at a media conference yesterday.
This is roughly €15 million down on the GAA’s record year of 2009 when the standard rugby and soccer receipts were supplemented by additional matches – a Fifa World Cup play-off between Ireland and France and the ERC semi-final between Leinster and Munster.
The figures for gate receipts were the best returned since the record year of 2007, with the improvement largely accounted for by the Kilkenny-Galway All-Ireland hurling final going to a replay – which despite reduced ticket prices brought in €2.8 million.
In his financial report Ryan points out that even without the hurling replay, attendances held up well for the year.
“Remember that even without the replay windfall our total attendances over the summer were on a par with 2011 and our gate revenues were only slightly reduced,” he said.
Those receipts show that the gap between football and hurling revenues, both league and championship, closed significantly in 2012 with the latter almost equalling the former, admittedly with the help of an All-Ireland replay, at €12.89 million and €11.94 million respectively.
This compares with 2011 figures of €13.55 million and €8.67 million.
On a more cautious note, when asked about what concerns he had for the future, Ryan said that whereas the central finances didn’t worry him, “the things that concern us are the financial difficulties facing counties and clubs.
“There has been some improvement with the number of counties running deficits down from 12 or 13 to six or seven but revenues at local level have been seriously curtailed, not so much the gate revenue from local matches but the commercial income.
“We can’t meet all of the costs because although morally and ethically we have a role to play in trying to resolve the issues, legally these are not the debts of Central Council.”
In his report, Ryan writes: “Every county and club finds itself having to reduce its costs and there is a clear obligation on Central Council to make as much funding as possible available to all of our units. In 2012 the total distributed for day-to-day purposes was €11.3 million.