GAA Annual Accounts for 2015 Published
The GAA published its annual accounts for 2015 on Tuesday morning at Croke Park.
Writing in the report, the GAA's Finance Director, Tom Ryan, noted: "2015 can perhaps be best characterised as a more realistic indicator of the underlying financial position of the Association than the replay years that preceded.
"Viewed in that light, the picture is a positive one."
In Brief: Key Figures
Drop of €0.5m in revenues to €56m
Gate receipts down by €2.7m
Central Council championship attendances drop by 40,000
Commercial revenues increased by €2m
Distributions to units similar to 2014 at €12.5m
Games development increased by €1m to €10m
Net result is break-even
While Central Council’s total revenue figures are down by EUR0.5m or 1 per cent – from EUR56.2m in 2014 to EUR55.6m in 2015 – the drop can be attributed largely to a reduction in gate receipts, and specifically to"The fact that the All-Ireland hurling final didn’t go to a replay for the first time in four years. “For the first time in a number of years we did not enjoy the luxury of a replay in an All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final,” Ryan continued.
“But the fundamentals were such that we were able to sufficiently resource the Association and able to deliver on all our financial commitments and targets.”
The majority of the GAA’s revenues come from two principal sources: gate receipts and commercial revenues (such as sponsorship and media rights), and 2015 was no exception in that regard.
While the year was a success commercially, with commercial revenues increasing by EUR2m, Ryan noted the effect of an overall drop in attendances.
In 2015, attendance figures for Central Council games dropped from 866,837 in 2014 to 826,072, resulting in a reduction in revenue of EUR2.7m or 9 per cent.
When examined more closely, that decrease can be attributed directly to a reduction in revenue generated from All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship games, down from EUR11.6m in 2014 to EUR8.1 in 2015.
That decrease is due largely to the fact that there were 11 Championship games played in 2015 compared to 14 in 2014, and of course to the fact that 2015 was the first year in four that the All-Ireland final didn't go to a replay.
Attendance figures for the 2015 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship were up 19 per cent on 2014, generating an additional EUR1.3m for the Association. The growth in football figures coupled with the decline in hurling marks a reversal of last year’s trend.
Revenue from the Allianz League was down marginally in both hurling and football, though those minor fluctuations are entirely natural and can be put down to the performance of certain teams, Ryan pointed out.
Key Figures: In Detail
- All Ireland series attendance figures dropped by 5% or 40k
- Gate Receipts for 2015: EUR26.7m
- Overall attendance revenues drop by €2.7m
- Football Championship gate receipts grew by €1.5m to €12.8m
- Hurling Championship gates down €3m – replay effect
- Commercial revenues compensate – growing by €2.3m
- Commercial Income for 2015: EUR18.4m
Media Rights – contracted increases of €1m
New Sponsorships yielded increase of €1m
Where The Money was Spent: Key Figures
The single biggest cost incurred each year is the direct cost of staging games and competitions. The single biggest factor here is the venue rental paid to the host venue. The cost invariably fluctuates each year in parallel with the underlying revenue trend, but typically should be 20 per cent of total revenues, and 40 per cent of gate receipts.
In 2015, these costs increased from EUR11m to EUR11.2m. This means a direct cost proportion of 42 per cent of gates and 20 per cent of total revenues. The apparent anomaly arises because of substantial investment by Central Council in ticketing processes and resources for the benefit of other units. In 2015, Central Council staged 354 matches at an average cost of EUR44,566 per match.
In terms of distributions, during the past year Central Council distributed some EUR12.5m – a modest increase on 2014 - to counties and clubs to underwrite their operating costs and to defray the costs of participation in various competitions. On this matter, the report notes: “Many counties have made significant strides in controlling these costs – but for even the most diligent counties it remains an issue.”
In 2015, EUR10.3m was invested in coaching and development - broadly termed 'Games Development' - throughout Ireland and internationally, which represents an increase of EUR0.8m on 2014. This programme benefits adult and underage players, coaches and match officials in every county.
Investments of EUR8m were made in two main areas: playing facilities and in spectator comfort and safety. Six county grounds were targeted in 2015, with Cusack Park, Ennis and O'Moore Park, Portlaoise foremost among them. This figure was down on 2014, and the report notes this as an area adversely impacted by a drop in gate receipts.
In concluding his report, and looking ahead to next year, Tom Ryan writes: "I cautioned here last year that Central Council revenue would fall in 2015. And so it proved.
"But by planning for that eventuality we were able to ensure that our ambitions were not unduly affected. 2016 will pose fresh questions.
"The imperative is to maximise gate attendances, convert those into revenues and curtail costs wherever possible continues."