The GAA have reported a €4million revenue boost for 2016, driven by an increase in gate receipts, writes Stephen Barry.
Gate receipts were up €3million last year, largely attributed to the All-Ireland football final replay which attracted an additional 82,249 people into Croke Park.
Despite the replayed final, however, championship attendances across the year were down by 40,000, a trend GAA Finance Director Tom Ryan described as “not sustainable”.
“The apparent contradiction is explained by variations in the mix – differing trends in attendances at different stages of the competitions,” Ryan wrote in the report.
“The challenge is to increase attendances – and revenues – at the earlier rounds of the qualifiers.
“The trend in recent years has been for lower turnouts in round 1 and 2 and increasing reliance on the latter stages.
“This is not sustainable and has an adverse effect on the competitions far beyond the financial.”
Championship attendances dropped by 5%, an average drop of 1,739 per game – from 19,211 in 2015 to 17,472 in 2016.
Ryan also warned that personal injury claims to the Association are unsustainable, averaging near €3 million annually for the past five years.
However, total revenues increased from €56.5million in 2015 to €60.5million in 2016, an increase of 7%. Almost half of that figure (€30.1million) is accounted for by gate receipts.
Ryan summarised: “I am pleased to report that 2016 was another good financial year for the GAA.
“Of course any year which features a replay in an All-Ireland Senior Championship Final is likely to turn out well, but aside from that obvious boost we fared well on many less obvious fronts as well. Contributing to a year of solid financial returns and continued progress.”
The GAA stressed that all revenue is funnelled goes back into the Association, with 23% distributed to counties, 20% to games development, 19% on match and competition costs, 17% on administration and 14% on grants.