Irish rugby legend Paul O’Connell’s commercial firm has amassed a cash pile of almost €1.3m.
The iconic figure of world and Irish rugby retired from the game earlier this year after sustaining a severe hamstring injury in the World Cup game against France.
The Limerick man had been trying to overcome his injury to play for his new side, French club Toulon, before accepting medical advice and confirming his retirement in February.
However, in his commercial pursuits off the field, O’Connell continued to flourish last year and the 36-year-old had generated almost €1.3m in cash in his company Nellcon Ltd before his retirement.
The accumulated profits at the firm increased by €72,891 going from €1.234m to €1.307m in the 12 months to the end of April 30 last.
The firm generated its income from commissions earned during the year. However, the directors of the firm, O’Connell and Michael O’Connell, paid themselves a modest income from the firm.
The remuneration for directors last year totalled €21,000 and this followed a payout of €21,000 in 2014.
The numbers employed at the firm — including directors — total two and employment costs last year decreased, going from €54,075 to €47,580. The amount owed by the firm to directors last year increased from €39,921 to €46,695.
O’Connell has been a talisman for Munster and Ireland over the past decade and won his 100th cap against Wales in March of last year before winning a further seven caps to bring his total to 108 caps.
O’Connell’s retirement in February sparked tributes to the man from rugby greats across the world.
The former University of Limerick (UL) student benefited from his professional playing career coinciding with a boom in the finances of the IRFU through the growing popularity of rugby here — between 2001 and 2014, revenues at the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), which controls 80% of the finances of Irish rugby, more than trebled from €21.6m to €69.7m.
The sharp drop in income at the end of O’Connell’s playing career will be cushioned somewhat by his bank balance and also by a government scheme that allows key sports people at the end of their careers to claim back 40% of the tax they paid over a 10-year period.
Players are able to claim tax back on wages and match bonuses, but it does not include claiming on sponsorship money, payments for writing media columns, or fees for appearing in advertisements.
O’Connell established Nellcon Ltd in 2005,
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