In 2012, the board submitted a shortfall of €212,271 and the deficit stood at €120,430 in 2011. They returned a small loss of €2,798 last year.
“I am pleased to report that the finances of the board are in a much healthier state in 2014 as compared to the last few years,” he states in his report to convention. “The accounts show a surplus of €12,497 for the year as compared to a loss of €2,798 in 2013. Full credit must go to the county treasurer, Joe Cleary, and Liam Cheasty in ensuring that our finances are kept under control.”
There was further good news for the Déise as the board have retained 3 Mobile as their main sponsor for a sixth consecutive season.
The cost of county teams increased from €498,356 to €569,933. The spend on the senior footballers swelled by almost €30,000 to €145,130. The senior hurlers saved close to €1,000 as they finished the year on €195,997.
“The major expenditure heading of the board continues to be amounts spent on county teams,” O’Keeffe explained. “It is often not appreciated that every adult training session for both our hurlers and footballers costs approximately €2,000. There is no extravagance in this figure. This simply covers the cost of travel, food, floodlighting, physios and medical bills for about 30 players and eight backroom staff. There probably is a perception that the board wastes money but the bulk of our expenditure goes on training county teams. To remain competitive our teams must train at least as often as our opposition and for example three training sessions per week will cost €6,000.”
Gate receipts fell by €4,412 from the year previous as attendances dipped in the senior hurling championship. Commercial income improved by €30,000 on the 2013 takings. Coaching and development income rose sharply from €70,734 in 2013 to €250,091 in 2014. Although fundraising activities declined slightly, €36,363 was raised by the Déise Day at Punchestown in May.
O’Keeffe also reflected on a disappointing year at inter county level. “On the playing fields, both our senior hurlers and footballers, while competitive in all their games never really made an impression. The hurlers’ relegation from Division 1A of the Allianz League was a major disappointment while the footballers’ failure to figure in the promotion race in Division 4 of the football league showed no progress from 2013.”
He also feared for the future of football in the county. “There is an urgent need to take stock of where Gaelic football is at in the county at the moment. We have no second level college playing in the Munster A colleges competitions and indeed we are not even competitive in the B and C grades.” ”