The Déise hurlers expended €602,897 in their efforts to bring home a first All-Ireland since 1959, an increase of almost €130,000 on last year’s figure. The spend on the senior football team jumped by €20,000 to €159,243. Costs rose by €60,000 overall compared with 2016.
Income totalled €1,897,807 while expenditure amounted to €1,867,177. The board brought in €156,256 through fundraising activities, an improvement of €51,000.
Gate receipts climbed slightly to €223,478 while commercial income grew by around €20,000. Waterford’s share of Allianz League gates plummeted from €205,975 in 2016 to €116,061.
It’s the fourth successive year that the board have recorded a profit. “It is important to acknowledge the board’s finances are in a reasonable position but there is more improvement required and this entails constant monitoring and control,” said county secretary Pat Flynn ahead of Thursday’s convention in Dungarvan.
Flynn commended the fundraising work of supporters group Club Déise who financed a €37,305 training camp to Fota Island in the build-up to the Munster championship. “In truth, the board would have been unable to fund a number of the training events or equipment if it wasn’t for Club Déise coming to our assistance.”
Flynn also touched on the delays to the senior football championship. “Round 1 was played on the weekend of the 5th-7th of May with the Round 2 (winners and losers sections) scheduled for July 29/30. As a result of the senior hurlers qualifying for the All-Ireland semi-final, one game in each section did not take place and were not played until September 10 after the All-Ireland final.”
Fitting the Déise club calendar around the new provincial hurling format will be a major challenge, in his opinion. “The extent of which the changes will help club fixtures appears minimal at best and we will probably have to wait until this time next year to judge whether the adjustments were of any benefit. We will have to consider seriously the structures in our own county, not only to adapt to the changes but provide meaningful competitions for our clubs.”
Flynn appealed again to the best club footballers to sign up for inter-county duty. “Players and team management have given tremendous dedication and commitment again this year and the least they deserve is that all the top footballers would make themselves available. I would ask clubs to cooperate and support the team manager in his endeavours to have the best team possible representing Waterford at all times.”
Waterford’s minor football results also caused alarm. “We need our secondary schools in the county playing at higher and more competitive levels and there is a need for some clubs in the county to treat the minor championships with less contempt.”