Cork county board reports €300k profit - best year since Páirc project began

Income for the year ending September 30 showed a dramatic jump of €2.15 million from €1.522m last year
Cork county board reports €300k profit - best year since Páirc project began

A general view of Páirc Ui Chaoimh, home of Cork GAA. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

The Cork County Board have reported almost €300,000 profit for the 11-month period from November last year to the end of September last.

The figures to be discussed at Saturday’s annual convention reveal an increase of €431,859 on last year’s €132,048 deficit and can largely be attributed to over €330,000 more in gross commercial income and €176,929 extra in gate receipts, which exclude the business end of the club championships.

Income for the year ending September 30 showed a dramatic jump of €2.15 million from €1.522m last year. Expenditure increased this year from €1.824m in 2020 to €1.997m.

The 2021 financial year, which incorporated four All-Ireland senior championship campaigns, saw team expenses rise from €1.171m to €1.21m, which was relatively marginal considering the several finals Cork team reached in 2021. Office administration costs jumped considerably from €223,942 to €314,054 reflecting the additional staff who were added this past year.

Chief executive Kevin O’Donovan welcomed the figures: “A board surplus for the year of €328,000 (EBITDA - Earnings Before Interest, Tax and Depreciation) represented the most positive year financially for the County Board since the stadium project began and was achieved in a challenging financial environment considering the effect of Covid-19 and the decrease in attendances at games etc. It was in contrast to a comparable loss of €105,000 in 2020.

“As the majority of gates came in after year-end on September 30, the benefits of increased attendances won’t be seen until next year’s accounts when gate receipts of over €1m will be recorded for the 2021 club championship season with streaming income and season tickets pushing the figure up further.” 

However, O’Donovan admitted the discovery of €176,000 in a trawl of old accounts earlier this year was a difficult time for Cork GAA.

“Another issue which was the cause of much debate and embarrassment in 2021 were the circumstances surrounding historical bank accounts in the organisation. Ultimately, we were most grateful to the Audit and Risk committee for their assistance in reporting on the matter and their report speaks for itself on the actions required.” 

Páirc Uí Chaoimh recorded losses of €560,448 in 2021, down on the €613,972 figure last year. The stadium debt stood at €29,741m in September, €21.811,579 of that owed to Bank of Ireland with loan terms extended until 2028. Annual repayments of €750,000 to €1,100,000 are to be paid over that period with the remaining loan to be revisited in seven years’ time. Croke Park is owed €7.929m and Cork GAA is currently committed to making repayments of €500,000 per annum.

O’Donovan said of the stadium’s financial year: “Losses of €536,000 (EBITDA) for 2021 showed an improvement on the losses of €810,000 in 2020. This resulted in combined board and stadium losses of €208,000 (EBITDA) for 2021 in comparison to combined losses of €915,000 for 2020 and €646,000 for 2019. Of course, when depreciation and interest are added, losses for the year exceed €2m and the rate at which the stadium is being depreciated will require further consideration at a future date.”

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