Cork dig into cash reserves to channel toward Páirc Uí Chaoimh redevelopment

Cork GAA accounts show it has spent over €5m of its own cash reserves this year on the redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Net assets fell from €7.5m to €2.4m in 2016, and the board will have to spend the same again in 2017 to meet its obligation towards the €80m stadium project.

The key to whether Cork GAA reopens the stadium next July debt-free or with a significant financial noose around its neck is the sale of 2,200 10-year tickets at €6,500 each, plus the sale of corporate naming rights to the stadium.

Cork has around €64m “in the pot”, to use the phrase employed by stadium committee chair Bob Ryan, of which €30m is from the State, €20m has been advanced from Central Council, €3.75m is from the Munster Council, and €10m of its own war-chest. That leaves around €16m to find.

If the finance committee of John Mullins is successful in shifting all 2,200 premium seats — a big ask in the absence of guaranteed blue-chip events — that will raise up to €14m, easing the pressure to strike an early deal on naming rights for the stadium. Talks are ongoing with companies on those rights. Mr Mullins is hopeful the stadium will open next summer debt free.

Day-to-day spending by Cork in 2016 was marginally up from €3.18m to €3.2m but overall the board recorded a slight surplus, assisted by the unwelcome early departure of both senior men’s teams from the championship. Also, there was a fall in profit from the board’s money-spinning members’ draw, which yielded a 2016 surplus of €242,000, against €315,000 the year before.

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