It was a reasonably successful season on the field for Limerick, a first Munster senior hurling title since 1996 and a first senior/minor provincial double since 1940.
A reasonably successful season off the field also, a slight profit of €6,661 returned on a turnover of almost €2m.
Just as new senior hurling manager TJ Ryan will be going all out to do even better in 2014, so county board treasurer Donal Morrissey demands the county do likewise.
“We got the breaks in 2013 but next year we won’t have two Munster semi-finals and a Munster final so we won’t have the programme sales that go with that, and the gate receipts, and we won’t have the spin-off we got in attracting people to take out advertising in the Gaelic Grounds.
“Next year is going to be tougher, absolutely. I’ll sit down over Christmas and try to put a budget together but we’ll be trying to improve our income to the tune of at least €100,000, a tall order.”
One option is to host a concert in the Gaelic Grounds but, says Morrissey, that’s not on the cards. “All those who are touring already have their venues booked, and anyway, we’d probably need to spend up to €150,000 to upgrade the facilities, shops and toilets and so on.”
It all falls back on themselves then to up their game, so to speak, and with John Loftus now bedded into the new position of Commercial Manager, with a revamping of the Mackey Stand Draw, Limerick GAA has already taken very positive steps.
“The Commercial Manager initiative is working out well and will only improve. John spent the last several months cutting his teeth, contacts made with a lot of good people. The bigger companies all have their budgets set well in advance and Limerick GAA wasn’t in those budgets for 2013. This year we expect that to change. On the Mackey Draw, we have a restructure on that which is going to make it that bit easier for clubs to promote and sell, especially to non-GAA people. It’s a really good way for clubs to earn a few extra thousand euro but it also benefits the county.”
Innovative ideas, efficiency in their implementation, that’s the secret says Donal and when it comes to efficiency, with effective administration costs of under 5% Limerick sets a very high standard. For that, much credit to secretary Mike O’Riordan.
“Mike is a paid official but it’s not like he’s on a decent salary, certainly not by Croke Park standards — even if he were only putting in a 40-hour week he is hugely underpaid, but he’s putting in over double those hours.
“He’s effectively the CEO of a €2m/annum operation, with 70 clubs to administer, all the various committees that go with the management of that, he has the games to manage, local and national, all the meetings to attend. He’s doing a fantastic job and I think people should recognise that.”
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