Kerry coffers hit as recession hurts fans

Kerry GAA finances were badly hit over the course of a “challenging year”, according to treasurer John Joe Carroll, with falling revenue and dramatic drop in crowds for county championship games.

In his report to Monday night’s convention, Carroll will tell delegates that income has decreased by 11%, while attendances in the county have plummeted by 22% on 2011 figures.

Carroll also believes live television coverage of the county football final may be a double-edged sword.

He admitted: “2012 was a challenging year for Kerry GAA. The results reported in the financial report for 2012, show below par results for the year, showing a reduction in income of 11% (adjusted for match tickets and team holiday) when compared to 2011. The majority of this loss comes from the decrease in income from gate receipts, lotto and fundraising events as lower disposable income in the economy impacts the spending power of our supporters.

“As in the case most years, the county board continues to incur once-off expenditure, this year was no different, where costs associated with complying with the Slattery Health and Safety report and new website development were incurred, which contributed to the increase in expenditure. Recognising the decrease in income, it is clear that expenditure in future years is reduced to match the lower income levels that are now available.”

Mr Carroll then outlines that falling gate receipts is the major worry as Kerry fans appear to be staying away from local championship games.

“Income from gate receipts are down €60,000, 22% down on 2011 and 44% on 2010. This is a major decrease with the majority of this decrease coming from the senior hurling and football finals. There was a general reduction of all rounds of both the football and hurling championships which is now a reflection of the lower spending power of our supporters and large emigration of our young players and supporters.

“Live coverage by TG4 of our football final while welcome as a promotion of our final certainly has a negative impact on footfall at games and gate returns.”

Mr Carroll revealed the board’s Night at the Dogs, which was beamed live by Sky Sports, yielded a profit of €61,000, an increase of 10% on 2011, while the Kerry GAA Golf Classic, which was ran despite the footballers’ failing to reach the All-Ireland final, yielded a profit of €25, 000.

The report reveals overall expenditure on county teams is down to€766, 076 from €771,672 in 2011, with expenditure on the minor footballers up €18,000 while the senior footballers were down €12,000 and the senior hurlers were down just over €9,000 after their early Christy Ring Cup exit. Physiotherapy and medical expenses were also marginally up at €149, 801, when adjusted for team’s participation in competitions.


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