Reports: Kevin Corrigan
A WHOPPING profit of €307,753 on their 2018 income and expenditure account saw the Offaly GAA County Board reduce their running debt to €46,883, annual Convention heard on Monday night last.
The presentation of the accounts was the stand out feature of a remarkably quiet meeting with very little else of big public interest taking part, outside of a contest for assistant treasurer where former Ferbane GAA Club treasurer, Brian Flynn beat the incumbent, Martin Boland (Raheen) in a vote.
While the County Board is still managing a big debt for O'Connor Park and are still in the red on their day to day running thanks to a deficit built up over several years, the financial outlook is looking much more positive and the 2018 accounts certainly made good reading.
They showed that the County Board had income of €1,132,267 for the year ended October 31 and expenditure of €824,514 – income was up €58,000 and expenditure down €109,000 from the previous year -, resulting in that €307,000 profit, a huge jump from the previous year's figure of €141,278.
This wiped out the board's running debt of €229,315 but when losses from the running of O'Connor Park (€61,023) and Faithful Fields in Kilcormac (€64,298) were factored in, it left the board with a debt of €46,883.
When the deficit from previous years is taken out of the equation, the accounts showed that Offaly GAA had an overall profit of €183,423 for the year, up €72,000 from the 2017 balance sheet.
Servicing the debt on O'Connor Park will continue to provide challenges for Offaly GAA but they at least now look to have their house in order with their yearly running.
Their biggest sources of income were gate receipts (€369,903), commercial income (€174,060) and income from associated bodies (€446,519) while once again, county team administration expenses at €617,058 accounted for the bulk of their expenditure but this is down from €694,147 the previous years.
The accounts were presented to Convention by the auditor, former Offaly and St Brigid's footballer, Mick Casey and they showed that there had been a big saving in medical and physiotherapy expenses, down to €57,490 from €124,162.
Asked about this difference by Clara's Brian Gavin, Mr Casey explained that there had been an insurance refund on a medical payment for a senior hurler during the year and this was the big factor in that.
Team administration expenses amounted to €137,756, up from €98,922 from the previous year. This figure includes the expenses of county team managers and back up staff and when Erin Rovers' chairman Eamon Dunican remarked that this was a 28% increase, Mr Casey replied that it included expenses for an U-21 hurling selector that hadn't previously been there while the minor hurling manager's expenses had increased and senior football administration expenses had gone from €25,000 to €60,000, prompting one delegate to joke that it was just as well Offaly had lost to Wicklow or they would have been gone up to €80,000. Mr Casey explained that 20 different categories were included in this heading and a few were up while some were dopwn slightly.
The county team administration expenses showed the following figures: catering €123,487; players traveling expenses €95,386; team administration expenses €137,756; buses and accommodation €22,280; sports gear, gym and laundry €169,404; medical and physiotherapy expenses €57,490 and players injury insurance for county teams €11,273.
Gate receipts from Offaly's own club programme jumped from €316,726 to €369,903 with the senior football final taking in €41,105 and the senior hurling final €41,235. Ferbane's Eamon Flynn queried this, noting that there were 500 more people at the hurling decider but chairman Tommy Byrne explained that the attendance included all category of people, including U-16s and OAPs.
Administration expenses amounted to €74,879 while €93,543 was spent on coaching and games development.
O'Connor Park showed a loss of €61,023 for the year. Income was €328,639 with €111,542 coming in from rent for matches and €148,202 from the O'Connor Park development fund. Expenditure was €389,662 with depreciation accounting for the bulk of this at €199,619. Mr Casey explained that when depreciation was taken out of the figure along with the money given from the O'Connor Park development fund, the cash loss was just €9,606.
The construction of Faithful Fields in Kilcormac has been the biggest development in Offaly GAA in recent years and while it has been built debt free, it is clear that there will be a significant yearly cost for the grounds.
The board lost €64,298 on Faithful Fields in 2018, with income amounting to €58,365 while expendiure was €121,663. The big element in this was €63,899 for the general repairs and upkeep of the ground, with chairman Tommy Byrne pointing out that the grounds were managed daily on a purely voluntary basis.
My Byrne also stated that the grounds was saving money in travel expenses for underage games as other counties wanted to play there, meaning that Offaly did not have to travel outside the county for as many fixtures.
Tullamore's Tom Martin complained that the accounts were only circulated at the meeting and he said that clubs should have them a week in advance. Secretary Pat Horan promised that this would happen in 2019.