€1.6 million to keep the Rovers' show on the road
Sligo Rovers spent almost €1.6m in 2013, recording a profit for the year of €44,000, it was revealed at the club's annual general meeting in the Clarion Hotel last Thursday.
"This is a big machine and very expensive to keep going," Assistant Treasurer, David Rowe, told members. (pictured above right)
"It takes a huge effort to keep the juggernaut going," he added.
Rovers won the FAI Cup in 2013 and finished third in the Airtricity League.
"Given that we had such a good year, I would consider a profit of €44,000 as quite modest," said Mr. Rowe. "But at least we made a profit for the fifth year in a row, which is encouraging. A lot of clubs in the League are not making a profit," he added.
Rovers returned a profit of €86,000 in 2012, the year they won the League of Ireland, but this dropped considerably last season.
"The last three home games of the 2012 season brought in about €100,000, which was phenomenal.
"We didn't have that sort of bounce this year and we can't budget on having it every year," Mr. Rowe pointed out.
Gate receipts last year were down to €336,000 from €372,000 the previous season.
However, the gate receipts from the European games were up from €69,000 to €80,000 on account of Rovers participation in the Champions' League.
There was also a significant increase in the contribution from merchandising, following the new deal with Umbro. The figure was up from €2,000 in 2012 to €31,000 last year.
Sponsorship was up from €66,000 to €98,000, while there was also a substantial increase in prize money which went up from €230,000 to €312,000.
There were also strong contributions from the 500 Club and the Lotto, each of which brought in over €100,000.
Pointing out that the income from fundraising accounted for 27% of the total income, Mr. Rowe said this was a massive effort and would have to be maintained going forward.
A total of €434,000 had been generated through fund raising in 2013 and it would not be possible to keep going without this level of support.
He cautioned that the good work of the last five years could be wiped out by one bad season, so the club had always to be extremely prudent. Every season was highly dependent on results, he stressed.
Also, steps had to be taken to improve non-gate income, such as kit supply agreements, revenue from the astro turf facility and other ventures.
"Overall, 2013 has been a good year all round, financially, in terms of results and strructures and the sports capital grants for the Astro Turf.
"We can address the future with confidence," said Mr. Rowe.