TIPPERARY GAA officials last night revealed an alarming deficit of almost €250,000 for the 2012 financial year.
Chairman Sean Nugent warned that "failure is not an option" as Premier County chiefs try to arrest a worrying slide. A loss of €246,939 follows on from a deficit of almost €219,000 reported in 2011.
In the past four years, losses totalling more than €650,000 have been recorded and, for a fifth successive year, spending on Tipperary's various inter-county teams crashed through the €1m barrier.
A €126,267 deficit in 2010 set alarm bells ringing in Tipperary, but was understandable to an extent as senior and All-Ireland U-21 hurling titles were annexed.
But last year's figures came as an enormous shock to delegates – and they were reeling again last night following another heavy hit.
To their credit, Tipperary county board officials have managed to reduce spending by €775,598 over the past 12 months but, unfortunately, income has dipped dramatically, by €803,434, from 2011's figures.
Financial accounts released last night show that €3,841,994 was raked in in 2012, but €4,864,531 was spent.
Commercial income, local gate receipts and fundraising incomes have nose-dived, with commercial income down by almost €85,000, and while National League and coaching income increased, it was not enough to make a significant impact on the overall balance sheet.
On the inter-county front, it was a busy year for Tipperary's various teams as minor and intermediate All-Ireland titles were secured, while Peter Creedon's senior footballers enjoyed an extended run in the championship.
Spending on inter-county teams has decreased by €56,626 but it effectively remains stable when a figure of €55,306 allocated to a players' holiday fund in 2011 is taken into account.
Total expenditure on inter-county teams for the 2012 year comes in at €1,115,250. In his address, Nugent said: "The kind of success we achieved at inter-county level in 2012 comes at a price and a heavy financial one at that. We were successful in the area of reduction of expenditure and had we not addressed the matter, the deficit would be far greater."