UEFA study shows Irish clubs are reliant on gate receipts
The reliance on the revenue generated from gate receipts in the League of Ireland has been highlighted by a new UEFA report on the finances of the game around the continent.
Using the year of 2015 as their case study, European football chiefs have released a study which detailed the key income streams for clubs in their member nations in addition to analysing the impact of club licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations.
In the smaller nations, it has drummed home the simple importance of crowd figures when the sums generated from sponsors and transfer fees are small compared to the major powers.
Thirty-one per cent of revenue generated by top-flight clubs in Ireland in 2015 came from gate receipts with only Scotland (37pc) and Switzerland (34pc) commanding a larger percentage from that avenue.
The UEFA figures show that the average club revenue in the League of Ireland Premier Division in 2015 was €900,000.
Clubs spent 59pc of their total revenue on wages - an overall figure of €6.7m.
However, the paltry figures earned by Irish clubs in the transfer market emphasise the pressure to make money from alternative sources. Just three per cent of revenue comes from transfer fees, a significant contrast from Bosnia who have similar figures in terms of overall spend and income and expenditure but make 30pc of their money from selling players.
The age profile of the League of Ireland gets a mention as the average of 24.4 at Premier Division level makes it the ninth youngest in Europe. Georgia, Norway, Estonia, Albania, Latvia, Netherlands, Croatia and Armenia have a fresher-faced core.
Meanwhile, Celtic youngster Eoghan O'Connell will continue his education by spending the rest of this season at Walsall.
The Corkman - a cousin of rugby great Paul O'Connell - spent the start of last year's League of Ireland campaign with his home-town club.
And he returned to Celtic to make seven first-team appearances under Brendan Rodgers, including a Champions League outing against Barcelona.
Former St Patrick's Athletic defender Jake Carroll has joined League Two side Cambridge United on a permanent basis. The Dubliner has left Hartlepool for an undisclosed fee to sign a two-and-a-half-year contract.
And ex-Irish international John Sheridan has become the manager of Oldham for the fifth time. He is back in work quickly after his sacking by Notts County at the start of this month - Sheridan previously had two caretaker stints and two full-time stints in the Oldham hot seat. They are bottom of League One.
At home, Galway United have Waterford-born Kenny McEvoy in training with them this week after he returned to Ireland. The Gareth Bale lookalike was with Spurs and York City amongst others.