Ronan must try harder if he wants to succeed in business
RONAN O'Gara earns his crust by making the right decision on the pitch when under enormous pressure, but on the face of it at least, the same cannot by said for his business off the paddock.
His company, Stand Off Promotions performed well for a number of years. The business is apparently used for earnings from O'Gara's numerous endorsements and other publicity work.
By the end of April, 2008, the company, then trading under its former name ROG Enterprise Limited, was in a particularly healthy state. Cash at bank and in hand had rocketted from €5,211 to €357,632 in the space of two years, and the profit and loss account had surged by almost 400pc to €502,908.
Things turned sour last year, however, thanks to property losses. Mr O'Gara still has a number of endorsements, including those from Adidas, Newbridge Silverware and Lucozade, but the business posted a €1.1m loss in the year to April 31, 2011.
That loss was driven almost entirely by writedowns on assets. It helped push the business from very healthy accumulated profits of €811,900 in 2010to a deficit of €303,666 and just €44 in cash.
The silver lining for O'Gara may be that, as a sports star, he could be entitled to a huge payout from the Revenue Commissioners whenever he decides to hang up his boots.
One of Charlie McCreevey's innumerable tax schemes included one tailored specifically to keep professional athletes in Ireland.
On retirement from sports, anyone who stayed in Ireland throughout their professional sports career can claim back 40pc of the tax paid in each of their 10 best years for earnings.
As the first generation of fully professional rugby stars come to the end of their careers, the tax authorities will be busy writing some large cheques. The rebate only applies to money paid directly from earnings on the pitch though, so the sponsorship deals won't count.