GAA took in €1m a week last year but warn about the future
THE GAA beat the recession last year, taking in an average of over €1m per week, an increase of 13pc on 2011.
It was helped by a replay in the All-Ireland hurling final but, even without the €2.6m bonanza from the Galway-Kilkenny clash, gate income would have been on a par with the previous year.
However, despite taking in €52.8m for Central Council activities (provinces and counties run their financial affairs independently), GAA financial director Tom Ryan has warned against complacency.
"2012 has proven to be a year of solid financial performance at central level. Unfortunately, however, the prevailing environment is no less difficult than in previous years and it thus requires ever-increasing resilience and innovation in order to continue to prosper," he said.
An area of concern is the fact that quite a small proportion of the 383 games played under Central Council jurisdiction last year showed a profit when costs were deducted.
"It is only a slight exaggeration to say that our financial well-being depends every year, in the short term at least, upon a handful of matches. It's vitally important that we get things right, and in 2012 we did," said Ryan.
"Last year was a summer of vibrant senior championships and healthy match attendances.
"That was particularly commendable in a summer which saw two major sporting events competing with us for spectators' attention – the European soccer championships and the Olympic Games.
"Our revenue budgets were set with these pitfalls in mind but the actual impact proved minor. In fact, gate receipts grew by 10pc."
Gate receipts for the All-Ireland championships totalled €21.6m, an increase of €2.8m on 2011. Commercial revenue increased by €2.3m.
GAA director general Paraic Duffy confirmed that there would be no increase in All-Ireland championship ticket prices this year.