The cost of running Donegal GAA county teams is fast approaching the €1 million mark, Donegal County Convention learned yesterday.
Donegal football and hurling teams - senior, U-21, minor and U-16 - cost €902,542 to run in 2016, the audited accounts revealed at the GAA Convention in the Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town.
The audited accounts were part of treasurer Cieran Kelly’s report to Convention.
The figure of €902,542 is up €136,718 on the figure of €765,824 it cost to run the teams in 2015.
Players’ travelling expenses (€184,104), sports gear equipment and laundry (€168,464), catering (€155,316),medical expenses (€129,453) and overnights and team holidays (€184,104) were all the big ticket items under the heading of team administration expenses.
Overall the accounts prepared by Bonner, Gill & Co, in Letterkenny, show that income exceeded expenditure by close on €90,000.
The income for the year ending October 31st, was €1,402,522 which was an increase of €211,113 on the 2015 figure of €1,199,268.
Commercial income at €475,910, other income €229,075, income from associated bodies (Ulster Council and Croke Park), gate receipts from club games €195,240 and fundraising €100,790 were the big performers on the income side and were well up on the corresponding figures from 2015.
The commercial income and the increase in gate receipts were down to the board’s new sponsors and sponsorship partners, the treasurer told Convention.
The KN Group came on board as the county’s new main sponsor in 2016 and the MCR Group became the county’s new second tier sponsors in 2016.
And in a new departure in club competition sponsorship in the county Michael Murphy Sports & Leisure became main sponsors of all adult championships in the county.
And AllSportsStore.com became the main sponsors of all adult county leagues in the county.
The treasurer thanked Donagh Kelly of KN Group, Donal Barrett of the MCR Group and Kieran Kennedy of O’Neill’s International for their support and in the case of Donagh and Donal, on coming on board in 2016.
And he linked their involvement in raising the profile of brand Donegal.
“We had record numbers at club games this season and that was down to our partnership with Michael Murphy Sports and Leisure and AllSportsStore.com whose promotion of our games raised the profile of our games,” said the treasurer.
“We had a record numbers at this year’s county senior championship final between Glenswilly and Kilcar.
“Gate receipts at the final this year were up by almost €50,000 on the previous year and was a record gate for a county final.”
Fundraising at €100,000 was significantly increased on the 2015 figure of €36,083.
This was due to a big race day at Leopardstown Racecourse, in Dublin and organised by Donegal supporters in the capital.
Expenditure was also up on last year’s figure with an expenditure of €1,315,009 up to the end of October compared to outgoings of €1,191,409 at the end of October, 2015.
As well as county team’s expenses, another area that showed a considerable increase was in coaching and games development.
In 2016, €224,792 was spent on coaching and games development in the county up by over €40,000 on the previous year.
However, despite this income was greater than expenditure to the tune of €87,513 a significant increase on the figure of €7,859 which income exceeded expenditure by in 2015.
All in all the Donegal finances despite the significant increase in expenditure are in a healthy state as they have for a number of years.
However, with the county embarking on the building of new dressing room facilities at the county’s Centre of EXcellence in Convoy, it is vitally important the current level of income generation is maintained.