The County Convention takes place this Sunday, where Mayo GAA finances will, no doubt, get a good airing. Ahead of this, there’s an interesting report today in The 42 (here) detailing a number of major items in the 2016 accounts, which will be presented at the Convention.
As you’ll see from the linked piece, the accounts show a sharp rise in both expenditure and income in 2016. Spending is up 46% on 2015, reflecting in large part the long campaigns enjoyed by a number of county teams, notably the senior, junior and U21 footballers and the senior and U21 hurlers, who between them contested five national deciders this year. Total spending in 2016 stood at €2,989,659, up from €2,035,082 last year.
Equally noteworthy is the significant rise in income, which is up 44% on the equivalent figure last year, rising from €2,130,781 in 2015 to €3,076,988 this year. This eye-catching increase in money coming in means that despite the huge rise in spending, the accounts for the year have finished in the black, with a surplus of €87,329 recorded for 2016. This is slightly below last year’s figure of €94,979.
As the piece shows, the main jump in spending related to team expenses. This figure rose by all of 85% this year compared to last, with travel costs increasing by 12%, medical expenses by 59%, catering by 159% and sports gear and equipment by an eye-popping 1,055%. Overall, spending on teams totalled €1,632,448 in 2016, up from €880,316 last year.
The leap in income comes under three main headings, all of which show strong growth. Fundraising income increased by 40%, transfer income from the GAA (relating both to grants and team expenses) rose by 47%, while commercial income more than doubled, rising by 119% compared to 2015.
Overall, the figures confirm what a major financial operation Mayo GAA has become in recent years. The past twelve months have seen quite a step-change in this respect, both in the amounts that have been spent but also in relation to what’s coming in and from where it’s coming from. Clearly, the pace of growth witnessed on both sides of the balance sheet over the past year isn’t something that could possibly be sustained year-on-year but it’s noteworthy to see that the giant leap upwards in spending over the past twelve months has been matched by an equally pronounced move in the same direction on the income side.
We all know that if we’re to continue to punch at our current levels nationally, we need to continue spending big. These figures show beyond doubt that we’re more than prepared to do this but they also demonstrate that we have the capability to fund this expansion by growing income in line with outgoings. Keeping both of these figures on track will remain a central challenge for Mayo GAA in the years ahead and will have a large bearing on how well prepared we continue to be on the field of play.