Spending and income both up sharply this year


Photo: datamaticspbo.com

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.

34 thoughts on “Spending and income both up sharply this year

  1. Needless to say the accounts will go into their traditional major detail and be fully transparent

  2. It is an impressive overview of our county expenses surely. For an armature organisation given the shaky start to last year. For my part I feel it was all worth the effort in the end. As a supporter the U21 campaign from start to finish was unforgettable. The backdoor games on Saturday evenings in McHale Park where the highlight. Walking from Croke Park with a one point win in the quarter final when everyone had us written off, vintage Mayo.

  3. Unfortunately any surplus each year will be going towards the burden of debt that is MacHale park.

  4. Any chance of anybody reporting what motions were passed at convention for us non-delegates? Hope Willie Joe won’t mind me asking this.

  5. No problem, F’deelin – if any club delegate wants to oblige on that score it would be great. Obviously the local papers will have full details in due course as well.

  6. Looking at those figures the idea that we cannot afford a comercial manager is absolutely ridiculous. A commercial manager at €75k pa would cost approx one quarter of one per cent of income. Presumably s/he would be able to bring in multiple times his/her cost. Which is the whole point of such an appointment. Incidentally re my figure of €75k pa this is what I would see as a minimum. Appointing somebody at less than this figure would be pointless. If you want a top person you have to pay appropiately.

    I do not know whether Ger Bohan is being deliberately sceptical in his comment above or not. I have never had the privilage of attending a Mayo convention but have been at several other conventions. Nowadays, apart from the headline figures which appear in local press etc, a great deal of information and detail is given in “notes to the accounts” which is included in the report document To the best of my knowledge all Co Treasurers reports must meet a standard laid down by Croke Park and all must be audited. One also has to ask how many club delegates are capable of reading and understanding financial reports and asking intelligent questions. In my experiance this is not a issue which clubs worry unduly about, unless the club is being hit with an extraordinary levy, at which point the horse has long left the stable.

  7. A twenty fold+ increase in the cost of playing gear, mind boggling, not that it was cheap last year or should be considered cheap either. In my innocence I was of the view that most of the sports companies ie Elverys /Intersport & O’Neil’s and others supplied free gear to inter County teams and players. Plenty of advertising of both ‘O’ Neil’s and Elverys /Intersport on Mayo playing gear,.. Last time I looked it was €60+ for an official Mayo replica Jersey, surly I was not out of my mind thinking that these were a least free to the Mayo team. Plenty of unofficial Mayo gear to be had for a fraction of the cost. . I have bought Mayo official Jersey’s, Jackets, Polo Tops in the past .. I assumed that was the deal, that I was contributing somehow to the finances of Mayo by buying official gear instead of cheaper unofficial gear or none at all. .and that these sports companies at least provided free gear to the Mayo team, indeed I assumed Mayo teams were of sufficiently high profile to be paid for the advertising certain sports brands which they certainly do, to audience of millions all told,. The All Ireland final was seen live in 184,. countries worldwide. Some one please tell me, that’s a. Misprint. What other sports gear do they need. Only recently A certain Mayo senior player told me that he paid for his own football boots. I know some of the more high profile names get football boots gratis from various sports companies.

  8. Shocked at the cost of catering and gear. Amounting to around €800K. Now I’m all for feeding and clothing those lads well, give them the best . Are they being fed caviar and champagne and clothed in Armani and Gucci . Calm down folks, only joking.

    We need to hear exactly how much actual cash that each sponsoring company gives our county. We can then put that figure against costs and outgoings.

  9. 15k a week on catering and gear? Thats some tin! Would it be fair to say Elverys are probably the most recognisable sponsor of any county jersey in the country? I would also imagine Mayo jersey/ apparel sales are some of the highest in the country, yet I would think that 800k expenditure by the CB is also one of the highest in the country! Elvery’s certainly must a savvy commercial manager, maybe its time he/she jumped to the other side of the negotiating table.
    To touch on the new jersey debate-would it be an idea for the county board to have a jersey specifically for the FBD and league campaigns. Change it every two years-plenty of branding etc like the new kit, then use a more traditional plain green and red with more subtle branding for the championship to keep everyone happy. Change this every two years also on alternate years to the league jersey. You would have a new kit every year keeping the new commercial manager happy (!) while also allowing a jersey to remain current for two years keeping parents and kids happy while also maximizing sponsorship. Just a thought-as the new jersey is too gimmicky/flashy for my liking!

  10. You would imagine the gear/equipment was connected with some new line of expense.
    Some particular hardware like gym equipment or thermal imaging or cryochambers.
    The catering had more mouths to feed over a longer period.

  11. In spite of the scepticism around accounting transparency and expenses, it is obvious to me that there is a lot of work of a voluntary nature going on in the background to bring all of this together. The resultant brilliant year we all had, where I just had to turn up and shout like a mad thing all over the country. I should acknowledge that the receipts invoicing statements planning and all the volunteers that contribute to this volume of work for the good of the game. Can we do better in 2017, of course we can, just stopping to thank all involved first.

  12. Surely O Neills should foot the bill for gear for every county as i understand you have to use their gear.

  13. O’Neills are just the maufacturer, of course they would want to get paid for there products. Dont know where the idea that this gear was free came from, everything has a cost. ONeills are a business and footing the bill for county teams would be crazy, thats over 1000 players for senior alone. Now I would be interested to see if a cost analysis has been done between ONeills and other manufacturers, there are other options out there, Waterford for example us a different kit manufacturer. Is Mayo getting the best deal out there.

    Elverys then pay sponsorship which contributes to the annual running of the teams. They have been a long time sponsor but this is a compnay who nearly went to the wall not so long ago. The same question, is this the best deal available to a high profile county with Baxter, Alorgen, Hollister etc within its boarders.

    I am not one bit surprised by the figures produced, sport is a business. To kit and feed a panel of 34 plus backroom staff for what is now virtually 12 months a year is serious cash, add to that underage teams and insurance, travel, accommodation. It all costs, nothing is free. As long as Mayo is getting the best possible deal available to them then I have no problem.

  14. Free gear , means free to the players , somebody still has to cough up for the gear of course.

  15. These figures to me reflect that the Mayo set up is now professional in all but name.no such thing as amateur players any more.

  16. Rober, I would say its amateur in everthing but the players. Coaches, physios, nutritionists, analysists etc get paid at football level. ONeills are doing very well from the increased commercialism f the games. Corke park is full with people getting a wage, which is fine, they do a full time job. Brolly and co get paid for the crap they spew, even the lad selling head bands is earning a few quid from GAA. The only people not earning is the players. A small few high profile players can generate some cash via advertising and maybe bag a nice job but the vast majority of the players get damn all. All the while the demands on the players time increases year on year. Something will give sooner than later.

  17. Thanks Redcol for the update – hope to see a few players from both teams make the county U21 panel next year.

  18. The gear includes free gear provided by Elverys. The gear is included in income as sponsorship and then as an expense under gear and equipment though no money passed. This is the first year this has happened as in previous years the ‘free’ gear was not included in the accounts at all. This is the correct way to display this item. There is also a provision in the 2016 accounts for the ‘free gear’ provided in 2015. Going forward this is the way this item will be presented. It shows progress and a willingness by the new treasurer to do things differently. Seems strange that everyone is on here giving out that so much is spent and then they are on here when teams are seen to be not given stuff. I would say that the County Board has it pretty right. There is a commitment for 2 new coaches in 2017.

  19. It’s interesting to see the following tweet from The Mayo News Sport twitter account:

    Mayo Senior football manager Stephen Rochford appoints new selector for 2017. Read more in tomorrow’s paper.

  20. An increase of 40% this year in fundraising income is not to be sneezed at and it’s good to see that the county board is capitalising on the current goodwill that exists. I still feel that % would increase exponentially with the employment of a full-time commercial director, however.

    That said, looking in from the outside I genuinely feel some good progress has been made within the set-up – it may not be at the pace we might like to see but I certainly feel we are moving in the right direction anyway. Bearing in mind the small team that is running this operation, and not on a full-time basis either.

    Here’s to 2017. A regular reader of these boards sent me a photo of the September 2017 booking for Citywest tonight – a sure sign the green shoots of optimism are starting to reappear!

  21. I’d caution to all supporters to remember that all that glistens is not gold.

    I asked my own club delegate to let me have a look at the Convention Reports. They always make interesting reading. I find that the accounts are generally quite sparse in their information, and it would be lovely to have more details.

    While the increase in fundraising income is welcome, it does not hide the fact that there are opportunities being lost and a full-time professional such as a Commercial Director could exploit the potential of Mayo GAA fully.

    €800,000 is a significant amount money to raise, but that includes CM season tickets. 2000 of them in fact at 200 a pop. So that €400,000 is not full income. It has to be used to pay the Connacht Council and Croke Park for tickets for each match, and that will be shown elsewhere as a negative in the accounts.

    In the same way there would have been two functions in City West. 1000 tickets at a guess at 100 a pop each time is another €200,000. The hotel has to be paid out of that so there would be another negative outgoing elsewhere.

    And then you look at the balance as the general fundraising that was done throughout the year. We do not know how much the lotto is bringing in but I would have thought a general €200,000 is low given that there would be a willingness of many at home and abroad to make significant contributions.

    So while raising a surplus is an achievement probably achieved by the addition of Croke Park assistance for the debts is an achievement we are a long way off reaching potential.

  22. Ger,
    Lotto was given at €30k odd. The fact that there was a doubling of both income and expenditure with no valid reason appears to indicate gross under reporting of finances for a number of years. Either that or gross over reporting this year.

  23. This ‘doubling’ was explained in my earlier post and this was fully explained by Mr. O’Toole at the convention. Its not fair to have a go at someone who is doing something right now. The offsetting of income and expenditure in previous years was not correct but was not a mortal sin either. Showing it correct this year should be commended. I feel the lotto is totally under sold. There should be weekly prizes, there should be media coverage – not just online – with current and past players and there should be fun stories. Selling is all about telling stories, emotion sells. Why was no follow up story done on the people who won AIF tickets in the lotto? etc..

  24. As I said Sinabhuil all that glistens is not gold.

    Until there are full detailed accounts with clear breakdowns of expenditure and income there is room for questions.

    As i also said it is welcome that there is a surplus.

  25. I attended the convention and have seen the accounts. In my opinion, and I am an accountant, the accounts are very detailed and were opened to the room for questions. Some questions were asked and answered fully. There is a stage in the presentation of accounts where if too much detail is given the overall picture is lost. The county board is ran by volunteers. The income was €5 million and the expenditure was roughly €5 million. So they handled €10 million. You cannot get a financial statement that is going to breakdown all of the transactions in detail. The statements would run to 100s of pages. There has to be some bulking of the information presented at the convention. You have to rely on the internal controls of the board, the due diligence of the auditors and checks and controls taken by Croke Park.There was only €54,000 in wages in the accounts. In my estimate a business turning over this amount of money would probably have a decently qualified accountant and 3 or 4 bookkeeping personnel. I would say that the handling, collecting and recording of this amount of money is volunteerism of the highest level. And you then have unsubstantiated innuendo thrown at you to boot!! To thank you for your unpaid service! Keyboard warriors need to consider that they are dealing with living breathing well-intentioned people.

  26. Sinabhuil fair enough that you have your opinion. I have mine, and my name is in lights on the blog. Not a psuedonym. Just because we disagree does not make me a keyboard warrior.

    Alot of your points are well made. I just think certain other figures should be put out there. We saw that there was an unwillingness to open the books when the County Board asked for a strategic review of their own affairs. While that approach remains there will be concerns.

  27. Sinabhuil,
    Given your professional background and the fact you feel that a comparable operation with a similar turnover would have a full time accountant and 3-4 bookkeeping personnel, why do you feel the CB are so resistant to any kind of financial professional becoming involved. I ask this out of genuine curiosity.

  28. I am also a volunteer at club level. In general the quick response to expenditure is always ‘no’!!. It is hard to get away from this mentality. Structered costed planned spending is part and parcel of the management of any organisation but most people are not brave enough to potentially be the one that messed up the budget. Sorry to say the answer is really a lack of balls to think outside of the box. Too grey haired, too old, too conservative. But not bad intentioned.

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