‘The past year has proved very damaging’ – GAA report combined deficit of €34.1m after 2020 season

THE GAA HAVE reported a combined national deficit of €34.1m after the 2020 season was impacted hugely by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Association’s annual finance report was released today with Director-General Tom Ryan describing the past year as ‘very damaging to the Association from a financial point of view.’

Ryan believes ‘the after effects will be felt for some years to come’ but did stress ‘our success is not defined by financial performance, and nor should it be.’

The deficit combines the figures for the GAA at national level, for county and provincial boards and the Croke Park stadium.

With the majority of the championship action taking place after the financial year had ended on 31 October, a significant portion of 2020 revenues and championship costs have been deferred into the 2021 accounts.

For example of the €23m Covid support funding from the Government, only €13m has been recorded in the 2020 accounts.

Total revenue for the association last year was €50.49m, a steep drop from the €118.43m figured recorded in 2019.

With the concluding league games played behind closed doors, competition gate receipts fell from €5.5m in 2019 to €3.2m in 2020. As no fans attended championship games, the total gate receipts plummeted from €36m to €3.67m.  

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Commercial income fell from €19.92m to €8.65m as both commercial and media contracts were renegotiated on a one-off basis to reflect the changed league and championship formats.

In terms of costs, the GAA saw match-day outgoings drop from €10.87m to €7.9m while stadium costs went from €5.5m to €2.6m.

Ryan says they have been in touch with the relevant Government authorities about funding for 2021 season and that provision was made in last year’s Budget for the sporting sector.

“We are going to be in the unfortunate position and nobody likes it, having to rely on the public purse, but we’ve flagged it already that this year is going to be challenging.”

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