Deise’s hurling fortunes rise as County Board finances improve
Achieving a surplus of €51,000 following a year in which expenditure rose by €193,000 is among the more notable figures recorded in this year’s Waterford GAA Convention Report. Ahead of Thursday night’s County Convention in Lawlor’s Hotel, delegates will no doubt be pleased to learn that a profit has been turned for the third successive year, largely attributable to the Deise’s improved inter-county hurling form.
In his Report, County Secretary Pat Flynn greeted the financial news with cautious optimism. “It is important to acknowledge that the board’s finances are in reasonable shape but there is more improvement required and this entails constant monitoring and control,” he writes.
With 3 Mobile’s sponsorship also secured for another season (the provision of WiFi at Walsh Park and Fraher Field is long overdue for those working there on match days), Pat Flynn added:
“The income from our sponsors now form an essential part of the board’s ability to finance operations in the county and indeed without that financial support our team preparations and other activities would be seriously curtailed.”
Breaking down some of the more prominent figures in this year’s report, season ticket income rose from €34,000 in 2015 to €45,000, with an additional €13,000 generated through sponsorship this year.
Fundraising activities brought in €104,829, doubling the 2015 figure, an increase which moreorless equates to the surplus recorded over the year, hence, one suspects, Pat Flynn’s cautious assessment.
The running costs of our inter-county teams totalled €812,582, representing an increase of €148,097 on the previous year’s figure.
Maintaining the Senior Hurling panel accounted for €473, 307 (2015: €362,492), the Senior Footballers cost €138,526 (2015: €130,892) while €71,709 was invested in the All-Ireland winning Under-21 Hurlers (2015: €49,168).
The receipts for both Senior Club Championships also make for interesting reading, despite the lingering sense that requiring five rounds to reduce 12 teams to 8, particularly in football, lacks a real sense of drama.
The Senior Hurling Final alone took in €26,340, while the entire Senior Football Championship generated €32,300, with the Final accounting for €11,995 of that.
However, and somewhat surprisingly, the SFC figure represented an increase of almost €12,000 on the 2015 receipts, while the SHC tally rose by €14,000 when compared to the previous year’s total.
Writes Pat Flynn: “The championships need more competitiveness which probably means reducing the number of teams in the various championships and the numbers qualifying for the play-off stages in the competitions.
“However, we have a duty also to give our players a requisite number of games and prevent teams exiting the championship too early in the year.”
Worryingly, there were no less than 38 walkovers ceded in 2016 (30 in football, eight in hurling) with 14 of these recorded across the Minor Football Divisions.
“A real worrying development as previously mentioned was the contempt displayed by some clubs where an adult challenge match was treated more importantly than a home minor football championship fixture,” he added.
Interestingly, the paranoia (be it low level or vocal) regarding both traditional and social media, which has generated headlines from other Convention Reports over the past week, is notable by its absence in the Waterford Report.