Offaly GAA chairman Michael Duignan.
THE Offaly GAA finances have witnessed a dramatic turnaround in fortunes with a budget surplus forecasted for their 2021 financial year.
The County Board experienced a whopping deficit of €259,983 on their day to day running in 2020, a loss brought about because of Covid-19 lockdowns and spectators not being allowed at games.
While full attendances are still not permitted, growing numbers have been allowed attend in recent months and this is a factor in what is expected to be a much rosier financial picture at Offaly GAA Convention later this year with a surplus of €77,464 expected.
In a financial report presented to a meeting of the Offaly GAA County Board on Tuesday night, treasurer Dervill Dolan outlined that their budgeted surplus of over €77,000 will be reduced to a projected profit of €26,964 when depreciation and development fund income are recognised.
The dramatic turnaround is further demonstated by the figures for the first six months of the board's financial year. For the six months ended April 30 2021, the board's income and expenditure accounts had a surplus of €108,173 compared to a shocking deficit of €371,357 for the same period last year.
Mr Dolan revealed that the proceeds of the Grand Canal Walk (over €200,000 was raised for this with partipants splitting donations between the board and their own club), sponsors, the club levy and Government/Central GAA funding represented the majority of their income. No gate income was received in this period but costs are lower than 2000 as “significant County Team training and administration costs and Ground Upkeep and Maintenance costs were incurred after April 2021 compared to 2020. Our county teams returned to training in mid April and significant County team administration and training costs were incurred in the period from May to August 2021.”
He revealed: “The Balance Sheet position at 30th April, 2021, has improved on our closing position last October with the net cash shortfall reduced from €96,966 to €26,127.”
The board's financial year will end on September 30 2021 and a budget was postponed until July when they received clarity on funding supports from central GAA bodies and restrictions on return to play. With county finals, big knockout championship matches and other club fixtures allowed to have more spectators in the coming weeks, the board now have an optimistic outlook.
Mr Dolan stressed: “While there is still uncertainty in the numbers presented due to Covid-19 restrictions, a best estimate based on current understanding has been made.”
The total budgeted income is t €1,075,218 and total expenditure is budgeted at €997,754. Mr Dolan revealed that this €77,464 surplus is required to repay the loan they have from Croke Park – Croke Park took over the board's debt on O'Connor Park some years ago.
Mr Dolan also provided a concise outline of the impact Covid-19 restrictions have had on the GAA in 2020 and 2021:
• 2020 - Directed that all GAA activities cease on 13/3/2020.
• Matches resumed in OCP on 17/7/2020 (No gate - Schools final). • Directed that all GAA activities cease again in August 2020.
• Offaly lockdown extended for a further 3 weeks into Sept 2020. • 2021 - Directed that all GAA activities cease in Jan/Feb/March up to mid-April 2021.
• No attendances initially – Gates then restricted to a maximum of 500 – OCP (O'Connor Park, Tullamore)/Birr.
• Gates were also restricted for matches at club venues - 100/200.
• Significantly reduced shop and signage income in OCP.
• Maintenance costs on-going and continuing in OCP and FF (Faithful Fields, Kilcormac) throughout restricted periods.
• Total losses - Offaly GAA accounts - 2020 - €259,983
• OCP losses in 2020 - €167,907 (2019 - 66k).
• 2020 - 75% of OCP Rent paid - €42,184 (before CPI).
• 2021 - 75% of OCP Rent paid - €43,407
Meanwhile a committee has been set up to review the levies that clubs must pay for the redevelopment of O'Connor Park. Brendan Jennings is the chairman of the Levy Review Commuittee, the treasurer is Sinead Daly and the club representatives are John Longworth (Tullamore), Kevin Roe (Clara), Liam Hackett (Ballycumber), Brendan Spillane (Kilclonfert), Patrick Kelly (Lusmagh) and John Foy (Clonmore Harps).
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