The GAA released their financial accounts for 2023 this week, and the report has showcased both positive strides and challenges for the organisation and it's members.
For example, the GAA experienced a notable decline of 13% compared to the previous year because of the lack of lucrative Croke Park concerts and the withdrawal of broadcasting partners Sky Sports and Eir. This decline amounted to a €16 million decrease in revenue.
Commercial income also took a hit, falling by €5.3 million compared to the same period in 2022. However, the GAA managed to mitigate some of the losses through its subscription-based model, GAAGO, developed in collaboration with RTÉ. Also, funding from the Irish state also saw a considerable decrease, plummeting from €14.5 million to €7 million.
Despite the revenue setbacks, the GAA managed to record a surplus of €6.5 million until September 30, 2023. Gate receipts also saw a notable increase, rising by nearly €5 million to €38.5 million. This boost was put down to the introduction of Tailteann Cup group games, which contributed significantly to matchday revenues. Notably, four full-house events at Croke Park also had a hand in this.
A significant portion of the generated revenue, approximately 83%, was reinvested back into various levels of the game. This included €5.3 million allocated to support clubs and sister associations, as well as €4 million earmarked for assisting clubs in redeveloping their facilities, pitches, and clubhouses.
"There's sufficient good will and enthusiasm from everybody involved." 🗣️
"We want it to happen. It's very complicated. It's a long-term process." 🗣️@TomasORuanaidh speaking to Director General Tom Ryan about the integration of the different Gaelic games organisations. 🏐🏑 pic.twitter.com/IVhiwWbQV7
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) February 9, 2024
County distribution witnessed a notable increase, rising by €3 million to €19.6 million. Similarly, investment in game development surged by €2.5 million to reach €13.2 million. However, disparities in funding allocation were evident, with Dublin GAA receiving the highest payments while Monaghan GAA received the lowest.
Croke Park continued to be a hub of activity, welcoming a total of 1.2 million visitors in 2023. Matchday attendance saw an uptick, reaching 948,000, while visits to the museum and skyline experiences also saw considerable increases.
This week, addressing the media, GAA Director General Tom Ryan revisited the topic of expenditure on the preparation of inter-county teams. His remarks are featured in his annual report, set to be presented at the upcoming GAA Congress in Newry later this month. An area highlighted that spending in this area nearly reached a staggering €40 million in 2023.
“In the current year, some counties have even expressed a consideration of withdrawing from certain competitions for financial reasons,” Ryan wrote.
“The trend of having backroom teams armed with numerous specialists has become the norm for all county teams—senior, U20, and minor. This is the main driver of the increased inter-county team costs, as it is paid professionals carrying out these services.
“The team doctor is now one of the few remaining professionals to typically offer their services voluntarily—ironically, the most important care we can offer a player in extreme need.”
The full report can be read here: 14742 GAA Annual Report digital (fliphtml5.com)