THE ongoing Covid situation has impacted substantially on the Cork County Board’s revenue account for the year ended October 31, 2020.
In a very comprehensive financial report delivered by County Board treasurer, Diarmuid Gowen it was revealed that gate receipts, in particular, were reduced considerably from the previous year, going from €825, 664 in 2019 down to just €178,183 in 2020.
That, of course, was fully expected given that the bulk of the major games were played behind closed doors or if not with just a few hundred present because of the guidelines laid down by the HSE and by the Government.
The share of the national leagues was down quite a lot too, going from €169,232 in 2019 to just €78,628 in 2020.
Commercial income was down too, being €639,500 in 2019 to €616,500 in 2020.
The County Board’s expenditure was reduced too with match expenses for 2020 just €92,288 as against €407,976 for the previous year.
Inter-county teams expenses were €1,171,084 for 2020 as against €1,627,483 for 2019.
Coaching and Games Development (youth) were impacted significantly too, just €198,701 for this year as against €1,237,013 in 2019.
The total expenditure for the year was €1,824,117, reduced substantially from €3,871,426 for the year 2019.
The Cork GAA members draw yielded a surplus of €246,136 as against €160,072 in 2019.
Meanwhile, in a very comprehensive report to the annual convention. County Secretary Kevin O’Donovan had warm words of praise for outgoing chairperson Tracey Kennedy who has completed three years in the post.
“Over the past nine years as an officer, particularly in the past three in the driving seat of the chair, you have been a constant force for change in the organisation, not just in terms of ideas but in the approach and determination to allow all voices to be heard.
“I have no doubt the seeds you have sown in terms of championship reform, the football plan, the appointment of team managements, the formation of One Cork and the steadying of the ship in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, among many other initiatives, will bear a fruitful dividend for members in the years to come.
“We have no doubt that you will continue to be closely involved with Cork GAA to see the benefits."
Mr O’Donovan speaks very positively too on the significant changes made to the county championships which, he said, were a much-needed shot in the arm.
“The introduction of group stages, relegation and reduced teams per grade resulted in greater quality and quantity of games.
“The absence of crowds meant that many relied on the great service provided by the Examiner in terms of streaming.
“Indeed the standard seen in the closing stages of all the competitions was testament to the improvement in players when given access to regular, meaningful games."
On the financial front, he spoke frankly and stated that the effects of the pandemic were sorely felt in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
“The restrictions on games, meetings, events and concerts meant a severe financial hit at a time when a new approach endeavoured to activate the commercial potential of the stadium.
On the inter-county front, he said that progress was seen at senior level in football l but a solid campaign in Division 2 of the NFL next season will be vital.
On the Cork senior hurlers, he stated that the team never got to grips with the fire and passion of Waterford and the final scoreline of 1-28 to 1-24 was perhaps kind in the end.
He praised the team’s efforts in defeating Dublin but stated that hard work lies ahead.
“A number of changes in both personnel and attitude followed after the loss to Waterford and this immediately paid dividends with a stirring victory over Dublin giving some hope of a fork in the road for Cork hurling.
“While defeat followed against Tipperary, there was enough evidence in the final two games that perhaps the penny has dropped in terms of how far off the top table we find ourselves at present.
“And yet, given the recent improvements at underage levels and hopefully a better quality player emerging from the club game over the next few years, the path back to the top could be accelerated with a renewed focus on the fervent application required to play at the highest level.
“We thank Kieran Kingston and colleagues/players for their service this year and we look forward to supporting him in the many tasks urgently required in order to re-establish Cork hurling to where it belongs.”