Higher gate receipts helped to improve the Tipperary County Board finances, County Secretary Tim Floyd says in his annual report.
Finances have been strained in recent years, but more fans coming through the turnstiles has helped.
â€œOur early exit from both senior hurling and senior football championship before July 7 was a big disappointment, but as least it will indicate how big a bearing extended successful seasons can have on expenditure. New managers, Eamon Oâ€™Shea and Peter Creedon were very co-operative in support of any measures proposed. Eamon travelled with the officers to New York on a fundraising mission in April and his presence was instrumental in making it a success.
â€œThe most positive financial certainty at this early stage is a major increase in gate receipts of â‚¬143k to â‚¬380k, bringing income in this area back closer to our most recent best in 2009. Over the past four years, we have seen revenue from club gates drop each year from â‚¬425k in 2009 to â‚¬323k in 2010, to â‚¬263k in 2011, to â‚¬237k in 2012. So this is a welcome boost in difficult times, but what has caused this surprisingly dramatic turnaround in our gates?
I believe it is one or many of the following reasons:
The early exit of our Tipperary S.H. team from the championship gave supporters a different focus and with budgets tight, it freed up money that would otherwise have been spent in previous years on trips to Croke Park.
The exceptional weather during the summer when club games were played, brought out the crowds.
The exit of favourites Drom & Inch and Thurles Sarsfields early in the senior hurling championship opened up the championship and the freshness of new teams with the prospect of new county champions brought a sense of excitement and anticipation.
The bonus of a Co SH semi final replay between Nenagh Eire Ã“g and Kildangan.
The change in our Co SH leagues to Challenge Cups which involved a knock-out/ losers element during the early part of the season.
The new format Co IH championship provided more games to the Co Board.
â€œOne of the new financial measures we introduced was putting a â‚¬25 charge on County Board match passes, which did not deter over 700 club and county officers, referees and umpires etc. from availing of this very special privilege. It brought in an additional â‚¬18,000 without causing too much pain. We also sold a County Season Ticket on its own (â‚¬120) and in conjunction with the Croke Park Season Ticket (â‚¬200).
In all, we raised over â‚¬100,000 from fundraising, including an All-County Table Quiz, a Poker Classic, a Race Evening, the New York trip and the Match Pass.
Commercial income remains solid with our team sponsor Skoda and Oâ€™Neillâ€™s Sports continuing to support us. Tipperary Spring Water, Lucozade and Thurles Milk make products available to all teams whilst our latest partner, Clean Ireland Recycling, came on board this year as a sponsor to our adult club championshipss.
Reaching the Allianz Hurling League Final proved how big a financial advantage it is to a county as it meant an extra â‚¬26k improvement on 2012. Our team expenses grant from both Munster Council and Croke Park was down this year, but was offset by a reduction in team expenditure due to our shortened seasonâ€.