Munster Rugby AGM Financial Update
8th June 2017 By The Editor
The Munster Branch Annual General Meeting took place at UCC last night with club representatives from around the province in attendance.
In line with figures forecast at least year’s AGM, financial accounts for year ending 30th June 2016 showed a cash-flow deficit of €1.93M. However, the current financial projection for year ending 30th June 2017 predicted a cash-flow surplus of €310K, a marked improvement on the budgeted breakeven.
In presenting the financial update at last night’s AGM, Munster Rugby Head of Finance and Operations, Philip Quinn, discussed the main drivers behind the expected improvement year-on-year with gate income increasing by €2.05M on the 2015/16 season.
The Maori All Blacks game in November and home knock out games in both the Champions Cup and Guinness PRO12 accounted for most of the gate income increase. Although much of this was directly offset by associated match costs, regular season income also improved with seven sell-outs across Cork and Limerick. Taking both Maori and Toulouse encounters into account, Munster enjoyed a total of nine capacity crowds in 2016/17, a new record for the province.
As a consequence, tickets sales for Thomond Park and Irish Independent Park rose by 52% to 305,000, attendances increased from 124,000 to 243,000, with the attendance rate climbing from 62% to 80% of tickets sold. This in turn benefitted ancillary revenue streams such as bars, catering, hospitality and match programmes.
Additionally, as part of a long term investment to promote the game among younger supporters, Munster allocated just shy of 5,000 reduced priced Junior tickets to every Thomond Park game in 2016/17.
Professional team costs continue to rise, primarily due to inflationary player wage increases and injury cover during the season, while the successes on-field saw an upsurge in player win bonuses and incentives. Much of the latter was however offset by ensuing sponsorship bonuses and a significant increase in funding from the IRFU who Munster continue to work closely with.
In conclusion, Quinn also cited improved kit and retail partnerships with adidas and Life Style Sports, and Munster Rugby Commercial Board initiatives – including the Patrons Programme – as substantial financial drivers in the 2016/17 season.
Also on the night, Charlie Buckley of UCC RFC was elected President of the Munster Branch for the incoming season.