By Clare MacNamara

Tha GAA’s Financial Report for 2018 shows that average attendances decreased by 18% across the Championship series.

The new Championship structures, which included the introduction of the Super 8s in Gaelic football, added an additional two games, bringing the total to 47 across both codes.

The report also outlines a significant decline in gate receipts - down by 14% - bringing in €29.6m down from €34.4m in 2017.

The report says the decrease can be partly attributed to the fact that there were two major replays in 2017 with just one in 2018. There was a 23% decrease in gate reciepts for the football championship.

Central Council’s combined revenues show a marginal decrease, down 1% from €64.4 million in 2017 to €63.5 million in 2018.

A record €19.3m was spent on Games Development and Player Welfare last year.

GAA finance director Ger Mulryan said the association’s finances were in rude health.

"It is with a high level of confidence that our members can be assured that the Association enters the coming year in a solid financial state," he said.

"Our balance sheet is strong and there are no third-party borrowings. Loan balances owed to Central Council from our units are sizeable at €33m, but most importantly this loan book is performing, and repayments are on track.

"Our common objective is to deliver the adequate resources to seamlessly allow all our units to develop and prosper.

"In conclusion, our financial well-being is due as always to the tireless dedication of thousands of club and county treasurers nationwide. Their role is a difficult but valued one.

"The Association is also indebted to the members of the National Financial Management Committee, National Audit & Risk Committee and National Risk & Insurance Committee for their hard work, insight, support and expertise.

"It is thanks to the hard work and expertise of all these people that I am pleased to be able to report favourably on Central Council’s 2018 financial results, and to look forward to exceeding expectations in 2019."