The Irish Rugby Football Union today presented its 2013/14 Annual Report and Accounts, reporting a 7.3 million euro surplus due to improved GUINNESS Series ticket sales and increased prize-monies thanks to a better than 'budgeted' finish in the RBS 6 Nations Championship and another year of strong provincial performances.
This success resulted in a smaller than expected cash deficit of €1 million (versus €4.5 million in 2012/13) after non-cash items, such as depreciation and amortised income, were accounted for.
The strong financial performance will allow for increased provincial and domestic game funding and an additional €1million investment in the Union's club loan scheme.
However, Honorary Treasurer Tom Grace urged caution based on the fragility of the wider economic recovery and the potential impact of changes to 'free-to-air' broadcasting rules and possible limitations to sports sponsorships agreements.
Presenting the accounts, Grace said: "As the economy slowly finds its feet the Irish people continue to get behind their team, and we were very pleased with the increased ticket sales for the 2013 GUINNESS Series.
"Success off the pitch was matched by big performances on it and the RBS 6 Nations prize money, in particular, has provided a welcome boost.
"The 2013/14 season demonstrated once again that supporting the national team at the Aviva (Stadium) enables the IRFU to continue to make significant funds available to the professional and domestic games."
Leinster chalked up their second successive win under new head coach Leo Cullen when they hosted English Championship outfit Moseley at Donnybrook on Friday night. Check out our photos from the pre-season friendly.
Two-try hero Andrew Conway was in eye-catching form as Munster returned to winning ways against London Irish - just a week before they open the GUINNESS PRO12 at home to Benetton Treviso. Check out some photos from Friday's pre-season friendly at Irish Independent Park.
Ulster were left ruing a series of missed opportunities as unconverted tries from Tommy Bowe and Andrew Trimble were all they could muster in a 23-10 pre-season defeat to Edinburgh. Check out our photo gallery from Goldenacre.