Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

Russia game has Irish FA at a loss

Northern Ireland's home game against Russia fell foul of the weather last month
Northern Ireland's home game against Russia fell foul of the weather last month

The Irish FA is bracing itself for a major financial hit after the postponement of last month's World Cup qualifier against Russia.

Accounts due to be published ahead of June's AGM are expected to reveal a huge loss of £500,000 for the year 2012-13 – one of the biggest losses the IFA has ever suffered.

The association was already preparing to post a deficit, but that has now been exacerbated by the cancellation of the snow-hit match at Windsor Park.

Even though the match wasn't played the IFA was still left with many of the bills that they would have to pay following an international fixture, but without the income from ticket sales.

Match fees for players, hotel bills, flights and other expenses must be paid, with the IFA fortunate that there was no need for further flights as the match with Israel the following Tuesday was also at home.

There was also a substantial outlay for pitch covers in order to ensure that the Israel match wasn't also postponed.

Although the tickets for the March game against Russia will remain valid for the rearranged fixture in August, that money has had to be held back in order to cover potential refunds.

The collapse of JJB Sports – the IFA's former retail partners – has also had a decisive impact on the association's income.

The online shop is no longer operational and has been down since JJB went out of business last October.

Sales and distribution of the new adidas Northern Ireland kit and merchandise have also failed to hit projected targets.

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