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RFU Statement- Covid-19 , CEO Bill Sweeney
Discussion started by Paul Ingleston (IP Logged), 25 March, 2020 18:57
Paul Ingleston
Paul Ingleston
25 March, 2020 18:57
My thoughts and those of all of us at the RFU continue to be with everyone impacted by the difficult and exceptional situation we are all facing, both across the country and within our own rugby union community.
Earlier today we held a virtual board meeting and I am writing to advise you of the actions that have been agreed to offer a support package directly funded from the RFU worth £7m to provide support for community clubs in England.
IMPACT
To support clubs we are today announcing that the RFU will be providing a £7m relief package for community clubs. The package includes monies ring fenced and diverted for the community game as well as additional funding. These measures include:
• An early release of £800,000 cash due to clubs through the ticketing fund.
• Early release of final funding payments (£600,000) to Constituent Bodies and suspension of the activity plans against which this was allocated, enabling them to utilise this to provide “immediate support grants” to clubs most in need. In addition £400,000 will be made available to Constituent Bodies who elect to match fund from their own reserves.
• A suspension of the Quarterly loan repayments for clubs with outstanding loans due in April (£335,000).
• The creation of a £5m support loans programme, offering loans of between circa £2k and circa £10k to clubs, with deferred re-payments for six months and repayable over three years.
We will be providing more details on this financial package in the coming week. We will also be issuing regular club recovery updates with practical advice on how government grants can be accessed as well as other business management advice.
We welcome government interventions which will provide business rate holidays and grants for clubs.
The RFU will continue to provide a free helpline to assist clubs with legal and tax related matters: [www.englandrugby.com]
Significant progress has been made on the process for considering the implications of ending the season early. We will ensure a fair and balanced outcome for the game and are now committed to update on this by the middle of April.
No one can predict every possible outcome of the COVID-19 outbreak particularly with regard to the duration of this crisis and we are managing in the unknown. We have modelled three potential scenarios and are working on an assumption based on a medium term impact with a view to a return to rugby in the autumn. We will continue to monitor against this assumption and review and revise planning where necessary.
The RFU had budgeted for a loss making year within a four year cycle due to the costs of the 2019 RWC campaign and hosting only two home Six Nations games. The loss will now be considerably more as we face challenges similar to businesses across the country.
The RFU’s biggest asset is also a major cost and the closure of Twickenham Stadium has a significant impact on the revenues we can generate to re-invest back into the game. In that sense we are like every other club in the Union, when we do not stage matches and events we do not generate revenue.
Based on our planning assumption we estimate RFU revenue losses over the next 18 months to be approximately £45-£50 million and have a firm plan in place to mitigate this. The RFU Executive Team will be taking a cut in remuneration in excess of 25%. In addition, combined Board fees will be reduced by 75%.
WELFARE
We are continuing our support to ensure colleagues and communities are given help to follow government advice and are providing recommendations on how to stay fit and healthy and a range of new content will be made available to players and fans across our social media channels.
We are discussing with government and the NHS the role the RFU and Twickenham Stadium can play in providing volunteers as well as support for the NHS including accommodation, parking and meal provisioning.
I am confident that rugby will play a big role in energising communities across England after this difficult period. In the meantime, we are working hard with the wider rugby community to take the necessary measures to safeguard a financially resilient Union so that we can.

Sam Skennel
Egg Timer
26 March, 2020 08:40
RFU losses have happened over the last three or four years anyway - ourely and simply through p!ss p00r management and overinflated wages for those on the gravy train.

My old mate Clive Norling who happens round here from time to time has seen it even more closely than I, so the "feel sorry for us" from Sweeney cuts little or no sway with me, especially as they've almost been shamed into the action by the fgar more supportive WRU and SRU.

MESSAGES->author
Peter Redhead
29 March, 2020 18:09
Quote:
Egg Timer
RFU losses have happened over the last three or four years anyway - ourely and simply through p!ss p00r management and overinflated wages for those on the gravy train.
My old mate Clive Norling who happens round here from time to time has seen it even more closely than I, so the "feel sorry for us" from Sweeney cuts little or no sway with me, especially as they've almost been shamed into the action by the fgar more supportive WRU and SRU.

Completely agree, years of mismanagement and over inflated salaries combined with the catastrophic mismanagement of the Twickenham Stand Developement have caused more harm to the finances of the RFU.
This is compounded by the RFU bowing down to the Premiership Clubs, who wag the tail of the dog, and now CVC who dictate where and how their sponsorship monies are to be directed.
The board have finally taken a position over salaries and expense accounts which is by far too little and too late.

covkid53
covkid53
29 March, 2020 21:47
The RFU should never budget for a loss just because of only 2 six Nations home games. That year should be their break even base line, not a below zero option, they should never run an annual deficit.

Inflated salaries and grandiose plans are the root cause of their financial problems.

Mick J Shaw
Mick J Shaw
29 March, 2020 23:35
Quote:
covkid53
The RFU should never budget for a loss just because of only 2 six Nations home games. That year should be their break even base line, not a below zero option, they should never run an annual deficit.
Inflated salaries and grandiose plans are the root cause of their financial problems.
Especially with their ticketing prices something like £80 the cheapest ticket


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