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So you want to go to Twickenham?
Discussion started by Paul Ingleston (IP Logged), 12 June, 2020 22:55
Paul Ingleston
Paul Ingleston
12 June, 2020 22:55
A letter from Bill Sweeney following today’s virtual RFU AGM. The letter is as follows:

12th June 2020

Good afternoon,

You will be aware from previous communications that the RFU, like all other Unions, NGBs and businesses, is facing a challenging few years in responding to, and recovering from, the impact of COVID-19. We are having to make tough, and in some cases, extreme decisions to preserve the RFU, to ensure we are well placed in the future to support our lifeblood, the community game, and to give us the best chance of having winning England teams going forward.
The RFU Council met today and reviewed a range of scenarios for 20/21 season. This included the impact of the Government’s current social distancing guidelines on Twickenham Stadium’s match day operations, what the revised capacity could be and ticket allocations for a reduced capacity stadium. Of particular focus is the Quilter Autumn International Series and, possibly, the Guinness Six Nations for the 20/21 season and the subsequent impact on ticketing rights for these games. Whilst there is still a lot more detailed planning required, based on the current two metre social distancing guidelines, Twickenham’s capacity might only be 7-14% of a normal match day, i.e. just under 10,000.
The allocation of tickets to align to a reduction in stadium capacity is a challenge as over half of ticket entitlements are normally reserved for RFU member clubs and the Game’s other key stakeholders such as constituent bodies, referee societies and schools and colleges, with around 28,000 contracted to debenture holders, hospitality clients and sponsors. When assessing how tickets should be allocated we therefore considered three options:

A Proportional approach, where each group receives a similar % to current allocations;

An Income-Focused approach, which seeks to maximise revenue to protect the RFU and the future
of the Game by prioritising higher income yielding ticket groups and those with contracted rights;

A hybrid of the two approaches.

Whilst it is hard to accurately model revenues at this stage, we estimate the difference between the Proportional and Income-Focused approach to be at least £1m per game.
Given the unprecedented situation and the extreme financial pressure the RFU is consequently under, with an anticipated loss of £85m if the four planned Autumn Internationals are not played and in front of a full stadium, the RFU Council has agreed to temporarily suspend the current ticket distribution policy and entitlements and adopt the Income-Focused approach to focus on fulfilling contracted ticket groups, wherever possible, for the 20/21 season only. Once these groups have been serviced, the remaining ticket stock will be focused on RFU member clubs and the other key rugby stakeholders. It is anticipated that when a capacity of 50,000 is allowed, we will return to a proportionate allocation system.

Further details will be shared once there is confirmation on final stadium capacities and when more work has been done on the detailed allocation policy and the re-distribution process.
The RFU thanks its member clubs and the Game’s other key stakeholders for their understanding and co-operation on this matter and looks forward to reverting to normal practice and returning to a full Twickenham Stadium as soon as it is safe to do so.

Yours sincerely,

Bill Sweeney

Chief Executive Officer

12 June, 2020 23:57
Given that
1) The letter makes it clear that the RFU's primary objective is the survival of the RFU, not if the game of rugby, and
2) even before the outbreak of Covid-19 the RFU's actions have made it clear that their objective is the destruction of professional rugby outside of the Premiership, and their (in)action since then appears to have been calculated to further that aim,

I certainly would not @#$%& on a fire at HQ to put it out, let alone spend a penny to help their self-made financial crisis.

13 June, 2020 00:21
The word slimy springs to mind.

13 June, 2020 10:23
Ever since Sweeney cut funding to grass roots Rugby i vowed never to go to HQ or to purchase any England paraphernalia, I will of course always support England, but i choose not to fund them while they maintain this blinkered view of Rugby in general.

Phil Reynolds

13 June, 2020 11:53
Not interested in sending any of my money in the direction of England, Twiclenham or the RFU. It will be going in the direction of Coventry Rugby.

13 June, 2020 13:41
To answer the question: No thanks
I went to an International at Twickenham once (a good few years ago). Never again.

Sam Skennel
Egg Timer
13 June, 2020 14:06
[Quote]Given the unprecedented situation, the way we completely mismanged our finances over the last three years and the extreme financial pressure the RFU is consequently under, with an anticipated loss of £85m [/QUOTE]

There you go Bill. Added some relevant information for you, just to make it clear WHY you're in the @#$%& now.

Geoff Kennedy
13 June, 2020 14:17
I always understood that the RFU stood for Rugby Football Union, but now it seems appropriate to refer to RFU as REALLY FU**ED UP.
God be with the days when all home Unions were run by small teams of employees and officers held titles such as Honourary Treasurer etc. Back then, Unions were in touch with grass roots and the clubs were considered as being the life blood of the sport.
Now we have overpaid (in my opinion) executives who care more about their own little circle and benefits. They pay no heed to the grass roots and indeed treat them with contempt.
For far too long clubs around the country have sold their allocations of International tickets to commercial bodies in order to just survive. The men and women who give their time freely to encouage, coach and support young people into the sport, have little chance of being rewarded for their efforts by way of tickets for International matches, as a consequence.
Too many freebies for "constituent bodies (or should that be buddies)", post match dinners, overnight accommodations and travel expenses to boot.
How right was Will Carling all those years ago?
Our game is now at the crossroads once again and it is time for a complete overhaul commencing right at the top. Time to prune the out of shape tree that purports to running our sport and hand Rugby Union back to Rugby Union people.
Twickenham? Sadly not for me

John Butler
John Butler
13 June, 2020 14:27
I cannot even recall when I was last at Twickenham for an international.
For a considerable time, I have had absolutely no desire whatsoever to change that view.
As many have already said or commented upon, this bunch of overpaid individuals are doing the game we love no good whatsoever.
The above is my polite version. If I printed otherwise, I might have found myself in trouble. Frankly that is no worth risking based on who is now '' running '' England Rugby

13 June, 2020 17:28
When the average salary at the RFU is higher than the English Football League you know something is wrong. Twickenham is a corporate circus and not for your real rugby fan.

I want to make it clear, I am talking head office RFU. Not those slaving away at a local level for peanuts and probably doing a great job.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 13/06/2020 17:30 by HoboAl.

17 June, 2020 20:17
So stupid is Bill Sweeney that he clearly doesn’t realise that the statement is unabashed evidence of the wish by the RFU to continue solely to be a money making body, regardless of support structures for the game beyond the Premiership. It is extraordinary that someone so blinkered, so biased and so completely unaware of the needs of grass roots rugby clubs should be the front man for a body which is supposed to be in existence for the preservation, protection and future of our beloved game. The words “despair” and “pulling hair out” spring easily to mind.

John Butler
John Butler
18 June, 2020 09:36
But then what do we expect, Sweeney is not a rugby man in any way we know it.

18 June, 2020 17:03
John Butler
But then what do we expect, Sweeney is not a rugby man in any way we know it.

Man, job, agenda.

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