RFU says Covid behind £120m drop in forecast revenue

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Twickenham Stadium. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Twickenham Stadium. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

England's governing Rugby Football Union (RFU) revealed Wednesday that revenue for the financial year 2020/21 stood at £120 million ($160 million, 143 million euros) less than pre-coronavirus forecasts.

Reported revenue is £97 million, down from £167 million in the previous year.

An underlying loss to reserves of £21.3m is £30m worse than pre-Covid forecasts.

But the RFU, which welcomed back capacity crowds of 82,000 to its Twickenham headquarters for this month's England internationals, said financial stability had been achieved through a combination of 119 redundancies, a debenture donation and emergency backing from the British government.

Long one of rugby union's wealthiest national governing bodies, the RFU received £2.3 million from the government's coronavirus job retention scheme and £2.25 million in business rates relief.

Investment in professional rugby for the year totalled £40.3 million in the year under review compared to £66.4m in the previous year.

"This 150th year of the RFU has been an immensely challenging one for the union and our sport," said Bill Sweeney, the RFU's chief executive, in a statement issued after the publication of the governing body's annual report.

"We have worked harder than ever before to support the professional and community game though the pandemic, with a clearly focused strategic plan to ensure we deliver real benefit and support to the game.

"As we emerge out of Covid, the RFU will continue to take a leadership role in reshaping and improving the game for the benefit of all involved."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
Newcastle United 0
Norwich City 0
loading... Live
South Africa A 233/7
India A 0
Voting Booth
What are your views on the World Rugby men's Player of the Year nominations for 2021 not including any Springboks?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
It's a disgrace! Both Siya Kolisi AND Eben Etzebeth should have been nominated!
39% - 5458 votes
Siya, at the very least, should have been included after a superb season
7% - 933 votes
Etzebeth has been SA's best player this year and should feel hard done by
20% - 2818 votes
Get over it! Moaning about this just sounds like sour grapes!
34% - 4668 votes
Vote