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'Challenging times' ahead for rugby as RFU reports £30m losses

By Tom Walker    27 Nov 2018
RFU invested a record £107.7m in the English game during the financial year

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has posted losses of £30.9m for 2017-18 – a year in which the national governing body also made 54 staff members redundant.

The financial statement for the year ending 30 June 2018 shows that the RFU invested a record £107.7m in the English game in the last financial year – despite income falling by £12.5m.

Outgoing CEO Steve Brown said the RFU faces 'testing times' ahead.

"Looking back, 2017-18 clearly marks a transition point for the RFU, as it moves from a period of high growth and investment in the game to a more challenging time," Brown said.

Chair Andy Cosslett added that the sport's landscape was "rapidly changing" – and that the organisation must adapt to the changing tide.

This will include the need to reduce RFU's level of annual investment in rugby from the current average of £100m to around £95m.

"Over the past few years we have enjoyed revenue growth in a buoyant sports market," he said.

"During this period of exceptional growth we've been able to increase significantly the amount of investment going back into the game, while maintaining the sound financial position of the Union.

"The situation, though, is changing. Market conditions have been getting tougher and it is clear we can no longer rely on the predictable uplifts in revenues we have seen in recent years.

"As a result we are taking action now to cut our cost base to a more sustainable level and reinforcing our financial disciplines."

The publication comes a week after CEO Steve Brown announced he would be stepping down as after just 14 months in the role.

He insisted that the decision was unrelated to the financial losses of the past year.

To download and read the RFU's annual financial report in full, click here.

The Rugby Football Union  RFU  Steve Brown  Andy Cosslett 
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