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IRFU Publish Blueprint For Sustainable Clubs

IRFU Publish Blueprint For Sustainable Clubs

The Irish Rugby Football Union today published a Club Sustainability report, developed after almost two years of consultation and consideration with clubs, which will introduce a series of new regulations aimed at promoting and developing the domestic game at all levels.

The Club Sustainability report addresses club concerns that a culture of ‘pay to play’ has developed in the game, which is not in the best interests of Irish rugby.

It is evident that significant expense was and continues to be incurred by clubs in order to remain competitive in what are, essentially, domestic competitions.

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The report will require all clubs to:

  • Adhere to the participation criteria for competitions
  • Discontinue transfer payments and inducements
  • Seek formal approval before fielding transferred players
  • Discontinue the practice of payments for playing
  • Discontinue direct payments to players from third parties/sponsors 
  • Detail all player expenses in annual club accounts

The IRFU’s Scott Walker, director of rugby development and club game, said: “The domestic club game is the bedrock of Irish rugby and securing its future is essential.

“Clubs and individuals have voiced their concerns and it is accepted that steps need to be taken to ensure that two fundamentals, volunteerism and loyalty, are protected and encouraged.

“Payments to players became commonplace during our ‘boom’ years and this practice has put significant financial pressure on many clubs with resources being diverted from crucial areas. The changes introduced by this reports will protect and develop the domestic game.”

Ian McIlrath, chairman of the Working party, added: “The IRFU Committee has accepted that change is necessary and that implementation of the proposals in the report will be in the best interests of Irish rugby.”

Download a copy of the IRFU Sustainable Club report.