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IRFU Deficit Reduced Following Improved On-Field Performances

IRFU Deficit Reduced Following Improved On-Field Performances

The Irish Rugby Football Union announced that its planned deficit of 4.7m euro for the 2016/17 season has come in 1.9m euro under budget at 2.8m, following an improvement in the performances of the national and provincial teams.

In April 2016, the IRFU agreed to budget for a deficit of 4.7m euro to address the immediate funding difficulties facing all four provinces due to player cost inflation and the need to continue investment in the grassroots game and player development. 
This represents the first time that the Union recorded a deficit since the 2007/08 season, however, it is anticipated that the IRFU will return to a break-even situation no later than 2018/19.
IRFU Honorary Treasurer Tom Grace, speaking ahead of the Union’s annual general meeting at the Aviva Stadium today, said: “The Union and provinces had a good year off the field and this has fed into the Union’s financial result for the year with the 2.8m deficit being some 1.9m better than budgeted.

“The combination of prize money and an increase in (sponsorship) contract amounts outweighed the negative impact of exchange rates on Six Nations broadcasting income. Against budget total revenues were 2.9m ahead due to strong GUINNESS Series gates, impressive Six Nations hospitality, prize money and share of (European Cup) gates.

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“With regard to expenditure, costs increased by 8.3m euro to 79.4m due to a combination of factors. The 3.5m increase in professional games costs is due to no tour taking place in 2015/16, match costs for a full GUINNESS Series together with the Chicago match, insurance costs, player and management bonuses and increased funding for the provinces.

“It is not the Union’s usual practice to budget for a deficit and we expect to return to break-even next season, however, it is important to note that a number of the provinces will be budgeting for a deficit this season but that is not sustainable long-term and must be addressed.”

IRFU 2016/17 Annual Report