The IRFU today thanked the Government, Ministers Catherine Martin and Jack Chambers, and Sport Ireland after it was confirmed that €18 million would be allocated to rugby from the Government’s Covid-19 Emergency Fund for Sport.
The funding, which comes after the IRFU reported a record deficit of €35.7 million at last month’s Annual Council Meeting, will greatly assist Irish Rugby continue to operate essential club, provincial and international activities in the months ahead.
Welcoming the announcement, IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said:
The funding for rugby announced today by Government and Sport Ireland is critical for the IRFU to keep rugby activities at all levels of our sport going for now for the many men, women and children who participate in or volunteer at clubs week in and week out, and for our provincial and international teams.
“As outlined to the Oireachtas Covid-19 Committee in recent weeks and confirmed in our recent annual report, Irish Rugby is in a perilous financial position as a result of Covid-19.
“While we moved quickly to reduce costs and agree cuts with our staff and players, further reductions and actions are under constant review as we move from a relatively strong cash position just 18 months ago to facing ongoing record losses in 2020 and on into 2021.
“We are very grateful for the ongoing support shown to us by Government and Sport Ireland throughout this pandemic, especially with today’s vital funding announcement.
We also acknowledge the support of our sponsors and loyal patrons who have invested in ten- and five-year tickets.
“This support is vital if Irish Rugby is to survive until a time where we can once again welcome our supporters, in meaningful numbers, back to the Aviva Stadium and our provincial grounds.”