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Rugby Australia forecasts $120 million loss in revenue
Rugby Australia has announced it could lose up to $120 million in revenue if the professional game, in lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, does not resume this year.
This estimate, revealed as the organisation announced it would be standing down 75% of its staff from 1st April to 30th June, is based on projections of Super Rugby and the Wallabies’ domestic Test matches being cancelled in 2020.
Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle, who revealed she was taking a 50% pay cut on Monday, said the sport would face significant financial troubles if Super Rugby did not recommence and the Wallabies' domestic Tests were postponed, advising in a statement “our extensive modelling shows that as a code we could lose up to $120 million in revenue should it not be possible for any rugby to be played in 2020.
"Of course, that is the worst-case scenario, and we are very hopeful that we can recommence the Super Rugby season and domestic Wallabies' Test matches at some point this year."
Rugby Australia, which also announced on Monday it had recorded a provisional operating deficit of $9.4 million in 2019, will, in addition to the staff stood down, see remaining staff continue with significant salary reductions or reduced hours.
Following the suspension of the Vodafone Super Rugby season after just seven rounds and with the Wallabies’ domestic Test matches in doubt, Rugby Australia has now suspended its plan to implement a five-team domestic competition, aimed at developing rugby.
Castle added “since the suspension of our proposed domestic Super Rugby competition, we have been working to understand both the immediate and long-term financial implications for the game as a result of the suspension of the competition, and potential further loss of revenue-generating content as we look ahead to the international season.
“The measures we will implement from April 1, although extremely painful, are necessary to ensure the sport remains financially viable and to ensure that we are able to come out the other side of this global crisis, fully-operational and ready to throw everything into the rebuild. It is our priority to keep all of our valued team connected and engaged through this period.
“We remain in close dialogue with World Rugby and the Australian Government around potential support for our game and are working side-by-side with our Member Unions with their State and Territory Governments to unlock some additional potential support to ensure, first and foremost, that we can continue to run our community Rugby competitions after this Coronavirus issue has finally abated.
“Not only have our Super Rugby organisations made deep sacrifices, our smaller State and Territory-based unions that are largely volunteer-run have also made significant contributions to ensure the game can go on.”
Citing "insurmountable financial constraints" due to the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, USA Rugby has this week filed for bankruptcy.
Images: Bingham Cup rugby (top) and Raelene Castle (below).
31st March 2020 - Australian Government launches $130 billion ‘JobKeeper’ wage subsidy
31st March 2020 - Rugby Australia reveals $9.4 million loss at AGM
30th March 2020 - NRL slashes costs and backs clubs through Coronavirus crisis
29th March 2020 - AFL and players agree pay-cut deal through Coronavirus shutdown
24th February 2020 - Former ARU President returns to lead game as new Rugby Australia board Chair
14th February 2020 - Queensland Country Bank Stadium to host its first Qantas Wallabies Test
4th February 2020 - Schedule and venues announced for 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup
31st January 2020 - World Rugby looks to create global tournament for emerging unions as of 2021
31st January 2020 - Paul Doorn leaves Venues NSW for Chief Executive role NSW Rugby Union
23rd January 2020 - Vodafone Super Rugby launches 25th season
3rd January 2020 - Waratahs and NSW Rugby confirm site for new centre of excellence
6th December 2019 - Rugby Australia Chief Executive says code ‘didn’t back down’ on Folau settlement
25th November 2019 - Rugby Australia takes 2020 Bledisloe Cup Test to Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium
23rd November 2019 - Rugby World Cup drives enhanced global fan interest for the first time since 2007
18th November 2019 - Cameron Clyne to step down as Chairman of Rugby Australia in 2020
6th November 2019 - Rugby Australia appoints panel to conduct post World Cup Wallabies review
4th November 2019 - SCG to again host Test rugby
17th September 2019 - Rugby Australia forms alliance to increase participation in the LGBTIQ community
9th April 2019 - Rugby Australia announces $5.2 million surplus for 2018
5th February 2019 - Rugby Australia Chief Executive enthusiastic about World League plans
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