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Taranaki Rugby Union confirms financial restructuring

Taranaki Rugby Union confirms financial restructuring
May 18, 2020

The financial troubles of the Taranaki Rugby Football Union is to see the body restructured with a number of jobs at risk.

Partially caused by the closure of Yarrow Stadium and compounded by the Coronavirus crisis, on Friday Taranaki Rugby Football Union (TRFU) Chief Executive, Laurence Corlett confirmed the body was looking at restructuring.

Describing the current period as a "difficult period for rugby in New Zealand", Corlett explained “it is a very challenging time for our organisation as it is for many others around the country.

"Unfortunately, due to the issues with Yarrow Stadium, we entered this lockdown period already compromised financially."

As reported by Stuff, New Zealand’s Ministry of Social Development website shows the TRFU is currently heavily reliant on the wage subsidy scheme to get through.

It has received $148,903.20 in subsidies for 24 employees while Taranaki Rugby Promotions Ltd, 100% owned by the union, received $184,140 for 27 employees up until 12th May.

Corlett said the Union had been in discussions with staff about the potential changes, adding “it has been a consultation period for the last week and a half.

"We have taken a lot of feedback on board, and we haven't made a decision yet."

The Union was already in financial trouble strife before the Coronavirus crisis, with 2019 accounts showing a debt of more than $800,000 after the 2018 season.

While the closure of the two main covered grandstands at New Plymouth’s Yarrow Stadium due to earthquake risk contributed as much as $565,000 towards the deficit, the union was already seeking to drastically reduce costs when the COVID-19 crisis began.

That crisis has seen the start of the Mitre 10 Cup which generates significant income for participants, pushed back more than a month.

It is now due to kick-off on 11th September, after being pushed back from early August. An amended draw is being prepared. 

Image: Yarrows Taranaki Bulls captain Mitch Brown leads out the side last year in Canterbury Sportswear sponsored kit. Image courtesy of TRFU/Canterbury Sportswear.

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