- RFU reports record rugby investment of £107.7m
- View the RFU Annual Report 2017/18
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) Annual Report and Accounts for 2017/18 is published today. The report highlights record rugby investment of £107.7 million. This includes investment in the professional game and community game, and represents an increase of 8% year on year.
In 2017/18, revenues were £172.4 million. As expected, these revenues were lower than 2016/17, driven largely by the impact on ticket and broadcasting revenues of fewer home matches at Twickenham. As a result, profit before rugby investment reduced 11% year on year to £83.3 million. Combined with an exceptional cash gain of £31.6 million from the restructure of the RFU’s holding in Twickenham Experience Limited (TEL) this enabled rugby investment of £107.7 million - £70.7 million in the Professional Game and £37 million in the Community Game. Investment in the Community Game grew for the seventh consecutive year.
For accounting purposes, the exceptional cash gain cannot be recognised in the Profit and Loss Account (P&L), but instead appears in the Profit and Loss Reserve. Therefore, the P&L shows all of the outgoing investment in rugby as expenditure, but none of the £31.6 million of incoming cash from the exceptional cash gain.
As a result, an operating loss of £30.9 million is reported, with the exceptional cash gain of £31.6 million recorded through the P&L reserve, increasing reserves during the year to £25.1 million.
Overhead expenses, which include all administration and non matchday stadium costs decreased £1.1 million year on year, despite an increase in depreciation and a provision for staff restructuring.
Click here to read the full report, and the highlights of the 2017/18 year.
RFU Chairman Andy Cosslett commented: “The RFU’s purpose is to encourage rugby and it’s values to flourish across England. This is a demanding objective that relies on the support of all those involved in the game, and considerable financial investment.
"During the last few years, the RFU has enjoyed exceptional revenue growth and we have been able to significantly increase the amount of investment going back into the game, while maintaining the sound position of the Union.
“The situation though is changing – market conditions have been getting tougher and it is clear we can no longer rely on the predictable uplifts in revenues we have seen in recent times. 2018/19 will be a pivotal year as we take action to reset our financial base.
"With the opening of the new East Stand and preparations for rugby World Cup 2019 in full swing, there is also much to look forward to, and I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and continued dedication to the Union and to our great game ”
RFU Chief Executive Office Steve Brown commented: “The financial position of the RFU is sound. We have a healthy cash position, robust contracted revenues and a good balance sheet. 2017/18 was a transition point for the Union as it moves from a period of high growth and investment in the game, to a more challenging time.
"As a result, rugby investment is likely to come down from the over £100 million averaged over the past three years, to around £95 million per year – still a very substantial sum, but one we need to adjust to in 2019/20 and beyond.
“It has been both a challenging and rewarding year, where we invested significantly in the game and commenced plans to ensure our capability to do so for many years to come ”