Massive Boost For Irish Rugby Thanks To Improved On-Field Performances
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A big season for Irish Rugby.
The 2016/17 Irish Rugby season will live long in the memory. It began with a tragic loss of a coach and former player in Anthony Foley, but grew into a super season on the pitch for the provinces and the national side.
A first win over the All Blacks in 111 years during the November series was followed up with a win over the Wallabies in Dublin and some excellent Champions Cup runs for both Munster and Ireland.
A famous win in Dublin over England meant a 2nd place finish in the Six Nations and top band seeding in the Rugby World Cup draw for the first time in history. As a result, Irish Rugby has reaped the rewards financially.
A 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. 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.
“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.”