It’s well documented that the construction of the new Thomond Park put Munster in a financial hole.
Performances on the pitch have been poor in recent seasons, leading to a reduction in attendance revenue and prize money. While each province have their own revenue streams such as these, much of their funding comes by way of the IRFU.
The national team generates the bulk of the unions money [€61.7m out of €71m brought in last season] and it then spreads it out throughout various channels, including the four provinces, across the country. Munster have benefited from their usual funding from the IRFU but have needed loans in recent years to deal with spiralling costs for facilities, grounds, players and management.
Each province will get €250,000 in additional funding next season. That will not be enough to stem the flow at the Munster Branch, which is said to the IRFU €9.4m. A statement from the IRFU reads,:
‘The increase of almost €6m in player and management costs arises, in large part, from the necessity to provide against operational amounts due from the Munster Branch, in light of their current financial difficulties, together with the aforementioned additional funding for all four provinces and various other items.’
Ulster Rugby on the other hand, have repaid their loan in full for their revamp of Ravenhill, now known as the Kingspan Stadium.