IRFU Accounts show mixed results


IRFU CEO, Philip Browne (pictured), said;
“Putting the results into context”

“The 2017/18 season was a record breaking one in terms of team and financial performance, and it is thanks to Joe Schmidt and his management team, the provincial management teams and all the players, as well as the loyal and ever increasing number of supporters who attend games, purchase merchandise and drive our teams on to winning performances”.

“The financing of the game has become increasingly important in the context of competing with international clubs who have deep pockets. Keeping our best players in our player management system has helped to deliver success
and I congratulate David Nucifora and all our provinces for making the Irish system so attractive to players”.

However despite those wonderful results, none of the hard cash is filtering down to the domestic game

The Accounts:

Total Income: €85.7M, an increase of €9M on previous year
Total expenditure: €84.5m - a net surplus of 1.2m

Income representative matches €84.2m - Other income €3m
Less loss on Joint venture €2m

95% of the total income comes from the representative matches - i.e. the professional game
There are no government grants shown in the accounts

Professional game costs 42m, Elite player development (professional) 14m = 56m
This is 68% of total expenditure
Other costs: Domestic and community rugby 10.6m, 12.6%
Administration €8.6m 10.2%
Amortisation 6m - 7%
Marketing 2m, Grounds 2.4m, Depreciation 1.3m,

Domestic and Community rugby €10.6m:

YDO / Provincial staff €3.8m,
Community rugby and other funding €2.2m.
Domestic competition €0 .3m.
Referee development € 0.5m,
Participation rugby €0.6m,
Youths and schools €0.5m
Clubs and Schools support € 1.1m - which is 10.4% of this expenditure and 1.3% of the total expenditure (compared to 68% on professional game)

Even allowing for the fact that the professional game brings in 95% of the total income- the domestic and community rugby sector should expect to benefit and receive greater financial support from the reported revenue increases.

Representative matches

International rugby: € 42.3m
Commercial income: €11m,
Deferred ticket sales: €16m
Interprovincial competition: €12.4M
Tangible fixed assets; €80M
Loan to Munster Branch: €7M
Rental income: Aviva stadium €750,000, Thomond Park €9,600

Debtors: €24.3m - sponsorship and tickets
Creditors: €21m. - Trade 16m Advance income 5M

Expenditure breakdown:
National Tours - camps and squads €1.4m
National match costs €3.8m
Player and Management costs €37.2m
Total €42.4m

Elite Player expenditure
Womens representative teams €3m
Sevens €484,000
U20’s €611,000
Academies €2.93M
High performance unit €3.3m
Total €10.8m
Referees: €573,000
Expenditure on grounds: €2.44m

Domestic and Community rugby:
2018 - €10.6m, 2017 €9.9m, 2016 €9.2m (total income was €73m in 2016)

In 2009 it was €10.5M from a total income of €57m at 18% of expenditure .(Income in 2018 was €86m-an increase of 51% on 2009)

This expenditure has held at about €10m but the percentage cost has dropped from 18% to 13% in 2018
While the cost of the professional game has jumped to 68% of total revenue - from €35m to €42m in the same period.

Domestic Downturn

This makes for disappointing reading for domestic rugby - The expenditure has remained the same while the total income has jumped ahead, for example if Domestic and community rugby had received 18% of the total costs of the Union in the 2017/2018 accounts it would have received €15m.

It looks as if the €9m winning bonus’s from the national and provincial teams is not filtering down to the club game

There is no record in the accounts of the 200 Clubs receiving extra benefit in the accounts or even the 50 Clubs in the AIL system to assist them in the upgrading and improvement of their facilities and rugby standards.
If the 50 AIL Clubs were to receive €50,000 each in grants it would cost €2.5m.

It is a prudent financial return in view of the costs of hosting the Womens Rugby World Cup given as €3 million and the estimated cost of the failed RWC bid was + €3 million.

The team results not alone saved the year but resulted in a surplus for a very well run IRFU machine. The Union’s turnover has reached €86M at April 2018 and with an exciting Guinness series in November, the Six Nations tournament to come in the spring of 2019 leading to the RWC in Japan in the autumn.

The future is looking good for Irish Rugby and I don’t think that anyone is going to get carried away as we are only as good as the last game - but we can dream.

Extract from the official statement from the AGM by the IRFU.

“The IRFU had budgeted for a deficit of over €4m for the 2017/18 season, due to the anticipated net costs of hosting the Women’s Rugby World Cup and the Rugby World Cup 2023 bid together with increasing the investment in the domestic game and the player development pathway. After posting a €2.8m loss for 2016/17 the IRFU forecasted it would not return to break-even until 2018/19”.

“However, a Grand Slam win for Ireland’s men, Champions Cup glory for Leinster and the advancement of Munster to two semi-finals resulted in significant financial improvement for the Union”.

“In one of the most successful seasons ever recorded for Irish teams, IRFU revenues rose by €9.1m (to over €85.7m) with €6.3m of this increase attributable to the international team and €2m derived from provincial team activities”.

Expenditure at national team and provincial level increased to over €42m inclusive of bonuses payable to players for international and provincial success.

“Expenditure on elite player development increased to €10.8m due to increased investment in the Academies and High Performance areas together with the net costs of hosting Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017. In total over €3m was spent on Women’s Rugby at the elite level compared with just under €2.2m in 2016/17”.

“Expenditure on the domestic game accounted for 13% of the overall spend (€10.6m, an increase of almost €0.7m from 2016/17)”.

Report by Frank Quinn