Rugby Australia posts big losses, warns of ‘significant cuts’
Sydney: Rugby Australia’s alarming financial state heading into the coronavirus shutdown was revealed Monday with the organisation posting a near Aus$10 million (US$6.0 million) deficit, not helped by a hefty payment to the sacked Israel Folau. The 2019 numbers were released as the governing body struggles to navigate a way through the COVID-19-enforced halt to sport, and with players complaining of being locked out of critical talks about their future. RA said it was unable to produce a set of audited financial accounts due to uncertainty surrounding its business into the 2020 season and beyond as revenues dry up because of the pandemic. But after its annual general meeting it reported a provisional Aus$9.4 million operating deficit, compared to a Aus$5.4 million profit in 2018. Revenues are ordinarily hit in a World Cup year, with fewer home Tests, but expenditure also increased by Aus$6.6 million. Part of the extra spend was the undisclosed settlement with Folau, a former poster boy of Australian rugby who was fired over homophobic social media posts. – AFP