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IRFU 2013 AGM & Annual Report

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    IRFU 2013 AGM & Annual Report

    IRFU hit by €26m shortfall in expected earnings from five- and 10-year tickets

    Less than half the 3,700 tickets put of sale for €5,500 and €9,000 were actually sold

    The IRFU last night revealed a €26 million loss in projected earnings from the sale of five- and 10-year tickets. Less than half the 3,700 tickets that recently went on sale for €9,000 and €5,500 were actually sold.

    It means the union will have to borrow to fund the professional game over the next six years, in the hope of making up the deficit with the sale of 5,000 premium level tickets in 2020.


    The 2,000 leftover tickets will now be available on a match-by-match basis.
    “We’ve been to the market and the it has said what it has said, we sold just under 50 percent of the tickets,” IRFU chief executive Philip Browne confirmed.


    The aim was to make €40 million from their sale, but only €14 million will be banked. This will force the union to borrow €25 million to keep the national and provincial squads competitive over the next six seasons.

    Reduced
    Browne also confirmed the funding of all professional squads will need to be reduced. It is unconfirmed how this will influence contract negotiations with Ireland’s best players.

    “We will all have to tighten our belts but we are going to continue to operate at the levels we are at. We will continue to fund four professional teams and the national team and the domestic game.

    “It is business as usual we are just going to have to borrow to fund that cash deficit over the next six years.”
    This all came as a surprise to the union. They had consulted 10-year ticket holders and Deloitte before setting the same price as 2003, which was a €6,000 reduction on 2010 10- year tickets.


    “I think everybody is surprised we didn’t sell as many as we hoped but that’s the nature of the economy at the moment.”
    A severance payment of €11.5 million did come from Puma after they prematurely pulled out of Irish rugby and a new short sponsor is imminent, said Browne.
    There was also a drop to a €4.5 million deficit in operating cash flow from last season’s €2.4 million surplus.


    Honorary treasurer Tom Grace didn’t try to sugar coat the union’s disappointment at last night’s AGM at the Aviva stadium.
    “It was hoped we would be debt-free by now; however, the down turn means we will have to borrow,” said Grace.
    “Overall, if there’s a message coming through here it’s that the national team is the key provider for all activities undertaken by the union.


    “Without the dividend this generates there would be no IRFU funding for provincial teams and consequently the branches would be relying on what they themselves can generate.
    “There is absolutely no doubt that times are hard but we are extremely fortunate that we have managed our cash conservatively over the last number of years. The disappointing result with the sale of 10-year tickets reflects what is happening in the economy.
    “I think, as a unit, we need to concentrate to develop again. If we don’t spend on the development of the game we can throw our hat at it,” said Grace in a speech to union members, including new president Pat Fitzgerald.

    Loss in income
    There is another loss in income expected when, or if, the ongoing negotiations with the French and English for newly structured European competitions reaches a conclusion.

    Browne was angry about what he believes is the behind-the-scenes work of the English clubs on this matter.


    “I think there is a fair degree of misinformation floating around in the media in relation to this. I think there is some pretty errant nonsense in the media, I presume it comes from the English clubs, suggesting ERC aren’t entitled to centrally sell the rights for future competitions. That is nonsense as it has been done in the past. How else do you secure your future but by selling your rights?


    “It is also strange that they take that view when they also have a shareholder on the board and were present when that decision was rightly taken.
    “It is also bizarre that Premier Rugby Ltd (English) castigated ERC for selling the rights centrally then went off and sold the rights to all matches involving English teams in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland to BT Vision without any reference to the Irish union, Scottish union, Welsh union or, I think, to the English union.”


    http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugb...kets-1.1469464

    Annual report can be downloaded from http://www.irishrugby.ie/news/29526.php

    The loan for the Aviva has gone up another €3m (from 30.5m last year to 33.5m this year).
    The IRFU invested €74.7m into the Aviva.
    The IRFU invested €5 in Thomond

    Munster debt stands at about €9.8m for Thomond Park. Munster repaid 400K (same as last year).

    #2
    So they haven't written off the debt.

    We have four years to find nine million. Or else.
    Ceterum censeo INM irrumandum esse.

    Comment


      #3
      The Union is skint,time for some to realise it.

      Comment


        #4
        I wonder if moving the Leinster v Munster game that is usually held in the Aviva in the autumn is an effort to take ticket sales competition away from the Autumn Internationals?

        Pretty lucky Puma pulled out as well. A nice handy 11.5m compensation package and a new jersey sponsor with new jersey should help as well.

        Comment


          #5
          tough times ahead for the pro game in ireland....

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by greenback View Post
            tough times ahead for the pro game in ireland....
            Those that spoke of the welsh exodus to france spoke too soon
            I always knew Madigan was a closet Scrum Half. Ignore All things that suggest Continuity.

            Comment


              #7
              How many players on the Munster books for this season? 42/43? A gigantic squad, maybe cutting some of the lesser used players from each province might be a way to save a few quid and hold on to the bigger names
              I am the million man.

              Comment


                #8
                I don't think things look too bad. They've taken a hit with the long term ticket sales but they'll get some of that money back from each match. If things were really bad they would cut funding to the provinces but thats not happening.


                After the last few years watching Ireland I wouldn't blame anyone for now renewing their 10 year tickets. A better standard of rugby and a better winning record might bring in more sales.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by dropkick View Post
                  I don't think things look too bad.
                  Things look bad.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Things are not as great as they were but not bad either. Ireland is probably the only country in the top tier that doesn't lose players to France and England. Sexton being the exception.


                    The game is looking healthy in the country. Ulster and Connacht have improved massively, Munster look to be on the up again and Leinster might be weaker this season but they have possibly the best academy in Europe to keep them going. Ireland have a top new coach as well as plenty of players coming through.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by dropkick View Post
                      Things are not as great as they were but not bad either. Ireland is probably the only country in the top tier that doesn't lose players to France and England. Sexton being the exception.


                      The game is looking healthy in the country. Ulster and Connacht have improved massively, Munster look to be on the up again and Leinster might be weaker this season but they have possibly the best academy in Europe to keep them going. Ireland have a top new coach as well as plenty of players coming through.
                      Till now we don't lose players to france. Players are not going to continue to stay here when they can pick up a lot more in france.
                      I always knew Madigan was a closet Scrum Half. Ignore All things that suggest Continuity.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Thomond78 View Post
                        So they haven't written off the debt.

                        We have four years to find nine million. Or else.
                        The loan gets extended.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Ominous. Maybe if they built a bigger stadium that wasn't half as fancy and kept ticket prices at a level at which the average joe could afford, finances may be a bit healthier. Really hope they have enough to prevent a player drain to France in the next few years. (which was going to be a problem anyway.)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by tafnat View Post
                            The Union is skint,time for some to realise it.
                            I love their disowning of the commercial decisions though. "The market has said what it's said" is a very different level of admission to "we ****ed up the pricing on a profound level".
                            "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                            "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                            "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

                            Comment


                              #15
                              While the provinces can compete to win trophies there will not be an exodus of players .

                              Comment

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