Bath Rugby say they aim to have 50 percent homegrown players by 2023.
The club laid out the strategy as they reported a revenue growth and increased investment in its 2018 financial statements, despite a reported loss after tax of £3.1m.
A statement reads: “The Club saw a 7% rise in year on year revenue to £19.8m driven by an increase in central income relating to the new four-year domestic broadcast deal with BT Sport which runs through to the 2020/21 season, together with increased corporate and ticketing revenues at the Club.
“The Club’s continued commitment to invest in the long term manifested itself in a 90% increase in Academy expenditure in 2017/18, as part of an overall strategy to develop a first-team squad of at least 50% homegrown players by 2023.”
Premiership clubs are incentivised to produce homgrown playes under the RFU agreement and through added salary caps entitledments. In recent years both Exter Chiefs and Saracens – currently the league’s most successful clubs – have both benefited from the producing more homegrown players.
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“The investment into the Academy helped further strengthen and develop key player pathway partnerships with local schools and the University of Bath which are now delivering a rich vein of future talent in the academy system. Over the past 24-months Bath Rugby has seen its academy contingent in all age groups place higher in the 2018/19 competitions than ever before.
“The increased commitment to develop its pathway and its people within it, has been recognised at a national level with eight Bath Rugby pathway players recently representing England in the U18 and U20 Six Nations squads.”
The club’s new stadium is also on the way.
‘The Club continued to make significant progress towards the submission of a planning application for an exceptional new 18,000 capacity stadium in the heart of Bath providing a regenerated riverside and community facilities for all. These facilities will include a 40,000 square foot riverside park and a broader social legacy which provides a learning academy supporting over 200 young adults not in education, employment or training each year to achieve BTEC level qualifications.
“It is noted that the Club’s current facilities, comprising temporary stands and ancillary facilities, cost in the region of £1 million per annum to operate.
“These investment decisions, along with the on-going operating costs for a temporary stadium, contributed to an “EBITDA” trading loss for the year of £1.3m (2017: £0.8m).
The reported loss after tax of £3.1m (2017: £2.5m) accounts for a significant depreciation charge which will reduce in future seasons.
Chief Executive Tarquin McDonald commented: “Our stated ambition remains to be challenging for honours at both the domestic and European levels and these results reflect the continued long-term investments being made in order to achieve that goal.
“Whilst performances remain inconsistent and below the expectation that we and our supporters desire, we remain focused on investing for the future. Our people, our development pathway, and an amazing new home for our supporters in the heart of Bath remain at the core of our plans.”
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