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Irish Rugby announce change in funding model

By Josh Raisey
Ireland captain Peter O'Mahony, right, and Tadhg Furlong lift the Six Nations trophy after the Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship match between Ireland and Scotland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The IRFU have announced a change to a “simpler, more transparent, more equitable” funding model whereby provinces pay up to 30 per cent of a player’s national contract.

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Following a review of the current funding model which began in September 2023, the IRFU have announced that a number of changes will be implemented from the beginning of next season.

These changes have all received the support of the four provinces.

It was also confirmed that approximately €40 million will be provided by the IRFU to the provinces in what they describe as a “more transparent and equitable basis”.

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The ultimate goal is to ensure the success of Ireland’s men’s national team, which generates 80 per cent of IRFU annual revenues.

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“Last year, I announced a review of our funding model and today I am pleased to announce that this review has been completed,” IRFU CEO Kevin Potts said.

“With 80% of the Union’s income derived from our men’s national team, it is imperative that we protect that income at all costs as it is essential to delivering our expanding women’s rugby programme and ongoing support of our domestic game.

“At the heart of our existing model is the central control of player contracting and management, which is admired by many. A key change to the funding model will see provinces contribute up to 30% of the cost of a national contract for their players, with this level to be reviewed annually.

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“We hear loud and clear from our players that Ireland is the best place for them to play rugby, owing to our exceptionally high player welfare standards and game management, and that is something of which we are immensely proud. The strength of rugby in Ireland is aligned to having four healthy, competitive provinces and the IRFU remains committed to delivering this in a financially sustainable manner.

“In essence, this new model is simpler, more transparent, more equitable and delivers better incentivisation and alignment. We will however continue to review the model annually which will also need to take account of the pending release of new strategic vision for rugby in Ireland. I would like to thank all the provinces for their support and participation in this review and we look forward to implementing these changes for the betterment of rugby in Ireland.”

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7 Comments
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Bull Shark 32 days ago

Sounds like the start of money problems in Ireland.

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