'It will not be easy' - WRU debt increases to over £114m
The Welsh Rugby Union’s net debt has increased to £114.4million but the group was able to record a modest profit before tax of £400,000 in its financial results for the year ending June 30, 2021.
With the coronavirus pandemic still in full force, the story of its impact can be found in WRU’s 2021 Annual Report published on Thursday.
Turnover was down to £58.1m from £79.9m in 2020 while the £17.2m increase in the group’s bank debut highlights the necessary measures taken to survive the implications of Covid-19 on sport in the country.
A CLBILS loan through Natwest and with Welsh Government support helped £34.6m to be invested into the game and the four professional regions.
But this has resulted in WRU’s net debut increasing by £38.8m to £114.4, with income down from £40.3 to £27.2m and match income decreasing from £33.0 to £22.6 while hospitality and catering income was nil due to all fixtures in the period being played behind closed doors.
Nevertheless, group chief executive Steve Phillips believes the governing body for the sport in Wales is in a “comfortable” position to move forward and rebuild.
He said: “From the players who sacrificed their home lives to join bubbles, to the volunteers in the community game who diligently followed the published pathways to returning to play and the supporters themselves – who were pioneers in the summer as they returned to Principality Stadium in their limited numbers – everyone has played their part in getting us to this stage, together.
“We have weathered what was thrown our way during YE21 and we have emerged in a place where we are comfortable to move on and rebuild our future.
“It will not be easy and for such a rebuild to be successful, we are extremely reliant on our ability to host international matches with capacity attendances at our stadium.
“This is the key economic driver which fuels the wider game and we must also have a level playing field against our colleagues and competitors within the tournaments in which our professional teams participate.”
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