The USA have long been touted a sleeping giant of international rugby, but it appears that off-field issues could cut the nation off at the knees before it amounts to anything.
Earlier this week, USA Rugby issued a statement that confirmed rumblings that the union’s financials are in somewhat dire straits at present.
Overzealous budgeted revenue figures coupled with some excess spending have left the union staring down the barrel of a significant financial deficit for 2019.
The USAR’s statement was fairly transparent with regards to where the issues lay.
“The Men’s Eagles program leading up to and during the Rugby World Cup 2019, as well as overspends in other areas of High Performance, accounted for the majority of the 2019 loss,” the statement read.
“Compounded with legal fees attributed to defense costs in the Shoninger (PRO Rugby) and United World Sports lawsuits, USA Rugby is facing a severe budget shortfall in 2019 and cash flow challenges in 2020.”
The statement goes on to say that “corrective measures have been made, including staffing changes and cost reductions of projected activities and projects scheduled this year.”
According to USA Rugby Congress member Stephen Lewis, writing for Rugby Wrap Up, USA Eagles team managers Dave Hodges and Chris Hansen as well as Comptroller Jerry Girkin have all had their contracts terminated.
Factor in concerns surrounding Major League Rugby’s stability moving forward, with the Colorado Raptors rumoured to be pulling out of the competition at the end of the year, and it’s not the most promising time for rugby in the United States.
There have been suggestions recently that the USA could host the 2031 Rugby World Cup, however that would very much require the nation to tidy up things in their own backyard.
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