"£50m" - RFU in HUGE financial trouble after 'careless spending' - Ruck

“£50m” – RFU in HUGE financial trouble after ‘careless spending’

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has been hit by a financial bombshell, according to reports from The Rugby Paper.

The quarterly financial report presented to the RFU Council last Friday has revealed that the organisation, once considered the richest union in the world, is in mounting fiscal peril.

The shockwaves from this revelation are expected to have far-reaching implications, threatening to sink the current RFU administration headed by chief executive Bill Sweeney and Board chairman Tom Ilube.

The report, compiled by RFU chief financial officer Sue Day, predicts a massive loss of over £40m in the 2023-24 financial year, and a loss of almost £7m for 2022-23. However, it is expected that the actual loss for 2022-23 will be in excess of £10m, as the RFU will have to pay around £5m to the Compass Group for its 45% corporate hospitality shareholding at Twickenham.

This news comes as a surprise, as Day had flagged in the last two annual reports in 2021 and 2022 that the RFU faced difficult financial challenges. However, the scale of the predicted losses has sent shockwaves through the organisation.

The financial predicament of the RFU is of significant concern, as it could leave the union in dire financial straits. The loss of such a significant amount of money will have far-reaching consequences for the organisation, including potential cutbacks to grassroots rugby, funding for clubs and competitions, and investments in the women’s game.

The RFU is one of the most prominent organisations in world rugby, with a reputation for financial stability and success. However, this latest financial report indicates that the organisation is facing unprecedented challenges. The current administration headed by Bill Sweeney and Tom Ilube will have to act swiftly and decisively to address these issues and safeguard the future of the RFU.

The financial challenges facing the RFU are symptomatic of the broader challenges facing rugby in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The suspension of matches and competitions has had a significant impact on the finances of rugby organisations worldwide.

However, the RFU’s financial difficulties also reflect the need for rugby organisations to adapt to changing circumstances, invest in new revenue streams, and ensure financial stability for the future.

Two more Premiership clubs in trouble as league’s debt topples £500m (2022/23 season)

Wasps legends Lawrence Dallaglio and Kenny Logan have revealed that two more Premiership clubs are in deep trouble after both Wasps and Worcester were suspended by the RFU.

The club have twice filed notice to get insolvency experts in to help with their debts, which run to tens of millions of pounds.

They face becoming the second side to go into administration within weeks, following Worcester Warriors last month.

Logan spent seven years with Wasps, helping them win one Premiership title and the Anglo-Welsh Cup twice.

He told talkSPORT: “There are other clubs on the verge of where Wasps are.

“The key thing now is the stakeholders getting together and thinking of the best way to move forward. 

“There are no alarm bells here. Everyone in rugby knew this was coming. 

“They’ve just waited until it fell to do something. Wasps now have to try and survive.”


#13. Exeter Chiefs – £13m

#12. Gloucester – £27m

#11. Northampton Saints £26.5m

#10. Worcester Warriors – £26.5m

Worcester Warriors flags fly in support of the club as they go through difficult times. during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Worcester Warriors and Exeter Chiefs at Sixways on 18 Sept 2022 Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK