English Rugby
RFU post record financial results
ESPNscrum Staff
November 21, 2011
England and Scotland contest a line-out at a packed Twickenham, England v Scotland, Six Nations, Twickenham, England, March 13, 2011
Twickenham hosted three Six Nations matches in 2011 © Getty Images

The Rugby Football Union has posted record financial results despite a season blighted with backroom strife.

Despite recent uncertainly behind the scenes, for their business year from July 1, 2010, to June 31, 2011, revenue increased by £24.3million from £112million to £136.3million. Operating profit for the year was £40.6million, an increase of £14.8million on the profit of £25.8million recorded for 2009-10. The retained profit for the year was £8.7million compared to a retained loss of £1.1million in 2009-10.

The growth is mainly driven by the match programme with increases also witnessed in most other revenue streams, especially broadcasting, sponsorship and hospitality. "In a year which presented many challenges, this is a significant achievement," said acting chief executive Martyn Thomas. "The RFU's record revenues mean that the game benefits because although the union works to maximise profits, unlike a PLC we then invest this in the sport.

"These results put us in a very strong position for the lead-up to Rugby World Cup 2015 which will bring a unique opportunity to grow the game nationwide, while creating a lasting legacy."

Any comfort taken from the balance sheet will be only fleeting as the RFU continue their mission to reverse the upheaval that has been so well publicised. Martin Johnson's resignation as England manager last week following a disappointing and controversial World Cup has placed the national team in limbo.

The RFU are also searching for a new chief executive, while director of elite rugby Rob Andrew has been strongly criticised for his refusal to step down after presiding over the demise of three England coaches. For all the setbacks on and off the field, however, the RFU have managed to remain in robust financial health.

"The results are reflective of a solid financial and commercial base embedded over the past few years," chief financial officer Stephen Brown added. "Securing record revenues and operating profit is particularly relevant for the current season when Twickenham Stadium has no autumn internationals and only two Six Nations matches.

"The strength of the RFU's balance sheet continues to grow and we will be in a position to comfortably repay the bank loan used to develop Twickenham Stadium's South Stand by December 2012."

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