British & Irish Lions
Home nations want a fair share of Lions profits
June 19, 2013
Money spinner ... but not for the home unions © Getty Images
The cash-strapped Welsh Rugby Union is leading calls for the profits from Lions tours to be more evenly distributed rather than the bulk being retained by the host country.
WRU boss Roger Lewis told the BBC that the home nations were entitled to a bigger share. "The majority, by a country mile, of the revenue generated goes to the host country, so in this case it's Australia," he said. "For the home unions, the shareholders of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, the numbers are relatively modest. "You are in the low figures of millions to be shared between the four of us. So it is not a significant revenue generator."
It is estimated the current Lions tour will generate around £40 million with the Lions only earning about £6 million, the bulk coming from sponsorship deals.
"The first thing is to understand all of the dynamics around [a Lions tour]," Lewis said. "I know the British and Irish Lions are doing that themselves and understanding what their costs are and the benefits. It's something that does need to be looked at now because the game has taken off since the last great Lions win in '97.
"In 2001, 2005 and 2009 it was very different from the world we are in now, so the world has moved on and now is the time to look at it afresh."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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