Welsh Rugby
WRU on front foot with Millennium repayments
July 21, 2010
A general view of the Millennium Stadium, Wales v England, Six Nations Championship, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff,  Wales, February 14, 2009
The WRU has restructeured its loan repayments on the Millennium Stadium © Getty Images

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has pushed forward with the repayment of their Millennium Stadium debts, organising a restructured financing arrangement.

The stadium, opened in 1999, was financed by a loan of over £60m. Now, the WRU has reduced the remaining debt from £32m to £25m thanks to a new arrangement with bankers Barclays Corporate and aims to pay off the sum by 2021.

To restructure an interest rate hedge the union paid £5m, also arranging an increase to their revolving facility - similar to an overdraft - from £10m to £15m. This allows the union to pay larger sums when they are generating income and to keep extra help in reserve if needed.

"We work extremely hard to maximise our income and it is now right and proper for us to extend that ability into a renewed and rigorous formula to manage and control our debt," WRU group chief executive Roger Lewis said. "We work to a clear, rolling five-year financial strategic plan for the operation of the group and the management of our debt is a high priority within that.

"We could have taken an easy option and left things the same, but just like anyone who wants to reduce their home loan we have had to spend a significant amount of cash to rework the debt facility. But in the longer term it will free up our ability to manage the debt, help us fast track its repayment.

"We will presently be announcing another record turnover to the Annual General Meeting of the WRU. Moreover we are reinvesting into the game from the elite to the grass roots at record levels. We want to leave a legacy of financial sustainability for Welsh rugby and the stadium for generations to come."

Since its opening prior to the 1999 Rugby World Cup, the Millennium Stadium has become one of the leading rugby stadiums in the world. Along with the World Cup final it has hosted three Heineken Cup finals, and will stage the 2011 final, as well as Wales' Grand Slam deciders in 2005 and 2008.

© Scrum.com

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