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RFU announce £4million profit

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) made a profit of £4m in 2022-23 despite three Premiership clubs going out of business because of financial struggles.

Wasps, Worcester and London Irish all went into administration last season.

The figure of £4m is £11m lower than 2021-22 according to the report released by the RFU.

The RFU also said all debts from Covid-impacted years have been paid off with £24.9m in cash and £25m in deposits.

They also posted an end-of-year profit and loss reserve of £123.3m while sponsorship revenue increased from £24.1m in the previous year to £25.9m.

Worcester and Wasps both went into administration inside 21 days while London Irish filed for administration after being suspended from the Premiership for missing a deadline to pay players and staff or complete a takeover in June.

RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney said: "Wasps, Worcester, and London Irish going into administration was the single most defining aspect of the men's professional game last season.

"The after-effects of Covid, levels of debt, and the economic environment brutally exposing difficulties for business models with existing challenges."

The report covers a period in which England's women were runners-up at the World Cup and the men team finished fourth in the Six Nations, after head coach Eddie Jones was sacked and replaced by Steve Borthwick.

The RFU said its finances work in four-year cycles based on the number of men's home internationals staged at England's national ground, Twickenham Stadium.

Broadcast revenues remain below pre-pandemic levels while ticket income from seven men's home matches increased to £48.4m (£33.7m from five matches in the previous year).

Meanwhile, the world record crowd that attended the England women's victory over France in the Six Nations contributed about £1m of revenue from hospitality and catering.

"In a very difficult financial environment, the RFU achieved an operating profit of £4m due to robust financial management," said Sweeney.

"The coming years will continue to be challenging with inflationary pressure on our costs, our revenues being under pressure from reduced discretionary spend, and the recovery of corporate confidence. We will continue to implement strong cost control and prudent fiscal management."

The report also revealed that RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney received a £16,000 pay rise to £684,000.

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