ARU announces huge deficit for 2014

Date published: April 21 2015

The Australian Rugby Union has announced that it sustained a A$6.3 million deficit for 2014.

The organisation released its annual report for 2014 via a press statement on their official website and revealed the huge loss and that it achieved an underlying business surplus of A$700,000.

This was achieved "in a year that focused on driving a sustainable future for the game, through direct grants to member unions and the delivery of national programs," the statement read.

The ARU also announced that it would now seek feedback from the game's supporters and stakeholders to drive its next five-year strategy and future investment at all levels of the game.

This will include the opportunity for members of the public to provide their views on the future direction and priorities for rugby, with the ARU to embark on an extensive consultation process with rugby stakeholders and fans in coming months.

ARU Chairman Michael Hawker said the process to collate feedback is already underway, with CEOs of Member Unions and Super Rugby clubs taking part in a strategy workshop on Tuesday.

“With our new broadcast deal nearly finalised, we’re confident we will have a secure financial future for our game," he explained.

"We see our strategy moving from providing financial security to judicious investment to grow rugby, and we’re keen for our fans and the rugby community to contribute to our future strategy.

“This is a terrific opportunity for the rugby community to work together and establish our priorities to grow the game over the next five years, drive deeper engagement with our fans and create elite teams that win on the world stage.

“We saw an unprecedented level of cooperation across all levels of rugby in 2014 to make significant progress towards building a strong financial future, while continuing to attract more people to rugby.

“We want to use this momentum to ensure our future direction and investment reflects the needs of our stakeholders, players and fans.”

The report also revealed that the game had grown in Australia by 12 per cent compared to 2013. The organisation also made an investment of A$3.7m in direct grants to member unions to develop grassroots rugby, in addition to A$4.3m provided in funding for the delivery of ARU programs nationally.