Super Cull: ARU faced financial ruin

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 10:25
Large bill pulver  aru ceo  and cameron clyne aru chairman 800

REACTION: The Australian Rugby Union revealed that they would be unable to continue trading after 2019 if they continued with five Super Rugby teams in the future.

The ARU released a report on their financial findings after the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney dismissed an appeal made by Force's parent body Rugby WA against the ARU's decision to cut the Perth-based franchise from next year's Super Rugby competition.

"Financial modelling undertaken during the assessment phase around the retention of five teams through to 2020 forecasted ARU being unable to meet its liabilities by Q3 2019, with an overall AUS$13m [best-case]- AUS$26m [worst-case] financial hole by Q4 2020," it said in the report.

"In simple terms, ARU would be unable to continue trading beyond 2019 were it to continue to fund five Super Rugby teams through to 2020.

"The reduction of a Super Rugby team provides an annual saving of AUS$6m from 2018-2020 which would enable ARU to continue trading and to direct a significant portion of the savings for investment into community Rugby, player and coach development initiatives and women's programs."

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The report also highlighted the teams' declining performances since Super Rugby expanded in 2006.

The ARU believes the expansion played a role in the Wallabies declining performance in the last 10 years.

"The financial problems emanating from Super Rugby are commensurate with sustained declines in team performance since the competition first expanded from "Super 12" in 2006.

"From 2006-2017, the average win percentage of Australian Super Rugby teams has dipped from a win success rate of almost 55 percent to just above 41 percent. 

"In the recently completed 2017 Super Rugby season, Australian teams won none of the 26 matches played against New Zealand opposition, highlighting the rapid decline in on-field performance over the past 12 months.

"Prior to Super Rugby expansion in 2006, the Wallabies won an average of 65.4 percent of Test matches compared with a success rate of 56 percent in Tests played between 2006-2017. 

"Prior to 2006, the Wallabies had won two Rugby World Cup tournaments and five consecutive Bledisloe Cup series. Post-2006, the Wallabies have made one Rugby World Cup Final (2015) and have not won the Bledisloe Cup," the statement said.