The rugby industry has agreed in principle a wide-ranging plan to cut between R700 million to R1 billion from its budget over the next eight months to ensure the post-COVID-19 viability of the sport through an Industry Financial Impact Plan (IFIP).
The Plan has been agreed in a united strategy formulated in discussions including representatives from all stakeholders: SA Rugby; provincial unions; players and rugby industry employees. The plan incorporates the Industry Salary Plan (ISP) which will see a united and collective approach towards salary reductions.
The economies will be achieved by reduced expenditure caused by the cancellation of competitions, cuts in other operational budgets and in salary reductions.
“Many businesses find themselves in a fight for survival and rugby is no different,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
“We face an extremely threatening crisis and we had to take united and decisive action to address it head on.
“I’d like to commend the employees, players and the unions for the collaborative and realistic way they have approached this crisis. We are all in this together and we all quickly agreed that we have to equally contribute to the solution.”
Roux said that the salary reductions had been agreed in principle by the collective and were now being communicated to those effected before final approval through the various governance channels of SA Rugby, MyPlayers, Sports Employees Unite and the individual unions.
“Our income is tied to the playing of professional rugby and without matches we potentially don’t have any income,” said Roux. “We don’t know when we will be able to resume the season so have had to budget against a range of scenarios.
“This Industry Financial Impact Plan has been formulated against a worst-case scenario where we are not able to resume play for the rest of the year. It means we face a major belt-tightening exercise on a sport-wide and personal level; but without these measures we wouldn’t have much of a sport to return to.”
The Industry Financial Impact Plan is scheduled to run until the end of December in the first instance.
Rugby and COVID-19 timeline
Issued by SA Rugby Communications