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IRFU Finances - with ecumenical matter.

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Post by Pot Hale Wed 12 Oct 2016, 3:50 am

First topic message reminder :

Ok - don't say you weren't warned.

If you've no interest in spreadsheets, balance sheets, profit and loss accounts, annual reports, etc., then this topic is not for you. (I'm looking at you, Fly)

If on the other hand, there are Irish fans who want to know more about how finances in Irish rugby work, courtesy of published Annual Reports, media articles and mutterings, AGMs, then feel free to join in.

The intent behind this Topic is  for contributors to talk through/explain or ask questions about how different aspects of the finances in Irish rugby operate from grassroots through to National Team.  

Updated 26 Oct 2020

ESTIMATE
IRFU Expenditure 2019/20 - 15 months

Men's Test Team Costs
National tours, camps and squads 299,398
National match costs 2,616,509
National Team Management & staff 15 months 2,500,000
Mgmt/Test Player bonuses/match fees/insurance 2,750,000
Central Contract Test Players 14-15 X €500k avg 7,500,000
Additional 3 months of Test player salaries 1,875,000

Provincial Support Costs
IRFU exceptional contribution grant split by 4 branches 1,750,000
80 players x €90,000 contribution across 4 professional teams 7,200,000
65 players x €50,000 contribution across 4 professional teams 3,250,000
Additional 3 months of provincial player salaries 2,562,500
Rebate of Provincial Competition Income (CI) 16,029,521

Total expenditure cost for 15 months on Professional Game - €48,327,540.

That's just to kick things off.  Feel free to contribute.


Last edited by Pot Hale on Mon 26 Oct 2020, 12:06 am; edited 6 times in total
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Post by PhilBB Fri 16 Oct 2020, 1:25 pm

I love how logistics, resources, facilities and accommodation are in multiple entrants.
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Post by PhilBB Fri 16 Oct 2020, 1:26 pm

Even better is the guesswork on wages.
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Post by Hazel Sapling Fri 16 Oct 2020, 2:18 pm

If that is accurate what Pot Hale published, it is quite interesting.

About €27.1 million in province support and competition income (average c. €6.75 million), top 4 players (again average) fully paid for and u20's presumably fully paid for. With tickets, pies and sponsorship, the average for the provinces is probably between €10 - 12 million in revenue (Connacht bringing the average down) with no youth or marquee player cost.

Presume each province might spend c. 50% on wages (€5 - 6 million) for the remaining 30 - 35 players. At a par with the bigger English sides, but nowhere near the French (Think Toulouse and Montpellier had annual budgets above €20 million). Got to give credit to the Irish, they have it down to a t


Last edited by Hazel Sapling on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 3:52 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Added competition income with province support)

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Post by Pot Hale Fri 16 Oct 2020, 2:23 pm

PhilBB wrote:I love how logistics, resources, facilities and accommodation are in multiple entrants.
Yes - one is tours outbound.   The other is 6N games and Nov tests.  Different cost profiles.
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Post by Pot Hale Fri 16 Oct 2020, 2:30 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:If that is accurate what PhillBB published, it is quite interesting.

About €27.1 million in province support (average c. €6.75 million), top 4 players (again average) fully paid for and u20's presumably fully paid for. With tickets, pies and sponsorship, the average for the provinces is probably between €10 - 12 million in revenue (Connacht bringing the average down) with no youth or marquee player cost.

Presume each province might spend c. 50% on wages (€5 - 6 million) for the remaining 30 - 35 players. At a par with the bigger English sides, but nowhere near the French (Think Toulouse and Montpellier had annual budgets above €20 million). Got to give credit to the Irish, they have it down to a t
Not sure what you’re referring to that Phil published, Hazel. 

Competition Income rebate is not really “support”. 

Turnover estimates from provinces are reported as:
Leinster €18m
Munster €17m
Ulster €11.5m
Connacht €9m.
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Post by Hazel Sapling Fri 16 Oct 2020, 3:28 pm

End of Page 2 for the Pot Hale numbers

Amended to reflect competition income.

Do those numbers you have listed include academy, u20 players and central contracts?


Last edited by Hazel Sapling on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 3:53 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Pot Hale Fri 16 Oct 2020, 3:47 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:End of Page 2 for the Phill BB numbers

Amended to reflect competition income.

Do those numbers you have listed include academy, u20 players and central contracts?
The figs in the IRFU Expenditure table at bottom of page 2 were posted by myself. 

I noticed your amend re CI. thumbsup

Sorry - which numbers are you referring to?  Turnover for provinces?  

The central contract player costs do not go onto the provincial budgets.  The cost of the academies - I don’t know if those flow to the provinces but unlikely.  The academy players receive about €7,500 pa as far as I know plus match fees related to Celtic Cup and any PRO14 games they might feature in.  U20 players are managed separately by IRFU.
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Post by Hazel Sapling Fri 16 Oct 2020, 4:07 pm

Two amends, should really read the poster name more closely.

The turnover for provinces. Thinking in terms of the €54.5m (so €13.625m per province average), the academy plus u20 works out at a bonus €900,000 per province with c. €1.7m a province in central contracts (not evenly shared on that front).

That would put Leinster/Munster in the French club sort of money (> €20m) and Connacht/Ulster at around what I assume is in the mid-lower tier England club mark (€10m - 14m). I am surprised Ulster are so low, would have thought they would be closer to Leinster/Munster

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Post by PhilBB Fri 16 Oct 2020, 4:43 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
PhilBB wrote:I love how logistics, resources, facilities and accommodation are in multiple entrants.
Yes - one is tours outbound.   The other is 6N games and Nov tests.  Different cost profiles.

Yes, definitely.
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Post by PhilBB Fri 16 Oct 2020, 4:44 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:If that is accurate what Pot Hale published, it is quite interesting.

About €27.1 million in province support and competition income (average c. €6.75 million), top 4 players (again average) fully paid for and u20's presumably fully paid for. With tickets, pies and sponsorship, the average for the provinces is probably between €10 - 12 million in revenue (Connacht bringing the average down) with no youth or marquee player cost.

Presume each province might spend c. 50% on wages (€5 - 6 million) for the remaining 30 - 35 players. At a par with the bigger English sides, but nowhere near the French (Think Toulouse and Montpellier had annual budgets above €20 million). Got to give credit to the Irish, they have it down to a t

Other than the French having a salary cap of €10.3m, of course.
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Post by PhilBB Fri 16 Oct 2020, 4:45 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
Hazel Sapling wrote:If that is accurate what PhillBB published, it is quite interesting.

About €27.1 million in province support (average c. €6.75 million), top 4 players (again average) fully paid for and u20's presumably fully paid for. With tickets, pies and sponsorship, the average for the provinces is probably between €10 - 12 million in revenue (Connacht bringing the average down) with no youth or marquee player cost.

Presume each province might spend c. 50% on wages (€5 - 6 million) for the remaining 30 - 35 players. At a par with the bigger English sides, but nowhere near the French (Think Toulouse and Montpellier had annual budgets above €20 million). Got to give credit to the Irish, they have it down to a t
Not sure what you’re referring to that Phil published, Hazel. 

Competition Income rebate is not really “support”. 

Turnover estimates from provinces are reported as:
Leinster €18m
Munster €17m
Ulster €11.5m
Connacht €9m.

Where are these estimates reported and what function do they play in how the IRFU contracts all of the players and accounts for the costs of the players in the IRFU accounts?
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Post by PhilBB Fri 16 Oct 2020, 4:45 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
Hazel Sapling wrote:End of Page 2 for the Phill BB numbers

Amended to reflect competition income.

Do those numbers you have listed include academy, u20 players and central contracts?
The figs in the IRFU Expenditure table at bottom of page 2 were posted by myself. 

I noticed your amend re CI. thumbsup

Sorry - which numbers are you referring to?  Turnover for provinces?  

The central contract player costs do not go onto the provincial budgets.  The cost of the academies - I don’t know if those flow to the provinces but unlikely.  The academy players receive about €7,500 pa as far as I know plus match fees related to Celtic Cup and any PRO14 games they might feature in.  U20 players are managed separately by IRFU.

Remembering, of course, that all players are centrally contracted in that the centre contracts and pays for the players.
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Post by PhilBB Fri 16 Oct 2020, 4:49 pm

Pot Hale wrote:Updated breakdown of IRFU Expenditure for 2018/19

IRFU Finances - with ecumenical matter. - Page 3 Irfu_e11

Interesting that you think the top 15 players average €450k when that's what Ulster were paying Afoa and co NINE YEARS AGO: https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/who-are-the-400000-men-26724899.html

With the rate of wage inflation since then, I think your average is well off. Murray, for starters, was supposedly on something above €2m over 3 years.

Also NINE YEARS AGO, "a Connacht source" claimed the salary spend THEN at Leinster was €7.5m https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/connacht-to-meet-irfu-over-financial-plight-1.8662

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Post by Hazel Sapling Fri 16 Oct 2020, 4:59 pm

I doubt the Irish sides want to go much above a 50% wage to turnover situation. In the Premier League, 60% of turnover is deemed sustainable and that is on far bigger budgets. American sports tend to be around c. 50% to run a (admittedly healthy) profit. Would think the Irish provinces would run small profits year to year.

That would leave Munster/Leinster at or around the French cap. The French cap is down from €11.3m apparently (https://www.barrons.com/news/france-s-top-14-to-drop-salary-cap-by-12-percent-01594155607) rather than €10.3m. Doubt they would be higher by any significant sum (i.e. > €0.5m), it would be unsustainable.

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Post by PhilBB Fri 16 Oct 2020, 5:03 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:I doubt the Irish sides want to go much above a 50% wage to turnover situation. In the Premier League, 60% of turnover is deemed sustainable and that is on far bigger budgets. American sports tend to be around c. 50% to run a (admittedly healthy) profit. Would think the Irish provinces would run small profits year to year.

That would leave Munster/Leinster at or around the French cap. The French cap is down from €11.3m apparently (https://www.barrons.com/news/france-s-top-14-to-drop-salary-cap-by-12-percent-01594155607) rather than €10.3m. Doubt they would be higher by any significant sum (i.e. > €0.5m), it would be unsustainable.

I think you've missed the point here spectacularly. The wage costs are met by the IRFU so the ratio of wage to turnover is 0%.

When things are going to pot in the domestic game, the IRFU just spends more: https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/rugby/arid-20410611.html

"In all, the Union's funding of the provinces' player and management costs rose by almost €6m in the 2015/16 campaign, with most of the funding going to Munster.

A statement from the Union read:

"The Irish Rugby Football Union provided an unbudgeted additional €1m in the 2015/16 season to the provinces (€250,000 each) to assist with the difficulties experienced by all in the player contracting market.

"The increase of almost €6m in player and management costs arises, in large part, from the necessity to provide against operational amounts due from the Munster Branch, in light of their current financial difficulties, together with the aforementioned additional funding for all four provinces and various other items."

Was this when, ahem, Munster 'renegotiated' their debt on Thomond Park?
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Post by Pot Hale Fri 16 Oct 2020, 5:19 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:Two amends, should really read the poster name more closely.

The turnover for provinces. Thinking in terms of the €54.5m (so €13.625m per province average), the academy plus u20 works out at a bonus €900,000 per province with c. €1.7m a province in central contracts (not evenly shared on that front).

That would put Leinster/Munster in the French club sort of money (> €20m) and Connacht/Ulster at around what I assume is in the mid-lower tier England club mark (€10m - 14m). I am surprised Ulster are so low, would have thought they would be closer to Leinster/Munster

Leinster generate over €9m in ticket sales each year (not-Covid) and have good sponsorship, commercial and merchandising programmes in place. It's worthwhile remembering that Leinster Rugby is part of the Leinster Branch which is responsible for all rugby-related matters at all ages, outside of the professional sphere. Each of the branches are owned by their shareholder clubs within their province.

Munster are carrying a lot of debt currently, particularly through their joint ownership of Thomond Park with the IRFU - they've reduced the debt somewhat with ten-year ticket sales, but they also need to be getting home quarterfinals in the H Cup to help balance their books. As a result, IRFU had to increase specific contribution to them over last 3 years.

You are likely right on the additional revenues regarding academy - in an article earlier this year, on a breakdown of Leinster finances when they faced a possible €9m ticket sale shortfall, the writer referred to about €4m coming from IRFU grants, and the remainder through sponsorships, merchandising, etc. I don't know what the annotated costs for the U20 are as many of the players are in the academies, so it may be organisation costs in relation to tournaments, etc. As the IRFU puts it in its own report, 68% of their costs are on the professional game - test, provincial and elite development.




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Post by Hazel Sapling Sat 17 Oct 2020, 8:27 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Hazel Sapling wrote:I doubt the Irish sides want to go much above a 50% wage to turnover situation. In the Premier League, 60% of turnover is deemed sustainable and that is on far bigger budgets. American sports tend to be around c. 50% to run a (admittedly healthy) profit. Would think the Irish provinces would run small profits year to year.

That would leave Munster/Leinster at or around the French cap. The French cap is down from €11.3m apparently (https://www.barrons.com/news/france-s-top-14-to-drop-salary-cap-by-12-percent-01594155607) rather than €10.3m. Doubt they would be higher by any significant sum (i.e. > €0.5m), it would be unsustainable.

I think you've missed the point here spectacularly. The wage costs are met by the IRFU so the ratio of wage to turnover is 0%.

When things are going to pot in the domestic game, the IRFU just spends more: https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/rugby/arid-20410611.html

"In all, the Union's funding of the provinces' player and management costs rose by almost €6m in the 2015/16 campaign, with most of the funding going to Munster.

A statement from the Union read:

"The Irish Rugby Football Union provided an unbudgeted additional €1m in the 2015/16 season to the provinces (€250,000 each) to assist with the difficulties experienced by all in the player contracting market.

"The increase of almost €6m in player and management costs arises, in large part, from the necessity to provide against operational amounts due from the Munster Branch, in light of their current financial difficulties, together with the aforementioned additional funding for all four provinces and various other items."

Was this when, ahem, Munster 'renegotiated' their debt on Thomond Park?

So all player salaries are paid by the IRFU, not backstopped?

The ticket money, provincial sponsorship agreements and the refund for TV and prize money has no bearing on salaries per province?

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Post by Pot Hale Sun 18 Oct 2020, 2:04 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Hazel Sapling wrote:I doubt the Irish sides want to go much above a 50% wage to turnover situation. In the Premier League, 60% of turnover is deemed sustainable and that is on far bigger budgets. American sports tend to be around c. 50% to run a (admittedly healthy) profit. Would think the Irish provinces would run small profits year to year.

That would leave Munster/Leinster at or around the French cap. The French cap is down from €11.3m apparently (https://www.barrons.com/news/france-s-top-14-to-drop-salary-cap-by-12-percent-01594155607) rather than €10.3m. Doubt they would be higher by any significant sum (i.e. > €0.5m), it would be unsustainable.

I think you've missed the point here spectacularly. The wage costs are met by the IRFU so the ratio of wage to turnover is 0%.

When things are going to pot in the domestic game, the IRFU just spends more: https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/rugby/arid-20410611.html

"In all, the Union's funding of the provinces' player and management costs rose by almost €6m in the 2015/16 campaign, with most of the funding going to Munster.

A statement from the Union read:

"The Irish Rugby Football Union provided an unbudgeted additional €1m in the 2015/16 season to the provinces (€250,000 each) to assist with the difficulties experienced by all in the player contracting market.

"The increase of almost €6m in player and management costs arises, in large part, from the necessity to provide against operational amounts due from the Munster Branch, in light of their current financial difficulties, together with the aforementioned additional funding for all four provinces and various other items."

Was this when, ahem, Munster 'renegotiated' their debt on Thomond Park?

So all player salaries are paid by the IRFU, not backstopped?

The ticket money, provincial sponsorship agreements and the refund for TV and prize money has no bearing on salaries per province?
IRFU pays 100% of the 15 agreed central contract players directly - these players are viewed as regular test starters and their playing time and conditioning are managed accordingly.

Through the contribution IRFU make to the provinces outlined above, they pay a varying contribution towards different categories of contracts for players within the squads - B (Full-time): senior player with likely test caps (175-275k) C (Full-time): Regular league season player (€100-€160k) D: Development Player (Part-time) (€50-70k) and E (full-time) : Non-Irish qualified players (€300-450k). There are approx 165 full-time contract players in Irish Rugby currently. Provinces arrange top-up deals for some players through business supports/sponsorships e.g. Munster funded the balance of De Allende and du Toit salaries to come to Munster as IRFU would only contribute limited amount. The IRFU have restrictions/quotas on foreign players, particularly non-eligible ones. Nucifora has pushed for use of domestic or already Irish-qualified talent over the last 4-5 years; the provinces haven't filled foreign quotas during that time.

According to reported comments from coaches within the provinces, the amount they receive from IRFU towards playing budget for Cat B-E players is the same across all provinces. It is the revenues earned by the respective provinces that also contribute substantially to the salaries for players on provincial contracts i.e. a contract negotiated at club level between the player and its management. For example, Munster can turn near €900k-1m for a European home quarter-final. Leinster can do similar from its PRO14 derby match vs Munster in Landsdowne, or from a European pool match at same venue.
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Post by Recwatcher16 Mon 19 Oct 2020, 9:29 am

I think what Pot documents is a perfectly valid way on looking at how the IRFU provinces generate finance.

However ultimately as the IRFU decided on what entities would represent the top tier and professional element of the game, they are, to use the previous expression, 'the backstop'. There is no diversification of financial risk for the Union, which is also responsible for the health of the wider sport.

So when others on here state a different perspective on what the Union is ultimately financially responsible for, with these franchises granted by the Union, then they too have a valid point. The difference between Leinster and Connacht finances is significantly different ?

I have not made any bones about my view that Unions owning professional domestic teams creates a conflict, both within a domestic league and the ever expanding test calendar in the last twenty years and with the Unions' wider responsibilities for the sport, but that's enough of that and will say no more.

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Post by PhilBB Mon 19 Oct 2020, 12:06 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
Hazel Sapling wrote:Two amends, should really read the poster name more closely.

The turnover for provinces. Thinking in terms of the €54.5m (so €13.625m per province average), the academy plus u20 works out at a bonus €900,000 per province with c. €1.7m a province in central contracts (not evenly shared on that front).

That would put Leinster/Munster in the French club sort of money (> €20m) and Connacht/Ulster at around what I assume is in the mid-lower tier England club mark (€10m - 14m). I am surprised Ulster are so low, would have thought they would be closer to Leinster/Munster

Leinster generate over €9m in ticket sales each year (not-Covid) and have good sponsorship, commercial and merchandising programmes in place.  It's worthwhile remembering that Leinster Rugby is part of the Leinster Branch which is responsible for all rugby-related matters at all ages, outside of the professional sphere.     Each of the branches are owned by their shareholder clubs within their province.  

Munster are carrying a lot of debt currently, particularly through their joint ownership of Thomond Park with the IRFU - they've reduced the debt somewhat with ten-year ticket sales, but they also need to be getting home quarterfinals in the H Cup to help balance their books.   As a result, IRFU had to increase specific contribution to them over last 3 years.

You are likely right on the additional revenues regarding academy - in an article earlier this year, on a breakdown of Leinster finances when they faced a possible €9m ticket sale shortfall, the writer referred to about €4m coming from IRFU grants, and the remainder through sponsorships, merchandising, etc.  I don't know what the annotated costs for the U20 are as many of the players are in the academies, so it may be organisation costs in relation to tournaments, etc.   As the IRFU puts it in its own report, 68% of their costs are on the professional game - test, provincial and elite development.





Munster's liability for that debt on Thomond Park is €100k a year to the IRFU

To whom else are they paying debt repayments?
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Post by PhilBB Mon 19 Oct 2020, 12:07 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:

So all player salaries are paid by the IRFU, not backstopped?

The ticket money, provincial sponsorship agreements and the refund for TV and prize money has no bearing on salaries per province?

All player salaries are paid by the IRFU, yes.

Bar, I believe, the two ringers Munster got in over the summer.
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Post by PhilBB Mon 19 Oct 2020, 12:08 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
IRFU pays 100% of the 15 agreed central contract players directly - these players are viewed as regular test starters and their playing time and conditioning are managed accordingly.  

Through the contribution IRFU make to the provinces outlined above, they pay a varying contribution towards different categories of contracts for players within the squads - B (Full-time): senior player with likely test caps (175-275k) C (Full-time): Regular league season player (€100-€160k) D: Development Player (Part-time) (€50-70k)  and E (full-time) : Non-Irish qualified players (€300-450k).  There are approx 165 full-time contract players in Irish Rugby currently.  Provinces arrange top-up deals for some players through business supports/sponsorships e.g. Munster funded the balance of De Allende and du Toit salaries to come to Munster as IRFU would only contribute limited amount.  The IRFU have restrictions/quotas on foreign players, particularly non-eligible ones.  Nucifora has pushed for use of domestic or already Irish-qualified talent over the last 4-5 years; the provinces haven't filled foreign quotas during that time.  

According to reported comments from coaches within the provinces, the amount they receive from IRFU towards playing budget for Cat B-E players is the same across all provinces.  It is the revenues earned by the respective provinces that also contribute substantially to the salaries for players on provincial contracts i.e. a contract negotiated at club level between the player and its management.   For example, Munster can turn near €900k-1m for a European home quarter-final.  Leinster can do similar from its PRO14 derby match vs Munster in Landsdowne, or from a European pool match at same venue.

Lovely obfuscation.

The IRFU contracts and pays all players. It controls all players, centrally.

That's according to Philip Browne, the Chief Executive of the IRFU.
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Post by Pot Hale Mon 19 Oct 2020, 4:23 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
IRFU pays 100% of the 15 agreed central contract players directly - these players are viewed as regular test starters and their playing time and conditioning are managed accordingly.  

Through the contribution IRFU make to the provinces outlined above, they pay a varying contribution towards different categories of contracts for players within the squads - B (Full-time): senior player with likely test caps (175-275k) C (Full-time): Regular league season player (€100-€160k) D: Development Player (Part-time) (€50-70k)  and E (full-time) : Non-Irish qualified players (€300-450k).  There are approx 165 full-time contract players in Irish Rugby currently.  Provinces arrange top-up deals for some players through business supports/sponsorships e.g. Munster funded the balance of De Allende and du Toit salaries to come to Munster as IRFU would only contribute limited amount.  The IRFU have restrictions/quotas on foreign players, particularly non-eligible ones.  Nucifora has pushed for use of domestic or already Irish-qualified talent over the last 4-5 years; the provinces haven't filled foreign quotas during that time.  

According to reported comments from coaches within the provinces, the amount they receive from IRFU towards playing budget for Cat B-E players is the same across all provinces.  It is the revenues earned by the respective provinces that also contribute substantially to the salaries for players on provincial contracts i.e. a contract negotiated at club level between the player and its management.   For example, Munster can turn near €900k-1m for a European home quarter-final.  Leinster can do similar from its PRO14 derby match vs Munster in Landsdowne, or from a European pool match at same venue.

Lovely obfuscation.

The IRFU contracts and pays all players. It controls all players, centrally.

That's according to Philip Browne, the Chief Executive of the IRFU.

Hmmm.   That's one way of interpreting it.  In 2016 in a newspaper interview, Phillip Browne stated that the IRFU subsidised the provinces against their annual expenditure each year.  The commercial strength of the province was clearly linked to the quality of player the province could finance. He noted that (in 2016) the annual budget for Rugby was €110m to run the professional and amateur game.  

Against this budget of €110m, his organisation's annual report for end of 2015/16 stated Income of €76m (€74m 2014/15) and Expenditure of €71m (€66m 2014/15) with a reported surplus of €5m (€7m 2014/15).   So how was the gap in budget of €40m approx being funded?

He said the IRFU put subsidising money into the provinces for "players and technical staff".  No mention of funding for the management or senior coaching staff in each province.  Or that the funding represented the total salary of each player.   He said that the Union was putting in at least 50% in terms of turnover into each province.   He said that they roughly subsidised the provinces to the tune of €6-7m each year.  He was saying this at the point before the hole in Munster's books was publicly reported due to their subsequent losses in Europe, etc that year which drove Player and Management costs for the Union up by nearly €6m to provide mainly against amounts due from the Munster branch, and also to provide €250k unbudgeted amounts to each province to compete on salary increases in UK and France.  Munster subsequently reported big losses that season.

In making his point about level of subsidy, Browne didn't make any mention of the Competition Income that the provinces generated from PRO14 and EPCR.   The estimated IRFU contribution to the provinces in 2014/15 was €23m and rose to €28.7m in 2015/16 so that tallies with his subsidy estimates of €6-7m per province.  As the Annual Report noted, these contribution costs were offset by Competition Income of €9.7m in 2014/15 and €10.6m in 2015/16.  As the IRFU sees it, the IRFU is the organisation that nominates the teams that enter the various competitions in PRO14 and EPCR, and therefore, the Competition Income accrues to them in the first place (similar to how the WRU reported its Competition Income revenues but with a subsequent agreement with the Welsh Regions to pass onward these monies in toto).

He refers to the fact that some of the provinces have bigger funding gaps than others when it comes to financing the costs of players from their own resources.  Clearly they have to cut their cloth accordingly.  

Some quotes from the Irish Examiner article (https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/rugby/arid-20387047.html) :  

“A bad year for the clubs in Europe won’t directly impact the IRFU, but obviously down the track may do if they don’t financially make ends meet. We are the lender of last resort.”

Browne tacitly acknowledges the likes of Munster and Connacht — and to a lesser extent Ulster — are not operating on the same above-water playing field as Leinster these days. However, further interrogation of the issue provides no indication this will be rectified by artificial intervention in the short term. The need for balance — remembering the provinces are in competition — is fundamental, he indicates.

“There is an issue, of course, with the relative commercial strengths of the provinces,” he says. “Leinster has 50% of the overall and the rugby population. Munster, a big area but smaller in rugby population, has about 20%, Connacht 10% and Ulster another 20%."

"Everything can’t just be focused here in Leinster, but in the current economic climate, it is becoming tricky. Also, the provinces are running the amateur game - you aren’t comparing apples with apples when people start equating the provinces to the French Top 14 clubs."

“You’ve got clubs in France with budgets of €30 million, while we have a total budget for Rugby in this country of €110 million. We have to run the professional and the amateur game, and there are a lot of mouths to feed — all of whom are feeling the pinch. It is tricky. We put money in to each province in terms of players and technical staff. The Union is putting in at least 50% in terms of turnover into each of the provinces.”

“Let’s say a province is spending around €12m per annum. It’s P&L (profit and loss) comes from gates of, say €6-7m, there’s expenditure of around €12m which requires a subsidy from the IRFU of around €6-7m. They are rough figures, but we are subsiding the provinces to that tune each year."

“Obviously Leinster has greater earning potential to recoup its spend than the others. The difficulty Munster, for example, now have, is that they don’t have the ability to raise money around attendances to the same extent now. The economy in Munster was badly impacted over the last decade. The revenues generated in Leinster and Ulster...there is a gap, so when it comes to financing players...."

" If only the Union would open the door to private investment, to a benefactor. It’s really that easy?
“There would be no problem. We have an open mind in relation to any proposition. There is no issue there.”

In fact, there is.

“The issue is, what are they going to get in return,” Browne shrugs. “The shareholders in each branch are the clubs, that’s the way it is. In France, someone comes in and buys the club — as in the players, the brand, the physical facilities, the whole shooting match. Gloucester, for instance, has just been sold by the Walkinshaws for around £12m, and a new owner, Martin St Quinton, has bought the controlling shares.

Now compare that to Munster: Thomond Park is owned by the clubs and by the branch. You can’t sell that. The players are owned and controlled by the IRFU, the revenue streams aren’t sufficient to cover the costs of running the professional game — so whoever is going to invest in professional rugby in Ireland is essentially writing cheques for €1m and continue doing that until they get bored.

“What happens then? You have to find someone else to write the cheque. How many such folk are out there with that level of discretionary income, who are prepared to simply be a sugar daddy. Therein lies the difficulty. The Walkinshaw family could either have sold Gloucester as a going concern (which they did) or just sell the place and build houses."


Last edited by Pot Hale on Mon 19 Oct 2020, 5:03 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Post by PhilBB Mon 19 Oct 2020, 4:47 pm

I like that interview for the line:

"The players are owned and controlled by the IRFU"

I told that idiot Marty who used to post here about that for years. He refused to believe it. I even (from memory) sent him the tweet from Darren Cave who confirmed his employer. Marty then went silent.

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Post by Pot Hale Mon 19 Oct 2020, 5:14 pm

PhilBB wrote:I like that interview for the line:

"The players are owned and controlled by the IRFU"

I told that idiot Marty who used to post here about that for years. He refused to believe it. I even (from memory) sent him the tweet from Darren Cave who confirmed his employer. Marty then went silent.


Does everyone have to be stupid or idiots or talked down to in your commentary/interaction with others?

Seriously, Phil, it's a forum to engage with people. At times, your commentary make it very difficult.

Leaving that aside, the owned and controlled quote presumably relates to the standard IRFU provincial contract types that are used across the provinces. That doesn't stop the provinces paying players from their own generated income is the point I was making. As Browne notes, the total budget for rugby in 2016 was €110m - €40m more than the IRFU generated that season.

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Post by PhilBB Tue 20 Oct 2020, 9:18 am

Pot Hale wrote:
PhilBB wrote:I like that interview for the line:

"The players are owned and controlled by the IRFU"

I told that idiot Marty who used to post here about that for years. He refused to believe it. I even (from memory) sent him the tweet from Darren Cave who confirmed his employer. Marty then went silent.


Does everyone have to be stupid or idiots or talked down to in your commentary/interaction with others?

Seriously, Phil, it's a forum to engage with people.  At times, your commentary make it very difficult.

Leaving that aside, the owned and controlled quote presumably relates to the standard IRFU provincial contract types that are used across the provinces.  That doesn't stop the provinces paying players from their own generated income is the point I was making.  As Browne notes, the total budget for rugby in 2016 was €110m - €40m more than the IRFU generated that season.


This is a crucial point. So let's see if we can reach agreement.

The IRFU centrally employs all of the players (there may be an exception for the two in Munster) = do you agree?
As the IRFU centrally employs all of the players, it pays all of the wages = do you agree?
The four branches of the IRFU, therefore, don't employ or pay players as that's what the IRFU does centrally = do you agree?
For the centre to 'own and control the players', this means that the centre contracts the players, therefore pays the players and therefore employs the players = do you agree?

As Darren Cave noted, his employer was 'IRFU Ulster Branch'.

So, for the sake of clarity of discussion, those are my starting points. If you think I've missed other vital questions, please add them to the debate.
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Post by PhilBB Tue 20 Oct 2020, 9:28 am

Pot Hale wrote: As Browne notes, the total budget for rugby in 2016 was €110m - €40m more than the IRFU generated that season.


At this point it is worth remembering the local amateur responsibilities that the Branches have.

https://www.munsterrugby.ie/2019/06/13/munster-rugby-agm-financial-update-5/

We know the branches themselves generate significant local income. We know that the contracting model from the IRFU works with Nucifora deciding a 'grant amount' that differs to each of the branches (thus skewing the league) with the branches then topping up that grant with locally generated income in order to reach an agreed player budget. That player budget then sees the players contracted back to the centre, with the IRFU controlling and owning all of the players.

Yes, it is a completely ludicrous and unfair way of running a professional sport, but that's the danger of having a single owner of multiple entrants. In their professional sense, the branches don't exist outside of the IRFU.

Munster hasn't been able to wash its face for years (https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/rugby/arid-30930537.html) but it still can get a hugely expensive squad because, ultimately, it's not paying for it. It is reliant on match day income to run its branch (https://www.the42.ie/munster-james-cronin-sport-ireland-5130595-Jun2020/) so is going to be right in the mess from now on. Or, to put it another way, further in the mess because it's already in a financial mess.

Elsewhere in the game, should a team be losing money then it would be reliant on its shareholders to make up those losses. You could argue that Munster are no different in that it is the IRFU financially propping them up, but the complete lack of financial transparency makes that leap a difficult one.

I think we could all agree that financial transparency in Irish rugby is missing. I think we could all agree that the lack of financial transparency, the lack of a desire to be transparent and a lack of a desire (so far) to ensure independent Irish teams have caused, and will continue to cause, an issue to a potential future B&I Competition.

Whether Covid will force Irish rugby, along with CVC money, to change its ways is yet to be seen. For me, I hope that it does as I feel the present set up is seriously holding back Irish rugby.
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Post by Pot Hale Tue 20 Oct 2020, 10:43 am

PhilBB wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
PhilBB wrote:I like that interview for the line:

"The players are owned and controlled by the IRFU"

I told that idiot Marty who used to post here about that for years. He refused to believe it. I even (from memory) sent him the tweet from Darren Cave who confirmed his employer. Marty then went silent.


Does everyone have to be stupid or idiots or talked down to in your commentary/interaction with others?

Seriously, Phil, it's a forum to engage with people.  At times, your commentary make it very difficult.

Leaving that aside, the owned and controlled quote presumably relates to the standard IRFU provincial contract types that are used across the provinces.  That doesn't stop the provinces paying players from their own generated income is the point I was making.  As Browne notes, the total budget for rugby in 2016 was €110m - €40m more than the IRFU generated that season.


This is a crucial point. So let's see if we can reach agreement.

The IRFU centrally employs all of the players (there may be an exception for the two in Munster) = do you agree?
As the IRFU centrally employs all of the players, it pays all of the wages = do you agree?
The four branches of the IRFU, therefore, don't employ or pay players as that's what the IRFU does centrally = do you agree?
For the centre to 'own and control the players', this means that the centre contracts the players, therefore pays the players and therefore employs the players = do you agree?

As Darren Cave noted, his employer was 'IRFU Ulster Branch'.

So, for the sake of clarity of discussion, those are my starting points. If you think I've missed other vital questions, please add them to the debate.

Having looked at it further, and read some other media/forum discussions, you may well be right in saying that IRFU employs all the players or more specifically, the Irish players.

The IRFU employs all Irish-qualified players through its branches - most on provincial contracts, and a small number on central contracts. Exceptions might be foreign players - SA 2 in Munster, Fardy in Leinster, Carter, Coetzee, Mathewson and Faddes in Ulster, Porch, O'Donnell, Papali'i in Connacht who are paid from Branch budgets using. in part, commercially-sourced monies.

One way to look at it. if Darren Cave said that his employer was IRFU Ulster Branch, then that means he's employed by Ulster Rugby, the professional team in the branch representing the province, so he's not on a IRFU central contract. Therefore, logically his salary would be paid by the Branch out of its budget. The IRFU would contribute to his salary through its grants to the Branches.

However, since the four branches make up the IRFU - they are in effect the owners/shareholders - then you can say that the players are employed by the IRFU through one of the IRFU branches and hold all the contracts.

Another way to look at it is to simply argue that they are all the same, so it doesn't matter. However, if we're acknowledging the difference between Branch level, and Union level, and that both have separate budgets and generate their own revenues, then, as per the Darren Cave quote you cited, it is the Branch level that was his employer and it is from its budget - as distinct from the IRFU whose finances are covered in their Annual Report. The Branch level accounts are not covered/included in the Annual Report.

Finally, one could argue that the IRFU grant (including the Competition Income) to each province is sufficient to pay all of the players. So they do pay all of the players, albeit using monies generated by the provinces.

However, Browne in his interview, draws attention to the commercial generating capacity of each province and its effect on financing players. This would indicate that the province/branch has some financial input to how much a player is paid as they would only get X amount of grant from the Union. It was reported previously that the provinces are allowed top-up the salaries of central contract players using monies from their own budgets/sources, if they wished to.
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Post by thebandwagonsociety Tue 20 Oct 2020, 10:45 am

Pot Hale wrote:Union Contribution to the Provinces

The IRFU's contribution to the costs of the Provinces over the last five years was:

  • 2012 €22m AR '12
  • 2013 €22m plus AR '13
  • 2014 €23.8m - AR '14
  • 2015 €24m plus - estimate
  • 2016 €30m - estimate


It's likely that these include the costs for central contract players.

Would this also include the pass through of the c€10.5million provincial income that comes in via the IRFU?

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Post by PhilBB Tue 20 Oct 2020, 10:47 am

Pot Hale wrote:
Having looked at it further, and read some other media/forum discussions, you may well be right in saying that IRFU employs all the players or more specifically, the Irish players.    

The IRFU employs all Irish-qualified players through its branches - most on provincial contracts, and a small number on central contracts.   Exceptions might be foreign players - SA 2 in Munster, Fardy in Leinster, Carter, Coetzee, Mathewson and Faddes in Ulster, Porch, O'Donnell, Papali'i in Connacht who are paid from Branch budgets using. in part, commercially-sourced monies.

One way to look at it.   if Darren Cave said that his employer was IRFU Ulster Branch, then that means he's employed by Ulster Rugby, the professional team in the branch representing the province, so he's not on a IRFU central contract.  Therefore, logically his salary would be paid by the Branch out of its budget.    The IRFU would contribute to his salary through its grants to the Branches.  

However, since the four branches make up the IRFU - they are in effect the owners/shareholders - then you can say that the players are employed by the IRFU through one of the IRFU branches and hold all the contracts.  

Another way to look at it is to simply argue that they are all the same, so it doesn't matter.  However, if we're acknowledging the difference between Branch level, and Union level, and that both have separate budgets and generate their own revenues, then, as per the Darren Cave quote you cited,  it is the Branch level that was his employer and it is from its budget - as distinct from the IRFU whose finances are covered in their Annual Report.  The Branch level accounts are not covered/included in the Annual Report.  

Finally, one could argue that the IRFU grant (including the Competition Income) to each province is sufficient to pay all of the players.  So they do pay all of the players, albeit using monies generated by the provinces.

However, Browne in his interview, draws attention to the commercial generating capacity of each province and its effect on financing players.  This would indicate that the province/branch has some financial input to how much a player is paid as they would only get X amount of grant from the Union.  It was reported previously that the provinces are allowed top-up the salaries of central contract players using monies from their own budgets/sources, if they wished to.  

Your take on Cave is wholly wrong. He was pointing out that he was paid by the IRFU.

I don't think that anything you write regarding 'one could argue' could be argued with any veracity or fact.
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Post by PhilBB Tue 20 Oct 2020, 10:49 am

Pot Hale wrote:

However, Browne in his interview, draws attention to the commercial generating capacity of each province and its effect on financing players.  This would indicate that the province/branch has some financial input to how much a player is paid as they would only get X amount of grant from the Union.  It was reported previously that the provinces are allowed top-up the salaries of central contract players using monies from their own budgets/sources, if they wished to.  

Yes. I wrote that. They get a 'grant' from the IRFU and can 'top it up', but they don't employ the players - the IRFU employs all of the players, pays the players, holds their contracts.
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Post by Pot Hale Tue 20 Oct 2020, 11:14 am

PhilBB wrote:
Pot Hale wrote: As Browne notes, the total budget for rugby in 2016 was €110m - €40m more than the IRFU generated that season.


At this point it is worth remembering the local amateur responsibilities that the Branches have.

https://www.munsterrugby.ie/2019/06/13/munster-rugby-agm-financial-update-5/

We know the branches themselves generate significant local income. We know that the contracting model from the IRFU works with Nucifora deciding a 'grant amount' that differs to each of the branches (thus skewing the league) with the branches then topping up that grant with locally generated income in order to reach an agreed player budget. That player budget then sees the players contracted back to the centre, with the IRFU controlling and owning all of the players.

Yes, it is a completely ludicrous and unfair way of running a professional sport, but that's the danger of having a single owner of multiple entrants. In their professional sense, the branches don't exist outside of the IRFU.

Munster hasn't been able to wash its face for years (https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/rugby/arid-30930537.html) but it still can get a hugely expensive squad because, ultimately, it's not paying for it. It is reliant on match day income to run its branch (https://www.the42.ie/munster-james-cronin-sport-ireland-5130595-Jun2020/) so is going to be right in the mess from now on. Or, to put it another way, further in the mess because it's already in a financial mess.

Elsewhere in the game, should a team be losing money then it would be reliant on its shareholders to make up those losses. You could argue that Munster are no different in that it is the IRFU financially propping them up, but the complete lack of financial transparency makes that leap a difficult one.

I think we could all agree that financial transparency in Irish rugby is missing. I think we could all agree that the lack of financial transparency, the lack of a desire to be transparent and a lack of a desire (so far) to ensure independent Irish teams have caused, and will continue to cause, an issue to a potential future B&I Competition.

Whether Covid will force Irish rugby, along with CVC money, to change its ways is yet to be seen. For me, I hope that it does as I feel the present set up is seriously holding back Irish rugby.

"We know that the contracting model from the IRFU works with Nucifora deciding a 'grant amount' that differs to each of the branches (thus skewing the league) with the branches then topping up that grant with locally generated income in order to reach an agreed player budget. That player budget then sees the players contracted back to the centre, with the IRFU controlling and owning all of the players."

How do "we" know this? If anything, I "know" the opposite with provincial coaching team members saying/complaining that each province gets the same. Getting a player off their books onto a central contract, gives them a lot more room in their playing budget - https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/connacht-rugby/cian-tracey-why-bundee-akis-new-deal-is-crucial-to-connacht-on-a-number-of-levels-38752607.html



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Post by Pot Hale Tue 20 Oct 2020, 11:18 am

PhilBB wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
Having looked at it further, and read some other media/forum discussions, you may well be right in saying that IRFU employs all the players or more specifically, the Irish players.    

The IRFU employs all Irish-qualified players through its branches - most on provincial contracts, and a small number on central contracts.   Exceptions might be foreign players - SA 2 in Munster, Fardy in Leinster, Carter, Coetzee, Mathewson and Faddes in Ulster, Porch, O'Donnell, Papali'i in Connacht who are paid from Branch budgets using. in part, commercially-sourced monies.

One way to look at it.   if Darren Cave said that his employer was IRFU Ulster Branch, then that means he's employed by Ulster Rugby, the professional team in the branch representing the province, so he's not on a IRFU central contract.  Therefore, logically his salary would be paid by the Branch out of its budget.    The IRFU would contribute to his salary through its grants to the Branches.  

However, since the four branches make up the IRFU - they are in effect the owners/shareholders - then you can say that the players are employed by the IRFU through one of the IRFU branches and hold all the contracts.  

Another way to look at it is to simply argue that they are all the same, so it doesn't matter.  However, if we're acknowledging the difference between Branch level, and Union level, and that both have separate budgets and generate their own revenues, then, as per the Darren Cave quote you cited,  it is the Branch level that was his employer and it is from its budget - as distinct from the IRFU whose finances are covered in their Annual Report.  The Branch level accounts are not covered/included in the Annual Report.  

Finally, one could argue that the IRFU grant (including the Competition Income) to each province is sufficient to pay all of the players.  So they do pay all of the players, albeit using monies generated by the provinces.

However, Browne in his interview, draws attention to the commercial generating capacity of each province and its effect on financing players.  This would indicate that the province/branch has some financial input to how much a player is paid as they would only get X amount of grant from the Union.  It was reported previously that the provinces are allowed top-up the salaries of central contract players using monies from their own budgets/sources, if they wished to.  

Your take on Cave is wholly wrong. He was pointing out that he was paid by the IRFU.

I don't think that anything you write regarding 'one could argue' could be argued with any veracity or fact.

Can you link me to the Twitter discussion with Darren Cave, please where he says that he was paid by the IRFU?

So when I wrote that "Finally, one could argue that the IRFU grant (including the Competition Income) to each province is sufficient to pay all of the players.  So they do pay all of the players, albeit using monies generated by the provinces," you think that this could not be argued with any veracity or fact?
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Post by Pot Hale Tue 20 Oct 2020, 11:22 am

thebandwagonsociety wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Union Contribution to the Provinces

The IRFU's contribution to the costs of the Provinces over the last five years was:

  • 2012 €22m AR '12
  • 2013 €22m plus AR '13
  • 2014 €23.8m - AR '14
  • 2015 €24m plus - estimate
  • 2016 €30m - estimate


It's likely that these include the costs for central contract players.

Would this also include the pass through of the c€10.5million provincial income that comes in via the IRFU?

Yes - I was including the Competition Income in those figures. I've broken down those amounts further in a later post at bottom of page 2 of this thread - https://www.606v2.com/t64225p50-irfu-finances-with-ecumenical-matter#3930579
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Post by Kingshu Tue 20 Oct 2020, 11:31 am

Have yous not been talking about the IRFU finances and how much they provide each team for the last 10 years now? You'd have thought a conclusion would have been reached by now.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Tue 20 Oct 2020, 11:42 am

PhilBB wrote:
Pot Hale wrote: As Browne notes, the total budget for rugby in 2016 was €110m - €40m more than the IRFU generated that season.


At this point it is worth remembering the local amateur responsibilities that the Branches have.

https://www.munsterrugby.ie/2019/06/13/munster-rugby-agm-financial-update-5/

We know the branches themselves generate significant local income. We know that the contracting model from the IRFU works with Nucifora deciding a 'grant amount' that differs to each of the branches (thus skewing the league) with the branches then topping up that grant with locally generated income in order to reach an agreed player budget. That player budget then sees the players contracted back to the centre, with the IRFU controlling and owning all of the players.

Yes, it is a completely ludicrous and unfair way of running a professional sport, but that's the danger of having a single owner of multiple entrants. In their professional sense, the branches don't exist outside of the IRFU.

Munster hasn't been able to wash its face for years (https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/rugby/arid-30930537.html) but it still can get a hugely expensive squad because, ultimately, it's not paying for it. It is reliant on match day income to run its branch (https://www.the42.ie/munster-james-cronin-sport-ireland-5130595-Jun2020/) so is going to be right in the mess from now on. Or, to put it another way, further in the mess because it's already in a financial mess.

Elsewhere in the game, should a team be losing money then it would be reliant on its shareholders to make up those losses. You could argue that Munster are no different in that it is the IRFU financially propping them up, but the complete lack of financial transparency makes that leap a difficult one.

I think we could all agree that financial transparency in Irish rugby is missing. I think we could all agree that the lack of financial transparency, the lack of a desire to be transparent and a lack of a desire (so far) to ensure independent Irish teams have caused, and will continue to cause, an issue to a potential future B&I Competition.

Whether Covid will force Irish rugby, along with CVC money, to change its ways is yet to be seen. For me, I hope that it does as I feel the present set up is seriously holding back Irish rugby.

I think the continued peddling of "PrO" messaging, the continued cut at missing financial transparency (on a thread with links to the actual accounts and financials available), the false narrative of a welshman wanting a B&I competition when in truth the want is solely a B competition.

A professional sports team that is reliant on match day income as primary income source. Yes covid makes that a mess for every sports team, everywhere that relies on a large number of small attendance fixtures or a small number of large attendance fixtures. Which team isn't reliant on match day income as a primary income source?

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Post by PhilBB Tue 20 Oct 2020, 11:50 am

Pot Hale wrote:

How do "we" know this?   If anything, I "know" the opposite with provincial coaching team members saying/complaining that each province gets the same.  Getting a player off their books onto a central contract, gives them a lot more room in their playing budget - https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/connacht-rugby/cian-tracey-why-bundee-akis-new-deal-is-crucial-to-connacht-on-a-number-of-levels-38752607.html



 

It was explained to me by Rúaidhrí O'Connor. The discrepancy is quite clear judging by the quality of the squads assembled. Remember, Munster clearly have a far more expensive squad than Ulster despite Munster running at a budget deficit. Remember, we know the IRFU branches can add, with agreement by Nucifora, to their central grant.

This continued desire to write 'central contract' when all players are centrally contracted really is tedious.
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Post by PhilBB Tue 20 Oct 2020, 11:52 am

Pot Hale wrote:

Can you link me to the Twitter discussion with Darren Cave, please where he says that he was paid by the IRFU?

So when I wrote that "Finally, one could argue that the IRFU grant (including the Competition Income) to each province is sufficient to pay all of the players.  So they do pay all of the players, albeit using monies generated by the provinces," you think that this could not be argued with any veracity or fact?

https://twitter.com/darrencave13/status/1086931187426361345?s=20 & https://twitter.com/darrencave13/status/1086785740191731712?s=20

Albeit using 'some' money generated by their own branches whilst using assets owned elsewhere, would be a far more accurate description
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Post by PhilBB Tue 20 Oct 2020, 11:55 am

thebandwagonsociety wrote:

I think the continued peddling of "PrO" messaging, the continued cut at missing financial transparency (on a thread with links to the actual accounts and financials available), the false narrative of a welshman wanting a B&I competition when in truth the want is solely a B competition.

A professional sports team that is reliant on match day income as primary income source. Yes covid makes that a mess for every sports team, everywhere that relies on a large number of small attendance fixtures or a small number of large attendance fixtures. Which team isn't reliant on match day income as a primary income source?

If that's aimed at me then you're well off the mark. I don't want a B competition at all. I have no interest in playing Ulster or any Union owned Scottish 'club', sorry.

You've also missed the point on match day income. It's not a primary source in Wales, for example. My point on raising that was that Browne has been consistent in his message that the IRFU cannot continue to carry the burden of the costs for the professional game so a whole remodelling of the Irish game may become necessary because of Covid.
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Post by Pot Hale Tue 20 Oct 2020, 12:30 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:

How do "we" know this?   If anything, I "know" the opposite with provincial coaching team members saying/complaining that each province gets the same.  Getting a player off their books onto a central contract, gives them a lot more room in their playing budget - https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/connacht-rugby/cian-tracey-why-bundee-akis-new-deal-is-crucial-to-connacht-on-a-number-of-levels-38752607.html



 

It was explained to me by Rúaidhrí O'Connor. The discrepancy is quite clear judging by the quality of the squads assembled. Remember, Munster clearly have a far more expensive squad than Ulster despite Munster running at a budget deficit. Remember, we know the IRFU branches can add, with agreement by Nucifora, to their central grant.

This continued desire to write 'central contract' when all players are centrally contracted really is tedious.

Tedious in your view, Phil.  The phrase is used regularly within Irish rugby and within Irish media and by fans as the above article indicates. Everyone understands what it means.   I've explained it to you - so what's the problem?  15 players on central contracts and the remainder on provincial contracts is how everyone describes it.  Darren Cave was on a provincial branch contract - the IRFU Ulster Branch as he replies in his tweet to your deleted tweet.  

The point about provinces being able to add to the salary of a central contract player is not the main issue. That only applies to 15 players.

It's the remaining 150-odd full-time players that have provincial contracts.  The quality discrepancy in squads assembled could come from the different amounts of commercial monies that each province can generate to create their own playing budget with the IRFU contributing to that budget through their equal grants for salaries.      

Munster got exceptional grant income over the last few seasons (it's now been reduced again) because their forecasted budget from which they could pay players fell well short.   It's possible they could have been forced to trim their squad instead, but they had to cut their cloth in other ways.  They negotiated a revised loan repayment from €500k to €100k per annum but the IRFU will also get 50% of Munster’s multi-year ticket sales, 50% multi-year corporate box sales, and 50% of any Thomond Park naming rights income on an annual basis.


Last edited by Pot Hale on Tue 20 Oct 2020, 1:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Pot Hale Tue 20 Oct 2020, 12:32 pm

Kingshu wrote:Have yous not been talking about the IRFU finances and how much they provide each team for the last 10 years now? You'd have thought a conclusion would have been reached by now.


10 years? It seems like 20.

No conclusion reached yet, but sure discussing it is half the fun. Smile
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Post by PhilBB Tue 20 Oct 2020, 1:55 pm

Pot Hale wrote:

Tedious in your view, Phil.  The phrase is used regularly within Irish rugby and within Irish media and by fans as the above article indicates. Everyone understands what it means.   I've explained it to you - so what's the problem?  15 players on central contracts and the remainder on provincial contracts is how everyone describes it.  Darren Cave was on a provincial branch contract - the IRFU Ulster Branch as he replies in his tweet to your deleted tweet.  

The point about provinces being able to add to the salary of a central contract player is not the main issue. That only applies to 15 players.

It's the remaining 150-odd full-time players that have provincial contracts.  The quality discrepancy in squads assembled could come from the different amounts of commercial monies that each province can generate to create their own playing budget with the IRFU contributing to that budget through their equal grants for salaries.      

Munster got exceptional grant income over the last few seasons (it's now been reduced again) because their forecasted budget from which they could pay players fell well short.   It's possible they could have been forced to trim their squad instead, but they had to cut their cloth in other ways.  They negotiated a revised loan repayment from €500k to €100k per annum but the IRFU will also get 50% of Munster’s multi-year ticket sales, 50% multi-year corporate box sales, and 50% of any Thomond Park naming rights income on an annual basis.

Not everybody understands what it means at all as you often still find followers of Irish rugby thinking that the IRFU doesn't contract all of the players. So the 'problem' is its misleading use in that followers of Irish rugby use it in a way that is in direct contrast to its use globally. Hence - tedious.

The 'main issue' is that the IRFU contracts and pays and employs every player. That's it. That's the 'main issue'.

The rest is hot air.
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Post by Brendan Tue 20 Oct 2020, 3:53 pm

PhillBB if the IRFU are paying money to the 4 Irish teams and they are then paying the players and in your view it makes them paid by the IRFU.  Then logic means all the Welsh teams players are paid by the WRU as the WRU fork over the same amount as the IRFU and their players cost less.

The 80% WRU pay for certain players is paid to the player by who knows.

By your same logic the RFU pay part of the players in the Premership through the EPS payments.

The league does not have a wage cap like the Premership.  The owner with the most money is Benetton.  They are free to sign 50 international if they wanted, they choose not to.

Of the Unions the WRU has the biggest income of any of the Unions.  They are free to spend as much as they want but choose not to.  Add to it that 3 of the 4 Welsh teams also have private backers who are free to put in as much as they want, they choose not to.

If you think the IRFU has stopped all these owners from putting up cash to invest in their teams I would love to hear your logic.  SRU has upped investment in their teams without needing IRFU approval.

If you think the IRFU is funding their teams to much may be you don't know the above facts.  Each owner chooses to fund their teams how they wish nothing to do with the league. If private backers in Wales and Italy aren't putting in money says more about the team they own rather the league.

The facts have been discussed loads but the facts remain that excluding Leinster and Munster the next 7 teams are all on about the same wage costs.  The 3 Welsh teams aren't on less and are just poorly managed.  Bath in England are another example and Bristol for years were too of private owned teams performing badly compared to investment.

With Brexit, will the employer of the Ulster players change or will the NI based Ulster Branch still pay them.

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Post by PhilBB Tue 20 Oct 2020, 4:16 pm

Brendan wrote:PhillBB if the IRFU are paying money to the 4 Irish teams and they are then paying the players and in your view it makes them paid by the IRFU.  Then logic means all the Welsh teams players are paid by the WRU as the WRU fork over the same amount as the IRFU and their players cost less.

That's tremendous level of nonsense.

The IRFU are contracting AND paying the players as they are their employer.

Just as you are paid by your employer.

Do you see this now?

In Wales, the WRU employs (i.e. is the employer) of only Dragons players.

Do you now see why the bit I just quoted is 100% nonsense?
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Post by PhilBB Tue 20 Oct 2020, 4:17 pm

Brendan wrote:
The 80% WRU pay for certain players is paid to the player by who knows.

Nope. Wrong again.

The players are 100% paid by their employer which, as above, is NOT the WRU unless they are Dragons players.
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Post by PhilBB Tue 20 Oct 2020, 4:21 pm

Brendan wrote:
If you think the IRFU has stopped all these owners from putting up cash to invest in their teams I would love to hear your logic.

It's pretty simple: I believe that a team like Leinster in private ownership would be even better than it is, would have access to even greater funds and would easily dominate European rugby because, as you note, the lack of a salary cap.

As it is, they got stuffed by a salary-cap limited Saracens in their own back yard. Since 2012, the IRFU has one European Cup winner despite not being hindered by a salary cap and despite spending huge wages on players, in advance of at least the English cap.

So I say the set up in Ireland is stifling at least Leinster and I show the results to support my belief.

Add to that that Ireland, as a nation, has as many Grand Slams as Gethin Jenkins alone does, whilst also still to win a knockout game at a World Cup, and I believe the policy is also harming the Irish national team.
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Post by PhilBB Tue 20 Oct 2020, 4:22 pm

Brendan wrote:If private backers in Wales and Italy aren't putting in money says more about the team they own rather the league.

Again, that's a nonsense. What's the point in spending to win the PrO league? The Scarlets did it a couple of seasons ago to no effect. Nobody cared. It's just a complete waste of time that lives short in the memory.
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Post by PhilBB Tue 20 Oct 2020, 4:24 pm

Brendan wrote:
The facts have been discussed loads but the facts remain that excluding Leinster and Munster the next 7 teams are all on about the same wage costs.  The 3 Welsh teams aren't on less and are just poorly managed.  

And you continue with your nonsense.

There is a huge difference in terms of salary spend between the next 7 teams. There's well over a million in difference, at least. Glasgow and Edinburgh are on at least £1m more (16-17%) than are Cardiff.

So the entire premise of your statement is unadulterated nonsense.
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Post by PhilBB Tue 20 Oct 2020, 4:25 pm

Brendan wrote:Bath in England are another example and Bristol for years were too of private owned teams performing badly compared to investment.

Other than English teams are all spending to the cap (allegedly bar Sale), so there's no basis in reality for that statement.
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Post by PhilBB Tue 20 Oct 2020, 4:29 pm

Brendan wrote:
With Brexit, will the employer of the Ulster players change or will the NI based Ulster Branch still pay them.

That's an interesting question as the company Ulster Rugby Ltd is a micro company with £98 in asset and was set up to administer the 2007 u19 Rugby World Cup.
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