Rugby Australia (RA) reported a provisional deficit of 9.4 million Australian dollars in 2019 after holding its annual general meeting on Monday.
The meeting was held via video conference and RA was unable to provide full financial accounts due to uncertainty because of the coronavirus pandemic.
RA said it operated at a loss in 2019, as it expected, in a Rugby World Cup year and due to fewer domestic Test matches.
Increased expenditure in community rugby, high performance and marketing and corporate, including the Israel Folau settlement, led to its deficit.
RA chief executive Raelene Castle last year labelled reports the governing body paid Folau eight million AUD after his sacking as “wildly inaccurate”.
“These are unprecedented and extremely uncertain times for our world, not only our sport with the global pandemic of COVID-19,” RA chairman Paul McLean said in a statement.
— Rugby Australia (@RugbyAU) March 30, 2020
“To put it simply, there is no way of knowing what damage this crisis will have on our game, or for how long it will continue to impact us.
“It has forced us to make some extremely difficult decisions, and there will be even harder decisions to come as we continue to navigate the implications of the virus on the game’s finances.
“It was important for us today to review the year and reflect on our learnings from 2019, however the uncertainty that we are facing regarding our immediate future naturally led the discussion at the meeting.”
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