Covid-19 will continue to have a major impact on RFU revenues for 2021/22 and beyond, with spectator capacities at Twickenham still unknown. In addition to the impact in this upcoming year, we also continue the longer-term recovery from what was a very low revenue year in 2020/21.
This continues to lead to tough decisions across the whole game and the RFU Board and Council have agreed a business plan that sees continued investment into the game, while also supporting recovery from what has been an incredibly difficult last 15 months.
Even in these challenging times, we will continue to invest in excess of £20m into the community game, greater than the entire turnover of the majority of other national governing bodies of sport.
The RFU Board has also committed to a six-month comprehensive in-year review should capacities increase beyond those budgeted for and should this happen we would look to increase this investment further.
Different ways of working have evolved over the past 12 months and, in many areas, this has helped to strengthen partnerships with, and between, CBs and clubs. We remain committed to building on this collective endeavour and to maximising the resources we have available to us.
• Club liability and catastrophic injury insurance will continue to be funded and provided centrally.
• The core element of PFR funding introduced in 2020/21 will continue into 2021/22. An additional £200k of funding will be provided to CBs to support local delivery of key RFU strategic objectives. Further detail will follow on this and we will look to increase this as this year progresses should the overall position improve.
• Funding for DPP will continue at the same levels as 2019/20. In addition to the funding paid to CBs for Age Grade Representative Rugby in 20/21 and carried forward due to no activity, an additional payment of £9.6k will be made to each CB to support the operation of this.
• Funding for volunteer management and leadership development will be re-instated, building on the previous successes with Leadership Academies and Leadership in Union.
• Recognising the necessity to ensure our pitches are ready for the return of rugby, continued and enhanced funding will be provided to support Rugby Grounds Connected
Match Officials at Levels 3-5 will continue to be deployed centrally and benefit from a national subsidy. Funding contributions from clubs will be charged at the same levels as 2019/20 – £3000 at L3, £1500 at L4 and £650 at L5.
• Funding for the Senior Men’s & U20 and Women’s County Championships will be considered once the current review group have reported on their findings and made their recommendations. Any funding will be decided upon by the Community Game Board who will assess this against contribution and relevance to the RFU strategic priorities.
• Funding to support merit table operation will be reinstated at the same levels as 2019/20.
• A dedicated budget for travel will be re-instated. However this will not be universally distributed to clubs. Support will be provided in two areas (1) to those onshore clubs having to travel offshore to fulfil league fixtures and (2) through a needs-based fund to support clubs most in need, further details on which will follow by the end of June.
• Operational budgets to reflect key areas of ongoing work will continue. While these are significantly smaller than in the pre Covid years we will seek to grow these back over time. Many of these are restricted as they are tied to external funding (e.g. Sport England). However, the Community Game Board will continue to focus on ensuring that any available resource is aligned closely to our strategic priorities