England spending slashed after RFU lose £31m and axe 54 staff

England spending for Eddie Jones and his set-up is slashed after RFU lose £31m and axe 54 staff

  • Spending on the England set-up has been slashed after a brutal financial year 
  • There was overspend of around £40m on the new East Stand at Twickenham
  • Chairman Andy Cosslett said World Cup budget was set and Jones’ job was safe

Will Kelleher For The Daily Mail

The RFU admitted on Monday that spending on the England set-up has been slashed after a brutal financial year in which the union lost £31million.

The state of the richest union in the world was laid bare in an annual report detailing the RFU’s finances from July 2017 to June this year.

The RFU have dealt with an overspend of around £28m on the new East Stand at Twickenham and on Monday confirmed they had made 54 staff redundant to ‘throttle back’ and save £1.1m.

Eddie Jones' set-up has had to rein back spending in the build up to 2019 World Cup

Eddie Jones’ set-up has had to rein back spending in the build up to 2019 World Cup

They also had revenues cut by £12.5m from the last financial year to £174.4m, largely due to hosting two fewer Twickenham Tests.

Moreover, they revealed Eddie Jones’ set-up has had to rein back spending.

‘It is certainly true that the overall England budget in the previous financial year (2016-17) was overspent,’ said outgoing CEO Steve Brown who resigned this month after just 14 months in charge and will leave at Christmas.

‘It is a mixture of costs around player flow with England, and also some new things that were tried at the time that we have pulled back on and have tightened within the budget.

‘We have control of it and everyone is clear about it from Eddie and his team downwards.’ 

The RFU have dealt with an overspend of around £28m on the new East Stand at Twickenham

The RFU have dealt with an overspend of around £28m on the new East Stand at Twickenham

Chairman Andy Cosslett said the World Cup budget was now set and Jones’ job was safe.

‘We will be making sure that is safeguarded going into the World Cup because we want to win it,’ he said.

‘The performance in the autumn was extremely good, and that discussion (about Jones) has certainly evaporated now.’ 

The enormous loss of £30.9m was the most alarming figure. Brown explained that was offset by the restructuring of hospitality business giving the RFU £31.6m and baulked at suggestions they were hiding their true deficit.

‘We are absolutely not moving money around,’ he added.

‘Let’s get this straight; the £30.9m loss is mirrored by the £31.6m input which is in a different part of the accounts.

‘We are effectively at break even and it would be wrong to report the loss in isolation.’ 

Jones' job is secure after an impressive showing from his side during the autumn internationals

Jones’ job is secure after an impressive showing from his side during the autumn internationals

Brown, who quit his £395,000-a-year job as chief executive, maintained he has not jumped from a sinking ship.

The RFU invested a record £107.7m in professional and amateur rugby in 2017-18 — a figure that will decrease below nine figures next year — and a sure they will make a profit come 2019.

‘I am leaving for my own reasons and I don’t think the ship could be in better shape after the last seven or eight years,’ said Brown. 


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