The full cost of Israel Folau saga has been revealed, after Rugby Australia’s 2019 financial figures were leaked to the media last weekend.
The figures, which were leaked to News Corp and also reported on by the Sydney Morning Herald, note a $4 million increase in player costs, as well as a $3.8 million increase in corporate expenditure.
According to the Herald, Folau’s $4 million dollar settlement payout falls under RA’s player costs, as well as being listed as part of the $20 million bill the organisation owes creditors.
Then RA boss Raelene Castle refused to comment on the exact figure of Folau’s settlement at the time it was reached, but dismissed reports that the dollar figure was as high as $8 million.
The sharp increase in corporate costs was also largely to do with RA’s defence throughout the Folau saga.
A substantial legal bill, as well as the cost of hiring PR firm Bastion Reputation Management, contributed to the budget blowout.
The bad news continued throughout the report with revenue from match days and broadcast dropping by $10 million and $30 million respectively.
Australia’s Rugby World Cup campaign cost the organisation a further $8 million, but the major event also resulted in a $7 million expenditure increase.
It wasn’t all bad news for Rugby Australia though, with the report also noting a $5 million uptick in sponsorship money.
Rugby Australia aiming for July return for Super Rugby teams
Rugby Australia officials expect to have their replacement Super Rugby competition locked in by the end of this month with an aim of starting in early July.
RA has released a return-to-play strategy with the aim of starting a five or six team 12-week competition, with Western Force and possibly Japan's Sunwolves joining the four Australian Super Rugby teams.
The original five-nation Super Rugby competition was suspended in mid-March because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic .
"The draw we are looking at is a 12-week competition, 10 weeks of regular round matches and depending on the number of teams, work out how many games per week there.'" RA general manager of professional rugby services Ben Whitaker said.
"The Sunwolves, at the moment would be located in either New South Wales or Queensland."
The four-nation Rugby Championship which is due to commence in August, will be pushed back, though SANZAAR officials are still hoping it will be staged.