SA Rugby reveals multi-million dollar budget cuts
UPDATE: South African Rugby announced on Tuesday huge budget cuts and the cancellation of several events in an attempt to combat the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the major uncertainty and huge financial loss, SA Rugby is still hoping the scheduled Test matches for the world champion Springboks would go ahead.
Chief executive of SA Rugby Jurie Roux said the sport’s stakeholders had agreed to cut between R700 million (about US$36.8 million) and R1 billion (about US$52.6 million) from the budget for the next eight months against what he said was a “worst-case” scenario which no rugby will be played for the rest of the year.
The Plan has been agreed in a united strategy formulated in discussions including representatives from all stakeholders: SA Rugby; provincial unions; players and rugby industry employees. The plan incorporates the Industry Salary Plan (ISP) which will see a united and collective approach towards salary reductions.
The cuts will include salary reductions for officials and players.
“Many businesses find themselves in a fight for survival and rugby is no different,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
“We face an extremely threatening crisis and we had to take united and decisive action to address it head-on.
“I’d like to commend the employees, players and the unions for the collaborative and realistic way they have approached this crisis. We are all in this together and we all quickly agreed that we have to equally contribute to the solution.”
Roux said that the salary reductions had been agreed in principle by the collective and were now being communicated to those effected before final approval through the various governance channels of SA Rugby, MyPlayers, Sports Employees Unite and the individual unions.
“Our income is tied to the playing of professional rugby and without matches, we potentially don’t have any income,” said Roux.
“This Industry Financial Impact Plan has been formulated against a worst-case scenario where we are not able to resume play for the rest of the year. It means we face a major belt-tightening exercise on a sport-wide and personal level; but without these measures, we wouldn’t have much of a sport to return to.”
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In addition, Roux said all age group events with the exception of a planned under-21 provincial competition, had been scrapped, while all club rugby was on hold because the country was in lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“These are unprecedented times, not only for rugby in South Africa but across all spheres of life all over the globe,” said Roux.
But he revealed that home Test matches against Scotland, on July 4 and July 11, remained on the schedule as well as a fixture against Georgia on July 18.
The first Test against Scotland will hold special significance as it is likely to be the last match at the historic Newlands stadium in Cape Town.
The Rugby Championship involving home and away matches against Argentina, Australia and New Zealand during August and September, was also still set to go ahead.
The Currie Cup provincial competition and other franchise tournaments had also not yet been cancelled.
But Roux reiterated that all fixtures were dependent on contingency planning around the illness’ situation.
“We are currently on a return to train and play readiness plan but this is dependent on government advice and decisions as the pandemic evolves,” he said.
*Read the full statement below…
Source: AFP & SA Rugby