ARU To Produce Surplus This Year But Will Go Back Into Deficit Over Next Two Years
The Australian Rugby Union "will produce a surplus this year on the back of a financial windfall from the British and Irish Lions tour, but will go back into deficit over the next two years," according to Bret Harris of THE AUSTRALIAN. Observers expected the Lions tour to provide a financial panacea for Australian rugby, "but it will only offer temporary relief." As a result, new ARU CEO Bill Pulver is "conducting a review of the national governing body's operations and developing a strategic plan to create growth in the game," which involves Australia's Super Rugby franchises becoming financially independent. Pulver said, "We are predicting a surplus for 2013, which is a very good thing because we had a deficit in 2011 and a deficit in 2012. Part of it is getting our balance sheet back in order with some cash back in the business. Sadly, in terms of our long-range planning we are also forecasting a deficit in 2014 and 2015." He added, "One of my first challenges is to look at the cost base of the ARU and review where we are spending our money first of all with a view to getting rid of the deficit, but second of all to free up funds so we can invest in growth areas" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 3/5).