Formed 2004 ... Herts 7s U14 Runners-up 2005 ... North Herts U14 team, Herts Youth Games 2005 runners-up (coached by Letchworth)... Herts Superteams U14 Runners-up 2005 ... Herts SuperTeams "Fairplay" winners 2006 ... Rochford 10s U17 Champions 2006 ... East Midlands 10s U17 Runners-up 2007 ... East Midlands 10s U17 "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... National 10s U17 5th place and "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... Herts 7s U17 Plate runners-up 2007 ... National 7s U17 Plate winners 2007 ... RFU "President's XV" Award winners 2007 ... Herts Superteams winners 2007 ... Midlands 10s U18 Runners-up 2008 ... National 10s U18 4th place 2008 ... North Herts U11 team, Herts Youth Games 2008 runners-up (coached by Letchworth girls) ... London and SE 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2008 ... Herts 7s U18s runners-up 2008 ... National 7s U18s quarter-finalists 2008 ... Gloucester City 10s U18 Bowl runner-up (6th) 2009 ... Worthing 10s U18 Plate runner-up 2009 ... National 7s U18 Plate winners 2009... Worthing 10s U15 Plate winners 2010... Worthing 10s U18 Shield winners 2010... Herts 7s U15 and U18 Bowl runners-up 2010... National 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2010...

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Women's Rugby World Cup made a profit... Just!

After a 2006 tournament that practically bankrupted the Canadian RFU, the great news is that the 2010 Women's Rugby World Cup made a profit... of £47. This is one of the most notable facts buried away in the RFUW's Annual Report, issued today.

No, I haven't missed off any zeros. Despite sell-out crowds on pretty much every day, including a world record attendance for the final, the tournament just about broke even. In fact, given that the income included a grant of £50,000 from the RFUW, technically the game in England ended financially poorer by £49,953.

But all those ticket sales, you may say, where did that money go? Well, the total income from all commercial activities connected with the tournament was just shy of £290,000 - most of which was ticket sales. But this was only about a quarter of the total cost of the event (the gap being made up from grants from the RFUW, IRB, and UK Sport).

Where did the money go? Well...
  •  £700k (pretty much the entire IRB contribution) went on team costs - that is getting the teams to England, housing and feeding them, and moving them around;
  • £250k went on grounds;
  • £85,000 went on match officials; 
  • "Tournament management" (whatever that includes) cost £77,000; 
  • Printing, marketing,VIP entertainment and sundry admin costs were £70k, and 
  • A mysterious "closing ceremony" (anyone remember that? I can't) cost nearly £11,000
All this must be something of a worry for the 2014 World Cup, which will be played we know not where (other than not England, and probably not Europe). How many other women's Unions around the world can afford to host the tournament? Even if an RFU managed to get free grounds and had no "closing ceremony" the unavoidable cost will still be at least £1million.

The IRB pay about three-quarters of that (mainly from profits from the men's World Cup), but that will still leave whoever wins the bid for 2014 with a bill somewhere between £250,000 and £750,000. Could Samoa afford that? Or the USA?

Okay, you cannot measure everything by profit and loss accounts - the benefit to the game of having the best players in the world in the country for the better part of a month can be immense, if handled well and if the local media buy in. But someone still has to pay the bills...

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