RFU plans to make 139 jobs redundant after predicting loss of £107m

The sport has been suspended in England since March
The sport has been suspended in England since March

Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney said the board is planning to cut 139 jobs following the financial crisis created by the pandemic coronavirus.

The move is seen as a measure to cope up with the projected short-term revenue loss of £107m after the sport in the country was suspended since March.

"We are having to make difficult decisions on what we can continue to invest in as well as what is the right size and shape of our business for the future," said Sweeney in a statement released by the England board.

"To ensure we have a sustainable RFU we have announced to colleagues that it is proposed that the total number of roles across the organisation will reduce by 139.

"This will be a difficult process, but we will be consulting with colleagues in a fair way to completely remodel our business."

While England's Six Nations game against Italy was postponed, the summer tour is also cancelled with the board exploring an opportunity of having an extended Six Nations competition at the end of the year to recover the loss.

Even though RFU had already taken a number of cost-cutting measures including furloughing 60 per cent of employees and temporary wage cuts, Sweeney reckons the impact of the outbreak of Covid-19 will take four to five years to recover.

"We furloughed 60 per cent of our organisation; implemented a three-month pay reduction which has been extended for some; introduced pension pauses; and refined business planning and introduced stadium and office running efficiencies to reduce costs.

"Unfortunately, this is not enough to run a sustainable operation and safeguard our future.

"We need to maintain our organisation for the long term, this is not a short-term cost reduction exercise, the RFU will still stand, but the impact of COVID-19 will continue to affect us for many years to come."

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