In a message to the rugby union community in England from Bill Sweeney, CEO of England’s RFU (Ruby Football Union), the rugby season has been brought to a premature close as the country battles the Coronavirus spread.
“My thoughts and those of all of us at the RFU are with everyone impacted by COVID-19 as well as recent flooding events, both across the country at large but also within our own rugby union community,” reads the statement.
“In order to provide clarity and to assist with immediate and longer-term planning, the Rugby Football Union is announcing the end of the 2019/20 rugby season for all league, cup and county rugby in England. The only exception to this is the Gallagher Premiership, who we are in active discussions with to review possible best next steps.”
The sports governing body in England becomes the first major union to end any previously on-going sporting activities, with the rest expected to pick a leaf sooner rather than later.
RFU (Ruby Football Union) has postponed the England ruby season due to coronavirus concerns
The RFU says they are not in a strong financial position to keep all games active and are stretched too thin after the extended expenditure on England’s 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign.
“In this extraordinary situation, we are working through a range of potential financial scenarios dependent mainly on the length of this crisis. This was already budgeted to be a loss-making year within a 4-year cycle due to the costs of the 2019 RWC campaign and only hosting two home Six Nations games.
The loss will now be considerably more as we face challenges similar to businesses across the entire country. There may well also be many longer-term financial implications which we are assessing now. It is, therefore, taking us some time to develop a considered position on how we can support clubs and the rugby community, which we will do.”
The RFU hopes to work closely with constituent bodies to support clubs, competition organizers and the wider rugby community in preparing to re-start rugby in what is likely to be a challenging environment.
Author: Lewis Ssemujju
Lewis is a talkative, and budding writer with lots of bias to rugby and weirdly – SEO. He has a passion for philanthropy.