In a complete turnaround from their statements made earlier this week, the World Rugby governing body has announced that it will be extending a $158 million Crisis Fund in the form of advances and loans to unions South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and Argentina. There is no doubt many of Rugby Australia’s financial problems would be alleviated by this money as the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on sports events and organisations in our country.
The Fund will be available to the Six Nations, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales, and the SANZAAR unions which require emergency money, but certain criteria will need to be met.
The package may be worth as much as $15 million to RA, who have already effected extensive cuts to its administration and may go on to finalise a pay deal in the interim with the Rugby Union Players’ Association. RA, seeking a pay cut of 65% for players over six months, stands to lose as much as $120 million in income if players can’t get back onto the field in 2020 because of COVID-19.
WR Chairman Bill Beaumont has been quoted as saying that global sport is facing a crisis the likes of which it’s never seen. He explained that this is why they have taken unprecedented action to help support global Rugby, its competitions, players, and unions.
This is the direct opposite of what Vice-President Agustin Pichot was quoted as saying earlier on this week!
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