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ARU down $20m in four years

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The Australian Rugby Union is apparently in financial chaos as off-the-field problems blight the Wallabies World Cup preparations, reports suggested on Wednesday.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the ARU’s reserves will drop from A$40m in 2003 to below A$20m by the end of this year.

“As you would expect of a new ARU board of directors and a new CEO, there’s a fair bit of due diligence that has to be done to understand the ARU’s financial position at the end of 2007 compared to where it was four years ago,” a source told The Herald.

It is understood that a major drop in crowds for this year’s Test matches – due perhaps to Wales and South Africa playing second-string teams – has ultimately seen a A$2m reduction in revenue.

The Herald also understands that recently the ARU was deeply concerned it was about to lose two major sponsors – Qantas and Suncorp – which, according to one source, were “looking to walk if there weren’t changes”.

However, the recent return of John O’Neill to the ARU chief executive’s chair appears to have appeased the companies, “who are now back at the table”.

 

365 Digital

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