Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

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Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby Flash Gordon » July 15th, 2016, 6:33 pm

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne has issued a stark warning on the future of professional rugby in Ireland against the growing financial muscle of the game at club level in England and France.
Calling on the Pro 12 to increase its revenue streams, Browne said that the IRFU can no longer be the “lender of last resort” as wage demands continue to rise.
As part of the IRFU’s annual report, Browne outlined the challenges facing the game here.
“All is change in the European rugby environment with the growing dominance of those clubs in France and England with deep financial pockets,” said Browne.
“The size and quality of the playing squads that these clubs can assemble from around the world has changed the balance of power in Europe to the detriment of our provinces and the IRFU who simply cannot match the playing budgets of these teams.
“An extension of this new European order is the difficulty that faces the Pro 12 as a competition operating in Ireland, Scotland and Wales – three rugby markets which are a fraction the size of those in England and France.
“The revenues generated by the tournament need to increase significantly if the participating clubs are to remain competitive with the clubs in the English and French leagues. Such an increase in values will require some radical change to the tournament and how it is structured.”
Although Browne believes there is for the provinces to increase gate receipts revenue, this will not be enough to bridge the gap on the big English and French clubs. He also pointed out that the revenue generated by the IRFU through the international game is already largely contracted out for the next number of years.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that the professional game in Ireland can no longer rely on the IRFU being the ‘lender of last resort’ as the IRFU no longer has the capacity to absorb the increasing cost of the professional game as Irish rugby struggles to respond to the inflating player market in England and France.
“The risks to the Irish professional game are potentially profound and one of the key mitigation strategies is to invest in our pathway to develop better quality players more quickly through a more effective pathway – a key element of the new High Performance strategy.”
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby rookie » July 15th, 2016, 8:01 pm

Flash Gordon wrote:IRFU chief executive Philip Browne has issued a stark warning on the future of professional rugby in Ireland against the growing financial muscle of the game at club level in England and France.
Calling on the Pro 12 to increase its revenue streams, Browne said that the IRFU can no longer be the “lender of last resort” as wage demands continue to rise.
As part of the IRFU’s annual report, Browne outlined the challenges facing the game here.
“All is change in the European rugby environment with the growing dominance of those clubs in France and England with deep financial pockets,” said Browne.
“The size and quality of the playing squads that these clubs can assemble from around the world has changed the balance of power in Europe to the detriment of our provinces and the IRFU who simply cannot match the playing budgets of these teams.
“An extension of this new European order is the difficulty that faces the Pro 12 as a competition operating in Ireland, Scotland and Wales – three rugby markets which are a fraction the size of those in England and France.
“The revenues generated by the tournament need to increase significantly if the participating clubs are to remain competitive with the clubs in the English and French leagues. Such an increase in values will require some radical change to the tournament and how it is structured.”
Although Browne believes there is for the provinces to increase gate receipts revenue, this will not be enough to bridge the gap on the big English and French clubs. He also pointed out that the revenue generated by the IRFU through the international game is already largely contracted out for the next number of years.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that the professional game in Ireland can no longer rely on the IRFU being the ‘lender of last resort’ as the IRFU no longer has the capacity to absorb the increasing cost of the professional game as Irish rugby struggles to respond to the inflating player market in England and France.
“The risks to the Irish professional game are potentially profound and one of the key mitigation strategies is to invest in our pathway to develop better quality players more quickly through a more effective pathway – a key element of the new High Performance strategy.”


Munster being the main reason for this warning!
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby Scott » July 16th, 2016, 7:39 am

Jeez that's all a bit grim
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby simonokeeffe » July 16th, 2016, 8:08 am

They could add some Italian teams, oh wait...

The 3 pieces are interesting. Ulster have paid back all their Kingspan loans so they look solvent short and medium term but Browne says he doesnt expect Munster to pay back their loan

The North American pro12 team is BS IMO, all the players would want to leave it for bigger teams, operating costs for it (starting up) would be huge

They want to make the pro12 more profitable then lean heavy on Italians to subsidise their 2 teams properly and or bring in a conference style system, each province gets 2 more home interpros so gates go up, season tickets get more valuable again, Welsh can do more judgement days, tv rights for increased derby games would go up, and not like pro12 sides let alone from same country meet in Europe any more so I dont think it would lead to fixture fatigue. Maybe alternate each year between who out of Irish and Welsh sides gets the Italians or Scots
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby Stuka » July 16th, 2016, 11:55 am

Munster are the new Glasgow Rangers.

Where are all their pride and passion filled fans these days?
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby simonokeeffe » July 16th, 2016, 12:22 pm

Tbf I think their crowds wil be up this season, better when theyre bitter, but also new coach etc

we do underestimate importance of kick off times to them though
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby Dave Cahill » July 16th, 2016, 12:39 pm

What on earth was Browne at, going into the Presser after the AGM and bojoing stuff all over the place
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby simonokeeffe » July 16th, 2016, 1:22 pm

Dave Cahill wrote:What on earth was Browne at, going into the Presser after the AGM and bojoing stuff all over the place


maybe he was firing a shot across the bows of the Italians?
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby Dave Cahill » July 16th, 2016, 1:25 pm

I'd say the Italians are pretty sure they could take one team that hasn't played since 1948 and another that doesn't exist!
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby simonokeeffe » July 16th, 2016, 1:35 pm

Dave Cahill wrote:I'd say the Italians are pretty sure they could take one team that hasn't played since 1948 and another that doesn't exist!


I have my doubts about that personally but I mean in terms of existence/participation in the league
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby Dave Cahill » July 16th, 2016, 1:46 pm

For a threat to be effective, even minimally, in any way, shape, or form, there has to be some kind of possibility of it carried out, no matter how small that possibility is. There is no possibility of Real Madrid Rugby Club or Real Sociadad Rugby Club joining the Pro12, as the clubs don't exist. He may as well threaten them with Melchester Rovers. Browne may well be on the cusp of outstaying his usefulness to Irish Rugby in a day to day hands on role.
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby simonokeeffe » July 16th, 2016, 2:06 pm

I mean turfing them out of the league irrespective of replacements or not

Am against it myself but we have 4 fixtures that clash with internationals this season so less is more on league games has some merit and depending on conference format you can do 15, 16, or 21 regular season games with 12 teams. 10 teams brings a problem of splitting the 2 Scottish sides in different conferences
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby Aird » July 16th, 2016, 5:39 pm

Are the Leinster finances strong enough to part finances the Ballsbridge redevelopment and will their return from match days be improved from the current situation ?
Are Leinster able to become self financing without private financing of players salaries as is the current situation with Sexton ?
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby Armchair » July 17th, 2016, 8:11 am

Aird wrote:Are the Leinster finances strong enough to part finances the Ballsbridge redevelopment and will their return from match days be improved from the current situation ?
Are Leinster able to become self financing without private financing of players salaries as is the current situation with Sexton ?


Simple answer is no, new stadium will help gate receipts but costs incurred will have to be paid back first. Leinster in better place than Munster and Connacht not as good as Ulster. Talks of Leinster looking for a top up from IRFU ad another deficit this year and pro 12 income stream is not matching wage inflation. Likely to see an attempt at attracting more and more private financing with the blessing of the Union as unless we merge with English Premiership highly unlikely that pro 12 in its current format will be able to provide enough income for most of the teams in it to progress as themselves, their fans and their unions want to
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby simonokeeffe » July 17th, 2016, 9:25 am

Are we paying anything towards RDS works? And isnt it all being covered by naming rights?
When he spreads his legs like that youd need dynamite or the Highland Light Infantry to shift him.
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby Dave Cahill » July 17th, 2016, 11:41 am

simonokeeffe wrote:Are we paying anything towards RDS works?


Very very little if anything.

One thing that seems to have snuck under the radar, perhaps not by accident either, is that the IRFU have paid off their debt on the Aviva Stadium and are back in the black this year
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby Oldschool » July 17th, 2016, 4:40 pm

Dave Cahill wrote:
simonokeeffe wrote:Are we paying anything towards RDS works?


Very very little if anything.

One thing that seems to have snuck under the radar, perhaps not by accident either, is that the IRFU have paid off their debt on the Aviva Stadium and are back in the black this year

Two questions - If yiu have the info.
How much cash does that free up annually.
How does the FAI fit into that. Eg do they owe the banks, the Irfu (rent and/or other) or both.
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby Dave Cahill » July 17th, 2016, 5:01 pm

Oldschool wrote:
Dave Cahill wrote:
simonokeeffe wrote:Are we paying anything towards RDS works?


Very very little if anything.

One thing that seems to have snuck under the radar, perhaps not by accident either, is that the IRFU have paid off their debt on the Aviva Stadium and are back in the black this year

Two questions - If yiu have the info.
How much cash does that free up annually.
How does the FAI fit into that. Eg do they owe the banks, the Irfu (rent and/or other) or both.


I don't know how much it frees up annually, but Fannings article mentioned that the IRFU was back in the black to the tune of €5m this year, so...

The FAI are carrying a fair amount of debt, but they also have far higher earnings. They currently owe 35 million on the stadium, which seems like a lot, but when you consider it was around 70million 7 years ago, they're on target to be debt free by 2020 - which was the plan. They got 8 million for qualifying for the Euros, 0.5 million for drawing with Sweden, 1m for beating Italy and a further 1.5 million for qualifying for the round of 16 - the money in football, even at Irelands level is far beyond anything rugby can dream of.

The FAI aren't paying rent - they own 50% of the stadium (well to be precise, they own 50% of the stadium company that has leased the stadium for 60 years after which time the stadium returns to IRFU ownership)
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby Mauler » July 18th, 2016, 12:03 am

The Used Car Salesmen have had two write downs on their loans one in 2014 [€11.7m] & one from BOI in 2016 [€10m]. Not to mention the financial assistance they received from UFEA in 2013. And as recently as last year the Chief Used Car Salesman had to abandoned his 'debt free by 2020' prediction. They of course unexpectedly did qualify for the Euro's, a competition which took two years to whittle 55 countries down to 24 or in other words 43% of all UEFA countries made it through to the Finals. But no doubt the win fall they got for losing two games and drawing another out of four will eventually help pay off their remaining €35m debt.
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Re: Philip Browne issues warning to the provinces

Postby Dave Cahill » July 18th, 2016, 12:43 am

Mauler wrote:The Used Car Salesmen have had two write downs on their loans one in 2014 [€11.7m] & one from BOI in 2016 [€10m]. Not to mention the financial assistance they received from UFEA in 2013. And as recently as last year the Chief Used Car Salesman had to abandoned his 'debt free by 2020' prediction. They of course unexpectedly did qualify for the Euro's, a competition which took two years to whittle 55 countries down to 24 or in other words 43% of all UEFA countries made it through to the Finals. But no doubt the win fall they got for losing two games and drawing another out of four will eventually help pay off their remaining €35m debt.


So, the FAI are paying 45 million for their half of the stadium and the IRFU are paying 70 million for their half of that stadium. Hmmm, can anyone hire these used car salesmen?

The FAI are still on schedule to have the debt cleared by 2020, this was reaffirmed when their accounts were released last week.

Still at least we have the Real Madrid and Real Sociedad rugby teams to look forward to, eh Philip, eh?! You wouldn't see a used car salesmen having that kind of depth of knowledge about their sport.
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