18 Sep, 2020 09:15 am

IRFU losses due to Covid expected to exceed €30 million this year

The Oireachtas Covid-19 committee will hear concerns from sports organisations today about their financial viability.

Philip Browne, CEO of the IRFU, will tell committee members that the season and associated business operations were “thrown into chaos” in March when the Ireland v Italy Six Nations fixtures became the first mass gatherings to be cancelled.Browne will tell the committee that it is anticipated that the IRFU will “continue to burn at least €5 million a month”, primarily on professional game wages and costs.“They almost entirely depend financially on supporters attending games and we are now entering really dangerous territory for them if the current ban on large spectator attendances continues much longer,” he will tell the committee.“Pre -Covid our financial situation was looking quite positive.

And the lack of a clear pathway to the return of spectators in meaningful numbers means the “perilous financial situation will continue to deteriorate at an alarming rate into 2021, moving to an unsustainable position by third quarter of that year”.Committee members will also hear from GAA President Seán Ó hOráin that there will be “a €50 million hole” in the association’s finances in 2020 alone.

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