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Money distributed to Super League clubs reduced dramatically as they lose millions

Today, the RFL have shared their financial report for 2022 which sadly detailed an overall loss of nearly £1 million.

urnover was up by 70% from £24.764m in 2021 to £42.152m in 2022, largely as a result of the World Cup, with sponsorship increasing from £1.668m to £5.744m, and Government funding from £8.351m to £11.030m, mainly due to grants received by Rugby League World Cup 2021 Limited for delivery of the Tournament in 2022.

The Strategic Report accompanying the statements summarises the results as follows:

“The Board and Executive team had budgeted to make a profit in 2022 (£394k) in order to continue the financial turnaround from the previous three years and to build reserves for future to bolster the Group’s ability to absorb potential budget shocks in the coming years.

“Despite strict cost control and management of spend by the Executive, the Group has been faced with another challenging year.”

Four key areas are identified, of which Insurance is the most significant, with costs rising from £705,644 in 2021 to £1,430,627 in 2022 – the result of “a significant premium increase which was not able to be budgeted”. This cost is incurred on behalf of the whole game, as it arises from liability insurance placed by the RFL on behalf of its clubs.

Central Events are the next factor identified, with ticketing revenues for the 2022 Challenge Cup Final “below expectations”, and “a significant cost absorbed to stage the Mid-Season International…which gave the England Men’s and Women’s teams a chance to perform ahead of the RLWC2021 tournament held in the autumn”.

One interesting aspect is that distributions to clubs were significantly reduced, from £8.356m in 2021 to £5.278m in 2022 – relating in the main to the reduction in distributions to Championship and League One Clubs resulting from the sport’s lower levels of revenue

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