Shock as Ralph Rimmer appointed by the government to save rugby union

Former RFL CEO Ralph Rimmer, and UK Sport Board Member Chris Pilling have been appointed by the government as independent advisers to support the RFU and PRL in their work on the future sustainability of rugby union.

Following the recent failures of several clubs and the wider challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, rugby union has a unique opportunity to reshape its future strategic financial and sporting direction.

The government supports the RFU and PRL’s work to stabilise professional rugby union including attracting new capital investment. It shares the concerns of fans about where the game goes next, and has appointed two independent advisers to work with the RFU and PRL on their plans to restructure the Professional Game Agreement.

The issues at Worcester, Wasps and London Irish have laid bare the challenges facing the sport of rugby union. The inability of rugby clubs to raise capital investment and the financial challenges at various levels within the game have contributed to the need for urgent work to help secure rugby union’s immediate future and advise on its future direction.

The appointment of Rimmer and Pilling as independent advisers will add to the work being undertaken by the RFU and PRL, and has been made with their full agreement. They will provide further independent support and scrutiny on their vision to lead the game to a sustainable future.

Ralph Rimmer delivered substantial financial and regulatory reforms during his time with the Rugby Football League, while Chris Pilling will bring extensive sports management and financial sector expertise to the role.