Annual Report & Governance
2012 Annual Report
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The Watkins Review of Rugby League Governance
The sport of Rugby League and the Rugby Football League have evolved over the past 10 years so that the organisation has become one of the most respected National Governing Bodies in the United Kingdom.
Throughout this period, the sport has built a positive reputation for good governance based upon the two fundamental ideals of an independent board and a unified structure for the whole of the sport.
The recommendations contained in this report relate to the governance of the sport.
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The RFL increased its turnover to an all-time high of £27.04m in 2011 when the distribution of funds to member clubs reached record levels, it was announced at the sport’s Annual General Meeting earlier today.
The turnover of £27.04m represents an 18.5 per cent increase on 2010 and allowed the RFL to increase payments to or on behalf of clubs and other member organisations to £9.18m, the 11th increase in successive years.
That figure, which includes fees for participating in the Challenge Cup, the Co-operative Championship, insurance payments and player welfare provision, is almost triple the amount invested five years ago, when distributions stood at £3.46m.
The RFL also recorded a pre-tax profit for the 10th consecutive year in 2011, in spite of the continued economic downturn.
RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood said: “The RFL’s record turnover in 2011 is a commendable achievement which has allowed us to provide unparalleled levels of assistance to clubs at a time when every area of the game is facing financial pressure.
“Whilst the governing body remains committed to building on its track record of delivering growth across the whole game, we are under no illusions as to how tough it is out there.
“The flat economic outlook means that 2011 turnover levels could represent something of a high water mark for the RFL but we will continue to strive to build on our achievements of the last 11 years.
“With the kick-off of the Rugby League World Cup just 15 months away, the organisation and the sport are well placed to take full advantage of the opportunities this exciting international competition present.”
A summary of the RFL’s financial highlights and consolidate profit and loss account for the year ending December 31 2011 are included in the 2011 Annual Report, which also features an extensive review of the 2011 season and RFL activity throughout the year, including the Championships Review, Participation and Community developments, the continued development of the England brand and ongoing plans for Rugby League World Cup 2013.
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The RFL recorded a pre-tax profit for the ninth consecutive year in 2010 and celebrates its own golden decade in the Annual Report which was presented to clubs at their AGM on Wednesday.
The total income received by Rugby League’s governing body increased to a highest ever figure of £22.8m in 2010, a 4.1 per cent increase on 2009, whilst payments made to or on behalf of clubs and other member organisation increased for the 10th year in succession and now stands at a record £8.7m.
That figure, which includes amongst other things, fees for participating in the Challenge Cup, the Co-operative Championship, insurance payments and player welfare provision, is up from £1.6m 10 years ago, an increase of 440 per cent.
Nigel Wood, the RFL’s Chief Executive, said: “We were very pleased to report to Council that in 2010 the RFL achieved a record level of turnover at £22.8m. This was even more gratifying given that we did not host an international tournament in 2010, as this normally provides a considerable element of the organisation’s activities.
“The RFL’s performance last year saw the governing body build on its achievements of the preceding nine years, a period which represents a golden decade for the sport. Over the 10-year period, income coming centrally into the sport across both the RFL and SLE has grown from £18.6m to £48.2m, a 159 per cent increase.
“Payments to clubs have more than doubled in Super League and trebled in the Championships, providing stability and opportunities for growth for all professional clubs in what, over recent times, have been difficult trading conditions.
“The tough economic climate continues to offer challenges for all sections of the game but the RFL remains committed to providing the levels of support needed to ensure this great sport continues to thrive.”
Government funding increased to £7.5m in 2010, up from £4.4m in 2009, which represents a 69 per cent increase.
Due to the Four Nations being staged in the southern hemisphere match income fell to £3.3m from £5.3m, however, all other games showed a 7.1 per cent increase in revenue in a year which saw both the Carnegie Challenge Cup Final and Engage Super League Grand Final played out in front of capacity crowds at Wembley and Old Trafford.
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The RFL’s Annual Report for 2009 was presented to clubs at their AGM at Halifax on Wednesday 6th July 2010.
It showed that the RFL recorded a pre-tax profit for an eight consecutive year in 2009, a period which saw Rugby League’s governing body distribute record payments to and on behalf of its member clubs.
Rugby League clubs received a total of £5.3m from central funds last year, £3m more than in 2008, from a turnover of £21.9m, the largest in the RFL’s history.
The record turnover was 50 per cent higher than the previous record of £14.5m in 2008 and was largely due to increased broadcast revenue and grants from Sport England to increase participation at grassroots level.
The figures published show that Rugby League is in robust health and is well-placed to ride the economic downturn.
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Once again crowd records were broken, participation increased, the TV negotiations were successfully concluded and ongoing financial stability all contributed to building on the successes of the last few years.
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To download the 2007 Annual Report please click below...