Banner image

RFU Statement: 2019/20 Tyrrells Premier 15s season

Today, in a letter to the rugby clubs in England, Bill Sweeney, RFU CEO, has confirmed the end of the 2019/20 season for all league, cup and county rugby in England with the exception of the Gallagher Premiership, which the RFU is in active discussions with.

The decision to confirm the end of the season was taken to assist with long term planning and provide clarity to the game at a time of continuous change. 

The RFU continues to work on a range of options to support clubs at this challenging time and aims to outline these in more detail by mid-April. 

Message from Bill Sweeney

My thoughts and those of all of us at the RFU are with everyone impacted by COVID-19 as well as recent flooding events, both across the country at large but also within our own rugby union community.

In order to provide clarity and to assist with immediate and longer term planning, the RFU is today announcing the end of the 2019/20 rugby season for all league, cup and county rugby in England. The only exception to this is the Gallagher Premiership, who we are in active discussions with to review possible best next steps.

When current government advice on social distancing measures changes, we will naturally encourage rugby training and friendlies to recommence.

I would like to personally thank everyone for their swift actions in suspending rugby activity, this is not an easy time and I know many of you will have concerns that go beyond the game.

We are working through the implications of ending the season early and have instigated a thorough process to ensure fair and balanced outcomes for the game. We will communicate these outcomes by the middle of April. While we would like to provide all the answers now, we need some time to get it right for the best interests of the game. Rest assured we are working on this as a priority and we will continue to send weekly updates to clubs.

The three areas of focus for the RFU right now are Welfare, Implications and Reboot.

Welfare

We are ensuring colleagues and communities are given support to follow government advice and are providing recommendations on how to stay fit and healthy using individual training programmes. We are also talking to government about how we can deploy and mobilise our own resources across England to support the vulnerable.

Implications

Every union is different, with unique structures and challenges and the RFU needs to manage its own particular complexities. Our business model is similar to most rugby clubs - we earn revenue from events on and off the field and we invest that back into the game. We benefit from strong Twickenham Stadium revenues but we are also exposed if there is widespread cancellation of games and events.

In this extraordinary situation we are working through a range of potential financial scenarios dependent mainly on the length of this crisis. This was already budgeted to be a loss making year within a 4 year cycle due to the costs of the 2019 RWC campaign and only hosting two home Six Nations games. The loss will now be considerably more as we face challenges similar to businesses across the entire country. There may well also be much longer term financial implications which we are assessing now. It is therefore taking us some time to develop a considered position on how we can support clubs and the rugby community, which we will do.

We have already undertaken financial measures to safeguard the business enabling us to review all options and programmes to provide support for clubs in these difficult times.

We welcome the measures announced by Government which could provide crucial support to professional and community clubs and the RFU. We are in regular contact with Sport England and The Sport and Recreation Alliance to understand how business rate relief and hardship funds can be accessed by clubs and will be providing assistance to make sure every club who is eligible will be supported.

The implications for all areas of rugby will be thoroughly worked through and solutions discussed and developed with the clubs.

Reboot

Our welfare advice before the start of next season will switch to offering guidance on how players at all levels can reboot and get match ready.

We will work closely with constituent bodies to support clubs, competition organisers and the wider rugby community in preparing to re-start rugby in what is likely to be a challenging environment.

In recent days we have all been inspired by the many stories across the rugby family working together to support those who are the most vulnerable in their community – this encapsulates the unique spirit of rugby. I am confident that this spirit and resilience during these tough times will ensure we will come through this together and emerge stronger.

Take care and stay safe,

Bill Sweeney


Latest News

Donate your old shirts to Kitmas

Donate your old shirts to Kitmas

Posted: Tuesday, December 6th 2022

Nominate your community heroes for Ravenscroft Christmas giveaway

Nominate your community heroes for Ravenscroft Christmas giveaway

Posted: Monday, December 5th 2022

Shop the Bears Christmas range

Shop the Bears Christmas range

Posted: Monday, December 5th 2022

Highlights: Bristol Bears 26-26 Leicester Tigers

Highlights: Bristol Bears 26-26 Leicester Tigers

Posted: Sunday, December 4th 2022

Also from Bristol Sport

🎟 Emirates FA Cup clash set for priority sale
Football icon

🎟 Emirates FA Cup clash set for priority sale

Tickets are priced from £5 for City's Third Round Emirates FA Cup clash against Swansea City which will go on priority sale at 10am on Wednesday, December 7th.

Posted: Monday, December 5th 2022 • Football

📝 Report: Crystal Palace Under-21s 2-5 Bristol City Under-21s
Football icon

📝 Report: Crystal Palace Under-21s 2-5 Bristol City Under-21s

A brace from Sam Pearson helped City secure a Premier League Cup victory over Crystal Palace.

Posted: Monday, December 5th 2022 • Football

Watch England’s 2022 FIFA World Cup quarter-final at Ashton Gate
Stadium icon

Watch England’s 2022 FIFA World Cup quarter-final at Ashton Gate

Tickets are now on sale to watch England’s 2022 FIFA World Cup quarter-final against France at Ashton Gate’s Sports Bar and Fan Village on Saturday, December 10th at 7pm.

Posted: Monday, December 5th 2022 • Stadium

📻  James on Sound of the City
Football icon

📻 James on Sound of the City

Matty James will feature in an extended interview on BBC Radio Bristol’s Sound of the City this evening.

Posted: Monday, December 5th 2022 • Football

🗞 Young Robins take on Eagles
Football icon

🗞 Young Robins take on Eagles

City Under-21s are back in action this afternoon in the Premier League Cup return leg against Crystal Palace (2pm).

Posted: Monday, December 5th 2022 • Football