New Zealand Rugby has forecast a 70% decline in revenue in 2020 amid the shutdown of sport due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The shutdown to contain the coronavirus has brought rugby to a complete halt in New Zealand, with the country’s five Vodacom Super Rugby teams having to make cuts in staff and player wages in order to survive financially.
The All Blacks’ Test series against Wales and Scotland – scheduled for July – is also expected to be either postponed or called off, something which would cause a further dent to NZR’s finances.
NZR’s forecast for 2020 came after they had announced a NZ$7.4-million loss for 2019, which was better than expected. Given that 2019 was a World Cup year, NZR had budgeted for a $11.4m loss from a reduction in Test matches with a shortened Rugby Championship and no northern-hemisphere tour.
In an AGM via video conference on Thursday, NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said the governing body was working hard to get rugby restarted as soon as they could.
‘We are working within government and ministry of health guidelines to make sure we can get rugby back on the field as soon as possible,’ Robinson said.
‘But in the meantime we’ve had to cancel most of our budgeted activity across all levels of the organisation this year. This is an opportunity for us to focus on what our priorities are for rugby to get through this challenging time together.’
Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images