Scottish Rugby report a £10m surplus in an ‘exceptional year’

Impact of Covid on ticket sales and commercial income offset by government support and private equity investment

Scottish Rugby's Annual Report for 2020-21 has been published. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Scottish Rugby's Annual Report for 2020-21 has been published. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

THE 2020-21 Scottish Rugby Union Annual Report was issued earlier this [Thursday] evening, including audited accounts for the year up to 31st May 2021, revealing that  turnover has fallen to £52.498m, from £55.468m last year (when the last two months were impacted by Covid) and from £61.077m in the year up to May 2019 (the last full year before the pandemic).

Ticket income was zero, compared to £10.520 the previous year, while broadcasting revenue rose £8.609m to £19.620m, essentially as a consequence of the timing of the 2020 Six Nations Championship whereby £4.3 of that tournament’s revenue tipped forward into 2021 because it wasn’t completed until the Autumn.

‘Commercial Income’ dropped £1.3336m as a function of the challenging Covid environment. ‘Professional Rugby’ income dropped from £10.139m to £5.4, reflecting the lack of activity. Similarly, ‘Hospitality & Other’ income dropped from £3.295m to £1.071m.


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However, ‘Development Income & Grants’ were up £7.244m from £10.620m to £17.864m gratis a £13.5m grant from the Scottish Government, and £9.85m was booked in relation to CVC’s investment in the PRO14 tournament.

Overall, the accounts show a surplus for the year of £10.5.

The report states that: “Total investment in domestic rugby during the year through club support and rugby development direct and indirect expenditure was £5.0m compared with £7.1 in the prior year”, whilst £7m of the Scottish Government grant was spent on ‘Operating Costs and Infrastructure’ and £2.25m was spent on ‘Stadium Infrastructure and Maintenance’.

Rugby employees have dropped from 329 to 323 and other employees have dropped from 116 to 113, with he average wage across the business dropping from £61,500 to £59,200. £3.1m was claimed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The highest paid Director – presumably the Chief Executive Mark Dodson – received aggregate emoluments of £403k (£454k the year before), comprising entirely of salary and benefits with no pension contributions. Bonus awards were waived by the executive Directors in the year to 31st May 2020 and no discretionary bonus awards were made in this financial year.

The aggregate emoluments to the Directors (executive and Non- Executive) during the financial year was £1.024m (comprising £988k fees and salaries and £36k in pension schemes) down from £1.427m the year before.

Chairman of the Board, John Jeffrey, was paid £26,775 by Scottish Rugby in addition to £22,500 from World Rugby and £27,00 from Six Nations.

“Without doubt this was an exceptional year that generated a standalone set of financial results which a number of notable factors have contributed towards,” said Dodson. “These include ongoing trading and operations, addressing the continuing challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the benefits of the investment in the Guinness Pro14 tournament by CVC and the receipt of government support funds, which the Union and the game gratefully acknowledges.

“This has enabled us to have some confidence in our ability to continue to support the game in Scotland, at every level, on both an operational and financial basis as we move out of the grip of the pandemic and can therefore present a stronger balance sheet at 31st May 2021 to support a recovering trading position moving forward.”


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About David Barnes 2616 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

10 Comments

  1. For clarification, Septic+9 – while relevant to statements of cash flow, loan funds received or repaid don’t affect the P&L account (or, in consequence the profit or loss bottom line) which is only a distant relation to cash flows within a business.

    Under normal circumstances, you’d see loan funds received or repaid reflected on either side of the organisation’s Balance Sheet. Loan monies in or out would be found in the bank account (as a Balance Sheet Current Asset) and the other side of the accounting double-entry “mirror image” shown as a loan / liability within Current Liabilities, or indeed as a longer-term Liability alongside Reserves in the Balance Sheet.

    Make what you will of the SRU’s opaque presentations!

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  2. We probably need a new stadium. Should just build a 100k capacity Murrayfield then do a Rangers.

    Come on, The Scotland!

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  3. More excellent work from the SRU. Finances healthy and national team fortunes healthy. Dodson doing very well indeed to keep the organisation on such sound footing in tough times.

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  4. Without appearing to set up a Witch-hunt, some of the top executives seem to have retained salary and benefits when it would be reasonable to consider a percentage reduction for the top earners, I think other Unions have taken that step. In one case a Thousand Guineas a day is rather generous under any circumstances?
    With regard to the profit shown on the books, is that it, or are there ‘loans’ to be repaid over and above the Bank commitments, the Government money I can’t recall is it a ‘gift’ or a loan in part?
    Sorry for the six staff and the three ancillary workers that have had their ‘Jotters’ perhaps it was that extra Shilling a day that was the ‘Straw’.

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    • all execs took a pay cut. As did all players on over £50k

      The govt money was £15m donation and £5m loan (over 20 years at 0%)

      Debts are listed in the accounts.

      Didn’t pick up on folk getting their jotters, may have missed it f course but the early stance was to avoid any redundancies. Which is not to say natural wastage wouldn’t reduce the number of employees. Also think 7s players now out of contract waiting to see what happens next, been a rubbish season for them.

      The surplus is down to the Govt money and CVC money (first tranch IIRC), and we need to see and understand a bit more about the latter will be of long term benefit as intended rather than just a temporary cash flow easing, welcome as that is. And more on distribution to clubs.

      All that said, have done well to survive and have that bottom line. Big cuts at RFU and dire warnings from IRFU and WRU still about for comparison.

      • Thanks for the clarity, now that you mentioned it there is a memory of a salary reduction, was that just for one year or is it consecutive years till a semblance of normality returns? As you mentioned the Government grant and loan, am I looking at it in too simplistic a way, because if £5m of the money coming in was a loan, then the realistic profit isn’t £10m, or am I proving Mr. Johnson my former Maths teacher’s assessment of my ability as being correct all those years ago.
        The article mentioned the staff reduced from 329 to 323 individuals and the ‘other’ or ancillary staff went from 116 to 113.

      • George, I think your old teacher was right!
        LoL

        I’m not an accountant, but the £5M would count as income when received, the debt shown as that elsewhere. P&L not same as balance sheet I think! Basic double entry book-keeping in my day

        On staff numbers, tks for the details, but its still nt clear if that is natural wastage rather than redundancies – pretty sure they said they would not go down that path as the RFU certainly did, but tough times

      • For clarification, Septic+9 – while relevant to statements of cash flow, loan funds received or repaid don’t affect the P&L account (or, in consequence the profit or loss bottom line) which is only a distant relation to cash flows within a business.

        Under normal circumstances, you’d see loan funds received or repaid reflected on either side of the organisation’s Balance Sheet. Loan monies in or out would be found in the bank account (as a Balance Sheet Current Asset) and the other side of the accounting double-entry “mirror image” shown as a loan / liability within Current Liabilities, or indeed as a longer-term Liability alongside Reserves in the Balance Sheet.

        Make what you will of the SRU’s opaque presentations!

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  5. As soon as somebody says “going forwards”, I immediately suspect them of wanting to be seen to say something because they have nothing useful to add.

    Much like this comment.

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