The WRU have raided the coffers once again this season by announcing they’ll give a grant of £1000 to each club following the suspension of all rugby activity in Wales following governmental advice surrounding the Coronavirus.
It follows a £100,000 fund towards the clubs which suffered at the hands of Storm Dennis, but those funds are yet to be wholly distributed to the clubs as of Wednesday.
The status update confirmed that the grant system in place would continue as normal and be paid out at the end of April as expected.
The Union is also seeking to make contingency plans and offer advice to address the fast-moving issues created by the current crisis.
A similar update will be provided directly to all clubs every Wednesday on an ongoing basis with further information on steps the WRU has taken to reduce costs and build forecasted financials well into the next financial year.
The WRU is also working closely with all stakeholders including the Welsh Rugby Players association, the Professional Rugby Board – which oversees the professional game in Wales – the Community Rugby Board, clubs and districts, its commercial partners, sponsors and broadcasters.
It is also seeking counsel from organisations outside of Welsh rugby, from Rugby Unions to World Rugby and Welsh Government and appealing for help from all available sources.
A WRU statement read;
“Please be assured we will do all we can with the resources available to support the many stakeholders that we serve. We will all have to make difficult choices and compromises.
We also know we will need to evolve our plan as things change and as new information comes to light.
We can assure you any decisions made by the WRU will be made with the best interests of everyone in the game and with the best information available at that point in time.”
The WRU aim to emerge from the crisis with all levels of the game intact and stable, from community, to the Premiership and the regions.
The season was going to plan, despite a suspension in play which is forecast to be months rather than weeks, but the lockdown on mass gatherings will see the WRU struggle commercially with the loss of home games (Scotland in the Six Nations – expected to be played on October 31) and the uncertainty over other stadium events over the summer.
This will mean a “substantial loss” in the next financial year, which the WRU expect to have a knock-on effect into the following season.
What next for the game?
The WRU will next reconvene to discuss the ongoing club rugby issues created by the crisis on Monday 31 March, which will see them decide upon the next steps for the community game.
In April they will continue the grants as normal as well as attempting to send out emergency funds to those clubs in a ‘high priority’ status.
The WRU will liaise with World Rugby over what help, if any, is available to them.
The PRB and Community Board will then begin to start discussions over when it is safe to restart the seasons at all levels.
Clubs will have began their own processes to aid the transition of no rugby action in an attempt to stunt losses.