Winning national teams, the second successive profit for New Zealand Rugby and a return to financial health for Provincial Unions marked an exceptional 2013 for rugby, outgoing New Zealand Rugby Union Chairman Mike Eagle said today.
Speaking at the 122nd AGM of the organisation in Wellington, Eagle said it was very satisfying to be retiring after such a successful year on and off the field.
“2013 was without a doubt an exceptional year – on the field where most of our men and women in black excelled and off the field where financially we were able to breathe a little easier in the face of our ongoing challenges.”
In 2013 the All Blacks recorded a perfect season and both men’s and women’s sevens teams became world champions. Off the field the organisation posted a profit of $2.9 million, the second consecutive year in the black, and restored cash reserves to $63.7 million.
The 2013 Annual Report is available here.
“With a strengthened financial position we were able to share some of the gains with Provincial Unions, while players also shared in the upside through the new Collective Employment Agreement.
“It is very satisfying to note that Provincial Unions have largely been restored to profitability after several very challenging years.”
Eagle said the economic climate remained difficult and it was critical for all in rugby to keep working hard to contain costs and grow revenues.
“We cannot sustain the successes of our game on the field without consistently strong performances off it. It’s vital that our game remains financially healthy and well-led.”
New directors for NZRU
Outgoing Northland Rugby Chairman Andrew Golightly was elected to the Board as the Northern Zone representative, defeating incumbent Gerard van Tilborg who served two terms.
“We welcome Stuart and Andrew to the Board. They bring valuable governance, commercial and rugby administration experience to the table as well as a fresh perspective and we look forward to their contribution.
“We thank Gerard for the part he has played over the past six years. He came in at a time when rugby faced great challenges on and off the field and we have greatly valued his contribution. We wish him all the best.”
During the AGM, the Appointments and Remuneration Committee appointed experienced businessman Peter Kean as a new independent director replacing Bob Field who was elected in 2011. Kean is a long serving executive at Lion and has been managing director of subsidiary Lion Dairy & Drink.
“We welcome Peter to the Board and thank Bob for his contribution these past three years,” said Eagle. “As an independent director he has challenged us when we needed to be tested, providing a wealth of commercial experience as well as passion for rugby which has greatly helped our decision-making.”
Strong performance for organisation
Chief executive Steve Tew said the result was another strong outcome for all of New Zealand rugby.
“The highlights were of course a perfect season for the All Blacks, two sevens world cups and world series, matched by strong performances by other national teams. The second consecutive operating profit, the continued growth of a strong commercial programme, return to profitability for Provincial Unions and the successful conclusion of a new Collective Employment Agreement were also significant factors.
“On the more challenging side we had mixed results in terms of fan attendance, and interest across some of our competitions and we continue to face challenges around retaining young players, coaches and referees. This was largely behind the 18 per cent of unachieved targets.”
New Chairman to be elected in May
New Board member bios