Irish Rugby announce change in funding model

The IRFU has announced a change to a “simpler, more transparent and fairer” funding model where provinces pay up to 30 per cent of a player's national contract.

Following a review of the current funding model which commenced in September 2023, the IRFU have announced that a number of changes will be implemented from the start of next season.

All four provinces supported these changes.

It was also confirmed that nearly €40 million would be provided by the IRFU to counties on what they described as a “more transparent and equitable basis”.

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The ultimate goal is to ensure the success of the Irish men's national team, which generates 80 per cent of the IRFU's annual revenue.

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“Last year, I announced a review of our funding model, and today I am pleased to announce that this review has been completed,” said Kevin Potts, IRFU chief executive.

“With 80% of the Federation’s income coming from our men’s national team, it is essential that we protect this income at all costs as it is essential to delivering an expanding women’s rugby program and continued support of our domestic game.

“At the heart of our current model is central control over player recruitment and management, which is admired by many. A major change to the funding model will see counties contribute up to 30% of the cost of their players’ national contract, with this level reviewed annually.

“We hear loud and clear from our players that Ireland is the best place for them to play rugby, given our exceptionally high standards of player welfare and game governance, and this is something we are extremely proud of. The strength of rugby in Ireland goes hand in hand with having a healthy, competitive four counties and the IRFU remains committed to delivering that in a Financially sustainable.

“At its core, this new model is simpler, more transparent, fairer and provides better incentive and alignment. However, we will continue to review the model annually which will also need to take into account the upcoming release of the new Strategic Vision for Rugby in Ireland. I would like to thank all counties for their support and engagement in this review, We look forward to implementing these changes to improve rugby in Ireland.


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