New Zealand Rugby League wishes to correct reports in the media over accounts due to be tabled at this week’s annual meeting in Auckland.
On Wednesday, NZRL will declare a loss of $1.2 million for the 2013/14 financial year, roughly in line with the budgeted shortfall for this period.
The result leaves the national body with a $250,000 overall deficit.
A story published in today’s Sunday Star Times claims NZRL will be $1.2 million in debt, a $2.15 million turnaround from its financial position 12 months ago.
That statement is way off the mark.
“We’re alarmed that the explanation we provided in good faith has been so seriously distorted in his story,” says NZRL chief executive Phil Holden.
“It paints a picture that is far worse than the reality and certainly not in line with what we’ll be presenting to our stakeholders on Wednesday.”
The nature of international rugby league means NZRL operates on a funding cycle that revolves around reduced revenue during a World Cup year.
During the years leading up to each tournament, the organisation must grow its reserves to cover the cost of a Cup campaign.
“In a World Cup year, we give up all our commercial rights and there’s no commercial revenue from a World Cup,” says Holden.
Last year, the reserves stood at $950,000, but the eventual loss edged out over the $1 million mark due mainly to overruns on the men’s campaign and underwriting of the NZ women’s team.
The loss would have occurred even if the Kiwis had successfully defended their World Cup crown against Australia.
Holden has toured the country over the past three months, explaining the result to grassroots stakeholders and outlining a strategic plan that includes an overhaul of the NZRL commercial base so it isn’t as reliant on returns from the national team.