The RFL recorded a pre-tax profit for the ninth consecutive year in 2010 and celebrates its own golden decade in the Annual Report which was presented to clubs at their AGM.
The total income received by Rugby League’s governing body increased to a highest ever figure of £22.8m in 2010, a 4.1 per cent increase on 2009, whilst payments made to or on behalf of clubs and other member organisation increased for the 10th year in succession and now stands at a record £8.7m.
That figure, which includes amongst other things, fees for participating in the Challenge Cup, the Co-operative Championship, insurance payments and player welfare provision, is up from £1.6m 10 years ago, an increase of 440 per cent.
Nigel Wood, the RFL’s Chief Executive, said: “We were very pleased to report to Council that in 2010 the RFL achieved a record level of turnover at £22.8m. This was even more gratifying given that we did not host an international tournament in 2010, as this normally provides a considerable element of the organisation’s activities.
“The RFL’s performance last year saw the governing body build on its achievements of the preceding nine years, a period which represents a golden decade for the sport. Over the 10-year period, income coming centrally into the sport across both the RFL and SLE has grown from £18.6m to £48.2m, a 159 per cent increase.
“Payments to clubs have more than doubled in Super League and trebled in the Championships, providing stability and opportunities for growth for all professional clubs in what, over recent times, have been difficult trading conditions.
“The tough economic climate continues to offer challenges for all sections of the game but the RFL remains committed to providing the levels of support needed to ensure this great sport continues to thrive.”
Government funding increased to £7.5m in 2010, up from £4.4m in 2009, which represents a 69 per cent increase.
Due to the Four Nations being staged in the southern hemisphere match income fell to £3.3m from £5.3m, however, all other games showed a 7.1 per cent increase in revenue in a year which saw both the Carnegie Challenge Cup Final and Engage Super League Grand Final played out in front of capacity crowds at Wembley and Old Trafford.
The Annual Report, entitled ‘Ten years of achievement’ celebrates the highlights of the past decade which includes:
2001: The RFL commissions a game-wide Strategic Review, authored by Nigel Wood, which makes 120 separate recommendations.
2002: Full integration of Super League and RFL Executive, to merge the professional game and the governing body.
2003: RFL and BARLA integrate to create a single National Governing Body for the whole sport.
2005: National League enjoys its most successful season ever. Sky Sports extend their live coverage to include National League.
2007: Millennium Magic is introduced, where all 12 teams play an entire round of fixtures at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
2008: England become World Champions at two levels of the sport, with the Wheelchair team and Combined Services team being victorious.
2009: New Whole Sport Plan funding awarded by Sport England with the RFL receiving £29.4 million over four years.
2010: The Four Seasons project begins with the RFL embarking on its biggest change to the community game in living memory.
The 2010 Annual Report is available to view and download at www.therfl.co.uk/about_the_rfl/annual_report
The full financial statements will be submitted to Companies House, where they will be accessible to the general public.