PracticeConsultingWelsh Rugby Union launches counter-attack over late submission of world cup accounts

Welsh Rugby Union launches counter-attack over late submission of world cup accounts

The Welsh Rugby Union has hit back at suggestions that it failed to account for £15m in Rugby World Cup gate receipts.

It has also defended its failure to submit accounts for the tournament on time.

The Union, which hosted the 1999 tournament, also failed to submit World Cup accounts on time. They were due to be filed with the International Rugby Board on 4 February but the WRU asked for, and was granted, a one month extension. The WRU is audited by Ernst & Young, based in Dublin.

A spokesman said accounts were ‘nearing completion’. The complexities had been exacerbated by the fact that unlike the last World Cup, five Unions were involved, whereas previously, the South African Rugby Union alone was responsible.

A statement issued last week said: ‘Experience in previous World Cups confirms that the accounting period is bound to be protracted. On that basis the Welsh Rugby Union is well within the time taken to present accounts.

‘The Union emphatically rejects allegations of failure to act with expedition and of acting with any kind of impropriety. Draft accounts have already been submitted to Rugby World Cup.’

Earlier, the International Rugby Board jumped to defend Union.

IRB chief executive Stephen Baines said: ‘The WRU supplied draft accounts on 24 February. We are reviewing these with them in an orderly manner.’

Baines added that ticket sales were a matter for the five host unions – Wales, Scotland, France, England and Ireland – who retain 5% of funds from gate receipts.

‘I want to make it clear our auditors have not, as reported, expressed alarm or concern about the accounts submitted by the Welsh Rugby Union,’ Baines added.

Press reports had suggested some £60m was expected from the net gate receipts from World Cup matches in October and November but the WRU has said it expects to deliver around £43m.

Rugby board defends Welsh Rugby Union over late accounts and ‘missing’ gate receipts

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