HomeFinanceNRL Records $43.1 Million Surplus

NRL Records $43.1 Million Surplus


NRL Records $43.1 Million Surplus

The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) has announced a $43.1 million surplus for the 2021 season after providing NRL member clubs with record distributions.

In a release, the ARLC confirmed the surplus comes after a major business restructure taken at the end of 2020 and significant revenue growth.

The surplus has seen the ARLC provide additional grants to each of its clubs and state members, with an additional $9 million in payments made in October of 2021.

Also, the ARLC allocated $5.5 million to the NRL playing group, in an effort to recoup the majority of 2021 pay reductions as a result of COVID-19 financial and logistical challenges.

Overall, the revenue for 2021 marked a $155.4 million increase on 2020 figures, with revenue equalling $575.1 million in total.

The Commission’s cash reserves have now increased from $126 million to $171 million at 31 October 2021, with NRL’s 2023 broadcast agreements to exceed $400 million per annum for the first time, according to the report.

Discussing the release of the figures, NRL CEO, Andrew Abdo, said: “2021 was an incredibly strong year for the growth of our game.”

“Revenues returned to over $550 million and we have secured long term broadcast agreements which will see broadcast investment increase to over $400 million a year from 2023.

“We have received tremendous support and loyalty from our media partners, sponsors and fans, who have stuck by us.

“We have also been innovative in the way we have approached new commercial partners and we have continued to look for efficiencies in our cost base,” Abdo said.

Adding on to the financial discussion, ARLC chairman, Peter V’landys, said the sport has gone through the COVID-19 pandemic and ended in a stronger position than it was in before the pandemic.

“The Commission is proud to report that despite almost $30 million in COVID costs, the game will report a strong surplus because of significant revenue increases and ongoing efficiencies at NRL head office,” V’landys said.

“Most importantly, the Commission has made it a priority to ensure club members and players received increased distributions.

“Many clubs were facing significant financial challenges due to the pandemic…

“We have grown our revenues, continued to save costs and have set the game up to make long term investments over the next year.

“In 2019 our costs as a percentage of revenue were 37.5%.

“In 2021 after making the NRL more efficient the costs as a percentage of revenue dropped to 27.6%.

“On behalf of the Commission, I would like to thank our members and our players who have led the way in ensuring we completed a full season in 2021,” he said.

Despite the financial success and savings across rugby league in Australia, Abdo recently outlined the NRL’s plans for its women’s competition, with the NRL CEO saying there is no current timeline for the women’s game to become fully professional.

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