NSW Rugby Union – including the NSW Waratahs – has today confirmed an organisation-wide restructure, as the code continues to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
NSW Rugby, like the broader sporting industry, has been significantly impacted during the past several months with 70% of the workforce being stood down since 1 April 2020.
With funding grants from Rugby Australia reduced and other revenue sources such as grants and sponsorships significantly impacted, NSW Rugby Union has been forced to reduce its workforce by 27%, with 15 full time contract and casual roles to also be affected.
From the 1 July the vast majority of the workforce will be returning to work at a reduced capacity, to further create cost savings.
Positions within senior management, high performance and community rugby will be impacted along with a hiring freeze in place while several staff – including the CEO – continue to take pay reductions.
NSW Rugby Union CEO, Paul Doorn, said: “Like so many organisations across Australia, we have today been forced to let go of incredibly hard-working and passionate staff in order to keep rugby in New South Wales operational.
“While we were quick to put in measures to reduce our overheads as the game came to a standstill, further reductions in staffing costs, both full time and contract, are required to protect the organisation’s future.
“NSW Rugby came into the COVID-19 pandemic in a solid financial position, but with Super Rugby suspended, a loss in broadcast, sponsorship, ticketing and other revenue sources has seen reduced funding available from Rugby Australia as well as NSW Waratahs revenue, along with loss of revenue coming into the community game.
“Our commitment to supporting rugby from the beach to the bush is our top priority, and that is why we have retained experienced staff that can support our clubs and zones and get the community game back and up and running, as well as support our NSW Waratahs teams, Members and fans. We have ensured that staff retained have the skills and experience to support community competitions, referee and coach development as well as the different zones.
“We will be working closely with the NSW Government to look at funding available through the Community Sport Recovery program as well as support clubs to ensure they can access the short term funding on offer as well as support families to take up the Active Kids program as community rugby returns,” he said.
Doorn also commented that due the COVID epidemic NSW Rugby have reduced their cost base over the next twelve months across the business by $7m – this includes savings from staff, players and operating expenses to protect the long-term financial viability of rugby in New South Wales.
These include (but not limited to):
●Centralise community rugby operations - experienced staff retained and will assist multiple zones and areas of the game.
●Reduced support personnel for the NSW Waratahs across sports science and sports medicine.
●Operating with a reduced Super Rugby AU squad, by not replacing players departing prior to competition commencement.
●Hiring freeze of staff and players until 2021 Super Rugby competition is determined.
●Identified staff to remain on JobKeeper until the end of September.
NSW Rugby will continue to work with all levels of the game to ensure that workforce reductions do not impact the delivery of the rugby across the state.