RFL accounts reveal details behind £541,000 loss in 2022

THE RFL has lodged its financial report and accounts at Companies House and it has confirmed that it made a loss of £541,000 for the year ended 31 December 2022, as opposed to a profit of £538,000 the previous year.

The governing body had projected to make a profit of £394,000 for the year. Its cash balances at the year end fell to £5,049,000, as opposed to £11,231,000 a year earlier.

In its strategic report, the RFL explains that part of the reason for making a loss was the huge increase in insurance premiums as the RFL’s previous underwriter withdrew in July 2022 because of concerns about potential concussion claims from former players, forcing the organisation to seek an alternative insurer, which cost £1,430,627, almost doubling from a cost of £705,644 in 2021.

Ticketing revenues for the 2022 Challenge Cup Final at Tottenham also contributed to the worsening financial performance by generating income below expectations.

Government funding from Sport England rose from £3,760,000 in 2021 to £6,584,000 in 2022.

But the income from the BBC and Sky TV deals declined from £9,434,000 in 2021 to £6,183,000 in 2022, representing a decrease of 34% from the new TV contracts.

Staff costs rose from £5,124,000 in 2021 to £6,015,000 in 2022. Director remuneration rose from £422,000 in 2021 to £661,000 in 2022, although that included a provision of £245,000 for compensation for the loss of office of former CEO Ralph Rimmer and Chief Regulatory Officer Karen Moorhouse.

The RFL’s total income for the year was £20,795,966, up from £20,014,340 in 2021.

The largest component of that income came from the government, while income from broadcast fees was £6,182,857 (down from £9,433,589), income from sponsorship was £2,223,057 (up from £1,667,522) and match income was £1,638,839 (up from £1,070614). Income from other, unspecified sources, was £4,107,533 (up from £4,082,644).

RL Commercial Limited, the joint venture company that was incorporated by the RFL and Super League (Europe) Limited on 24 February 2022, has also filed its first annual report and accounts. Although it didn’t start trading until January 2023, it made a reported loss of £90,356 of set-up costs in the year ending 31 December 2022.