English rugby boss issues warning to IRB - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

English rugby boss issues warning to IRB

By Julian Guyer 31/10/2008 01:47:17 PM Comments (0)

English Rugby Union chief Francis Baron has warned that England could withdraw a bid to stage the 2015 World Cup unless the IRB drops its financial demands.

Baron said any Union bidding to host the tournament must guarantee the global governing body what he labelled a "very large sum" of profit.

However, Baron said the financial return envisaged by the IRB was unlikely to be realised following problems caused by the worldwide credit crunch.

"Home unions now have to commit to paying a very large tournament fee to the IRB that has to be guaranteed and under written," Baron said.

"This has changed the financial dynamics of bidding for tournaments substantially and puts an absolutely massive financial risk on the bidding union.

"Our initial predictions make it unlikely that England could actually make a profit out of hosting a World Cup in 2015.

"In those circumstances the RFU board would have to consider very carefully whether or not it would be prudent to risk the game's money in bidding in the knowledge that almost certainly we would make a substantial loss."

He added: "I have explained to the IRB that England is the largest rugby-playing country with access to some of the biggest stadia in the world like Twickenham and Wembley.

"But at the moment we just can't make the numbers work because of the scale of the financial guarantee that is required."

Last year's World Cup in France delivered the IRB a profit of some STG90 million ($A219.14 million).

The IRB council will announce the 2015 and 2019 World Cup host unions in July 2009.

This will be the first time the hosts of two Rugby World Cups will have been revealed simultaneously, with a view to giving an emerging nation a better chance of hosting the event for the first time after Japan controversially lost out to New Zealand in the race to stage the 2011 tournament.

In four years' time South Africa will defend the title they won after beating England 15-6 in the 2007 final in Paris.

Twickenham staged the 1991 World Cup final, where Australia defeated England 12-6, and also hosted several matches during the 1999 tournament including France's dramatic 43-31 semi-final win over New Zealand.

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