Cardiff Blues’ worst case scenario becomes clear – but Dickie has a plan

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Cardiff Blues Ltd company secretary Martyn Ryan has outlined how the business could face of a loss of up to £6m in revenue if the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact rugby over a long period of time.

In the notes of a meeting held between the Cardiff Blues and the CF10 Arms Park Rugby Trust, Ryan stated that according to one forecast model the company was technically insolvent at the moment, but in a CEO newsletter on Sunday night Richard Holland assured supporters ‘we have a plan in place’.

An internal working group has been set up to look at cost saving and income generation, including the use of the Government’s furlough scheme as well as rent rebates, limited banking facilities and World Rugby’s emergency fund, while work with the PRB was being done to seek Welsh Government support.

That £6m would equate to just under half of the £13m earned in revenue to June 2019 being wiped out, and was especially disappointing as company accounts were set to show the Cardiff Blues breaking even without the COVID-19 pandemic hitting.

Instead a ‘minimum cost approach’ was now being taken for both Cardiff Blues and Cardiff RFC although announcements on playing squads were still being held back as it is felt insensitive to make them at the moment.

Elsewhere in the meeting notes and newsletter it was revealed that the Arms Park is likely to be in use as part of Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig when rugby is planned to resume in August, therefore alternative training and playing facilities were being sought. Any temporary home ground would need to be appropriate for broadcasters and have scope for LED advertising to be available.

There was also an update on the Arms Park lease with discussions continuing towards securing a two-year extension to the current agreement which expires in early 2022.

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