January 27 - 2012 Bail out for Otago RFU


Compiled by Adrian Hill


27th The NZRU loans $200,000 to the Otago RU and appoints a Change Manager to assist the union with its financial difficulty. In December the NZRU had advanced $184,000 from scheduled 2012 grants. Otago could not afford the $5000 entry fee (which was waived) for the National Sevens tournament earlier this month even though they were the host union.

2013 RUGBY almanac “Chronicle of Events” p.359.”

“ORFU bailed out of financial crisis

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By Steve Hepburn on Sat, 28 Jan 2012

Rugby | Otago | ORFU

The Otago Rugby Football Union has been bailed out of its financial crisis by the New Zealand Rugby Union, with a loan and the appointment of a change manager.

The NZRU revealed yesterday it had appointed former Bay of Plenty chief executive Jeremy Curragh as a change manager to help the union with a recovery plan.

The ORFU has recorded losses of nearly $4 million in the past five years and is likely to report another significant loss next month. It was forced to turn to the national body for assistance.

Its financial difficulties are summed up by the revelation, confirmed by the Otago Daily Times yesterday, it could not afford to pay the $5000 entry fee to play in this month’s national sevens tournament in Queenstown.

NZRU provincial union and community rugby general manager Brent Anderson said the national union had been kept up to date with the financial challenges facing the board of Otago rugby.

“For some time, we have been aware of the financial problems facing Otago rugby. It’s important to remember this is an incredibly stressful time for the union, the board and the staff,” Mr Anderson said.

“That’s why we have been working with Otago to help them get a clearer picture of their financial position.

“There have been no forensic auditors or accountants. The NZRU has provided personnel support to Otago to help them assess their current situation and to look for viable solutions for the future.

“Jeremy Curragh has been appointed as a change manager to help the union with a recovery plan. As well as picking up responsibility for the appointment of Jeremy Curragh, we have provided Otago with a loan in order to give them breathing space to help them resolve their financial difficulties.”

The NZRU declined to say how much had been lent to the Otago union.

Curragh, who has already started working with the ORFU, helped Bay of Plenty when it faced a $700,000-plus loss in 2007, turning the union into profit within three years.

He was also called in to assist Cromwell businessman Stuart Heal in helping to sort out Southland rugby last year when it faced a funding shortfall.

In Southland’s case, a new board was elected, a new chief executive was appointed and expenses were cut.

The Otago union has not replaced general manager Richard Reid, who left at the end of November.

Otago chairman Wayne Graham could not be contacted for comment.

Earlier this week, Mr Graham described the finances of the union as “tender”. The union would report a loss and it could not afford to post a loss, Graham said.

The union is facing a debt of $1.2 million which it has to repay in the middle of the year.

It sold Carisbrook to the Dunedin City Council in 2009 but still had a debt of $1.2 million.

The union’s debt was not cleared despite the Dunedin City Council paying $7 million for the ground.”


Otago Chairperson, Wayne Graham

NZRU Provincial Union Manager, Brent Anderson