The RFL was largely successful in tackling the challenges that presented themselves in 2011, a period which saw the Governing Body deliver a profit after tax for the eighth successive year. Turnover again increased to new record levels in 2011 and the associated increase in revenue was again shared throughout the game to help member clubs and the wider sport through what have been difficult times for all businesses.
The adverse economic environment has inevitably impacted upon all our member clubs and it was a feature of the year that the Governing Body spent considerably more time assisting and, when necessary, positively intervening on behalf of its stakeholders. Rugby League has not been immune to the effects of the worldwide economic downturn with spectators, including the corporate hospitality and sponsorship markets, having less disposable income to spend. Whilst reductions in external income levels have undoubtedly been felt, these have been partly off set by the increase in central distributions being made available to clubs as discussed in more detail in the Operating and Financial Review.
The RFL has set itself a vision of being recognised throughout the world as a leading Governing Body of sport. Work continues to realise this vision, and I believe we will achieve our aim.
I started this statement with reference to the challenges posed in 2011. I believe that it is because of the hard work and efforts of all concerned in the sport - the players, coaches, club officials, volunteers and spectators and finally the RFL’s staff and management - that the sport continues to thrive and prosper. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved for their hard work during the year.
Chief Executive Officer