Cardiff: Welsh region announce £2.1m loss for last financial year

Cardiff have announced a loss of £2.1m for the year ending June 2023, a decrease in deficit from £2.2m on the previous year.

Their financial report comes soon after Ospreys and Scarlets detailed their losses for the same period.

Ospreys lost more than £2m and Scarlets almost £3m.

In their report, Cardiff state they "returned to the old days of crisis management, managing creditors and delayed payments".

Cardiff said the "lack of progress" in the regions completing a new deal with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) during the timeframe of the financial report "placed an enormous strain on the company and its executive team".

Cardiff added: "This situation continued well into 2023, and the reduction in funding and need to reset the market, which had become over inflated, led to a number of high profile players to depart the club at the end of the 2022-23 season."

The regions eventually signed a six-year participation agreement with the WRU in March 2023.

However, they are also repaying a £20m loan negotiated by the WRU as a result of the Covid pandemic.

Cardiff's ownership changed hands in the wake of the death of long-time chairman and benefactor Peter Thomas in March 2023, only a few days before the WRU and regions agreed their deal.

"He (Thomas) remained involved in company matters right into his final days, agreeing the new RPI and setting in place plans for the club for after his passing," said Cardiff.

"We remain enormously grateful to Peter and his family for their support."

Helford Capital's takeover was completed in January 2024 and the new owners are continuing talks with the Arms Park landlords aimed at securing the team's long-term future there.

Cardiff signed a three-year lease extension in April 2022 and the region say "there has been little progress in terms of agreeing a new long-term lease".

Cardiff added: "We have explored alternative options, however it is everyone's preference and intention that Cardiff Rugby remain at the iconic venue."

Under the current deal between the WRU and Scarlets, Dragons, Cardiff and Ospreys, each team will receive £4.5m central funding for 2024-25, down from £5.2m this season.

Cardiff received £8.8m from the governing body during the year ending June 2023.

Cardiff increased turnover in the year ending June 2023 to £16.1m from £13.2m while the business' operating losses were down to £1.9m from £2.1m.

The region's matchday income fell slightly and income from sponsorship increased from £1m to £1.2m while hospitality and catering income rose from £1.3m to £1.5m.

Debts mount for Ospreys and Scarlets

Ospreys' loss of more than £2m for the year ending June 2023, was an increase of almost £1m on the previous year.

The Swansea-based team hope a funding agreement with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) will be "the basis for the long-term survival of professional rugby in Wales".

They added that reduced budgets would continue to make seasons "challenging".

Earlier Scarlets chairman Simon Muderack called for the WRU to address the game's financial issues "urgently" as they saw losses increase by more than £1m.

The other Welsh region, Dragons, are due to release their financial results for 2023 by the end of June 2024.