Fiji Rugby Union Chief Executive Officer John O’Connor confirms the board has endorsed cost-cutting measures to ensure the financial integrity and sustainability of the union long term and to ensure rugby will be ready for kick-off when the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. O’Connor says that working employees, contracted staff players coaches and consultants of Fiji Rugby have reduced to 3 days a week which is a 40% reduction and staff with leave balances will continue to take that leave.
The CEO adds with rugby in Fiji and globally coming to a halt, the Fiji Rugby Board has endorsed the implementation of a number of measures to protect the long term operating viability of the Union in response to the escalating impact of COVID-19 on the local and global economy.
He says further cost-cutting measures such as leave without pay will be implemented should the situation not improve in the near future and there is no rugby kicking off.
O’Connor adds all unions globally are facing significant financial challenges and responsible financial decisions have to be made in order to preserve the operating ability and financial integrity of Fiji Rugby in the long term.
He says we are in extraordinary times with this COVID-19 pandemic and they will continue to monitor the financial impact on their operations and will also continue discussions with World Rugby and their sponsors however if the situation continues to escalate, further drastic reductions may be required.
O’Connor says they hope they will not end up in such a situation but they must keep in mind that businesses are closing, and thousands of employees have lost their jobs and they must be prepared for the worse.
The CEO adds they are facing challenging and difficult times and they are grateful to their staff for their understanding and support.
O’Connor advised that the Union will continue to service stakeholders across all Departments through efficient rostering and remote access.
All Fiji Rugby gyms will remain closed and all high-performance programs have moved to individual fitness programs for the players to complete at home. All domestic club schools and provincial competitions will remain suspended until such restrictions are uplifted and new kick-off dates are announced.
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