S.R.U. doing better financially, but “not out of the woods yet”

Samoa Rugby Union chief executive officer Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i said despite progress being made, there are still financial issues from the past that need to be addressed.

“We’re still not out of the woods yet, but in a far better position than we were before.”

He said S.R.U are now in the process of streamlining everything to become more efficient as an operation.

“Looking at all our programmes, how we can still roll them out while being mindful of spending.”

Back in November 2017, Samoa Prime Minister and S.R.U chairman Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said the Union was bankrupt, a claim refuted by World Rugby later that month.

Faleomavaega said S.R.U has an annual budget of around $11m tala to run all of it’s programmes.

He said of that $11m, 60% is funded locally from sponsorship and government spending, and 40% comes from World Rugby.

With the Pacific Games being hosted in Samoa in July, Faleomavaega said he is mindful it’s a busy year and many federations will be vying for government money.

“That’s why we have to work extremely hard, we’re not just gonna sit on our laurels and expect to get handouts from government.”

He said the sponsorship committee on the Board are looking at all avenues to secure funding.

On the money that comes from World Rugby, Faleomavaega said it is like any other investment.

“It’s not just a handout but an agreement that comes with conditions.

“Our relationship with them has improved significantly in that respect.”

He said the Union has worked hard on governance issues, and being transparent and accountable to World Rugby as those are the things that matter to them.

“It’s quite a lot of money, so we have to make sure they are happy because there’s nowhere else to turn to.”

He said S.R.U make reports to World Rugby quarterly.

“Their finance department as well works closely with us, so it’s an on-going, transparent process.”

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