Positive signs for Scottish Rugby both on and off the pitch

The Scottish Rugby Union’s member clubs will gather today for the Annual General Meeting, which will be held at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

Addressing the AGM will be Scottish Rugby’s Chief Executive, Mark Dodson, who will report that the 2012/13 season has seen encouraging developments for Scottish Rugby both on and off the pitch.

Dodson said: “By attracting more supporters to our game we have encouraged further investment over the past 12 months, no mean feat in challenging financial times.Murrayfield

“We have welcomed a number of new sponsors, while commercial partnerships have been developed. We have also agreed the biggest single sponsorship deal in the history of Scottish Rugby, with our new kit partner, Macron.”

There is financial stability with turnover up to a record £39.3m and year-end debt down to £11.2m the lowest position in over a decade. The Union also achieved a surplus of £0.9m in the year to 30th April 2013.

He will note there is rising demand to watch live rugby throughout Scotland, with increased attendances at international fixtures and crowds of more than 500,000 for rugby events at Murrayfield, Scotstoun, Pittodrie and representative fixture venues across Scotland.

Dodson will also highlight the improved performance of the national side during the RBS 6 Nations, finishing third, their highest position for seven years.

A number of new sponsors have come on board, including Caledonia Best, The Famous Grouse and Dove Men+Care. A significant four-year deal has been agreed with Macron to become the new official kit supplier for all Scotland representative teams along with Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors.

Glasgow Warriors moved to their new home at Scotstoun and on the pitch qualified for the RaboDirect PRO12 play-offs for the second consecutive year. Under new head coach Gregor Townsend the team scored the highest number of tries in the league and made a number of significant signings, including Sean Maitland, Niko Matawalu and Josh Strauss, to complement a squad full of home-grown talent.

Dodson added: “We have been very encouraged by the progress made by Glasgow Warriors over the last season. They now have a new coach, a new home and increased revenue through sponsorship and ticket sales. They are also playing an exciting brand of rugby, which took them to the RaboDirect PRO12 play-offs in some style.

“Clearly results from Edinburgh were disappointing and we have already taken, and will continue to take, all the steps necessary to reverse that trend going into next season.

We have worked hard to build towards the targets in our strategic plan to take us through to 2016. There is still a lot of work to be done for us to hit those targets but progress has been made.

“For a fifth successive year there has been an increase in funds going to local clubs and schools and the number of people playing rugby in Scotland is also on the up. Our clubs and schools team have worked tirelessly with local authorities and government to attract and retain players to the game and we’ve been fortunate to benefit from Scottish Government’s Cashback for Communities funding.

“We firmly believe that that our sport can play a major role in helping young Scots to become healthier, safer and stronger and make a positive contribution to their communities throughout Scotland.”

For more information on Scottish Rugby’s year please download or request a copy of the annual report. It can be viewed here: 2012/13 Annual Report

For the first time our Annual Report will be interactive and you can use your smart phone to get more rich material by hovering over the QR codes on various pages throughout the publication.