Dragons play down financial woes
July 13, 2012
The Dragons finished a lowly 9th in last season's RaboDirect PRO12 © Getty Images
Newport Gwent Dragons chief executive Chris Brown has moved to allay fears that the Welsh region is on the brink of going under.
The rugby-playing arm of the region, as opposed to the commerical arm, reported losses of just over £270,000 for the year to May 2011 while also shouldering debts of £2.5m generated by the cost of building a new stand. Further cause for concern emerged earlier this week when an independent auditor highlighted, "a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern".
Despite the gloomy financial picture, Brown insists that the regionis moving in the right direction and that a break-even point is not too far away. "They [the accounts] are disappointing and they are losses again," he told BBC Wales. "We're not terribly happy with that but we have been working on that since then. We believe we can generate sufficient funds, together with the money we receive towards the players, to have a break even situation.
"The key to what I'm trying to do is looking for a more sustainable future without such reliance on benefactors. It's of concern so far into a deep recession that rugby clubs and other sports clubs rely on benefactors to keep them going.
"It's a lot of money. I talked before about the new stand and it has been key in terms of getting hospitality and catering money coming into the business, and certainly we've been successful with that since the stand was completed."
The Dragons are not an isolated case with the other Welsh regions also struggling in the current economic climate. Cardiff Blues made a loss of almost £2.3m for the last financial year while the Ospreys recently faced a winding up order due to an outstanding tax debt. And the Scarlets were forced to reassure fans last year after revealing debts totalling £5.5m.
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