FRU Stays Afloat Despite Dollars Crunch

CEO: We’ve positive discussions with our major sponsors
27 May 2020 12:16
FRU Stays Afloat Despite Dollars Crunch
Defending champs- Suva captain Sireli Ledua (second from left) celebrates after they beat Nadroga 34-26 in the 2019 Skipper Cup Premier final at the ANZ Stadium, Suva. Photo: FRU Media

Despite the current global economic crunch because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Fiji Rugby Union has maintained talks with their major sponsors.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday FRU chief executive officer John O’Connor said, they had continued discussions with CJ Patel and Vodafone Fiji executives.

CJ Patel is the official sponsor of the Skipper Cup Premiership while Vodafone Fiji backs the Vanua Championship.

“We had positive discussions with the sponsors and are all looking forward to kick off once restriction are relaxed by Government.

“We have also been having meetings with all the unions and most are looking forward to some form of rugby once all the clear is given,” he said

“He was thankful to the two entities that even with the challenges of COVID-19 and related financial challenges during this difficult extraordinary times, that they have their support when competition kicks-off.

“We are tentatively planning to kickoff on the 11th of July but this can change depending on Governments measures in relation to contact sports. We will align our plans on return to rugby in compliance to Governments guidelines on restrictions and measures to COVID-19.”

O’Connor highlighted that the FRU return to play protocol is flexible and can be adopted to ensure compliance to Government and Ministry of Health restrictions to ensure the safety and welfare of the players, officials and everyone involved.

“This could mean playing without crowd support. We have been having discussions with the unions, sponsors and stakeholders and we will plan around such scenario but everyone is eager for some form of rugby,” he highlighted.

He confirmed that FRU was having discussions with broadcast media and social media partners to work around the playing schedule to ensure fans were able to watch the most matches and also that due mileage is given to the sponsors.

At Rugby House, the CEO says, they have not been spared by the current economic situation as they have implemented pay cuts and all are now working on reduced hours.

“Some of the staff who are owed leave are on leave.”

O’Connor said they were closely monitoring the situation and had further cost cutting strategies in place to ensure they continue to provide some form of services to their customers and stakeholders.

The FRU CEO also highlighted that the issue of kit suppliers that was highlighted by the manager of the Suva team had been discussed with the all the union executives in our regular zoom meetings.

He highlighted that all companies were facing financial difficulties including Jack’s and that the FRU have also been having discussions with them since they’re also a partner of FRU.

Edited by Sereana Salalo


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