EXCLUSIVE: Steve Borthwick is ‘unsackable’ no matter how badly England perform at the World Cup with the RFU unable to afford his £3m pay-off… despite offering players £212k bonuses if they triumph in France
Steve Borthwick is ‘inevitable’ no matter how poorly England perform at the World Cup as the RFU can’t afford his £3m payout…despite offering players £212,000 in bonuses if they win in France
The financial crisis plaguing English rugby is so acute that it is feared England head coach Steve Borthwick is ‘inevitable’ because the RFU cannot afford a reward no matter how poorly his team performs.
The World Cup opens on Friday with England sixth favorite at best. Borthwick signed a five-year contract last year and is said to earn just over £700,000 a year.
Firing him and his staff this year – in the event of a dismal World Cup – could cost around £3 million.
“Having paid Leicester £500,000 compensation to get Borthwick last year, on top of a massive severance payment (a salary of around £1.4 million) for (former coach) Eddie Jones, there is no point in firing Borthwick.” , says a senior source. .
“It would be too expensive.” Another source said: ‘The RFU is in financial trouble. They expect to suffer huge losses in the coming years.’
The RFU may not be able to sack England coach Steve Borthwick no matter how poorly he performs as they cannot afford his payout
England players will receive RFU bonuses in excess of £200,000 if they win the upcoming World Cup, but this seems unlikely after some poor form.
English club rugby has been struggling for some time, with Wasps and Worcester under administration
The predicament of the RFU’s finances is laid bare in their latest accounts, which have just been published. The club game has been in crisis for some time, with Worcester and Wasps under administration.
The governing body is also far from in poor health. The RFU’s financial statements detail how the Covid pandemic and the rising cost of living were among the factors that cost them £150m in lost revenue. Visitor numbers in England have failed to return to pre-Covid-19 levels. The RFU has also fully drawn down two loans worth £50 million and £14 million.
The financial strains come at a time when the RFU is offering their players bigger potential bonuses at the World Cup than any other governing body. In the unlikely event of England winning against France, the players would receive an RFU bonus worth around £212,000 each.
The French would each receive around £172,000 from their federations if they win, while the New Zealand and Australian players can expect bonuses of up to £100,000 from their federations if they win.