EXCLUSIVE: Premiership Rugby will hire an NFL-style commissioner to run the club game amid financial disasters that have brought Wasps and Worcester under administration
- Premiership Rugby to appoint an NFL-style commissioner after crises
- Worcester Warriors and Wasps both recently entered administration
- The move would give the final word on important decisions to an independent body
Premiership Rugby will appoint an NFL-style commissioner to lead the club game to prevent a repeat of the financial disasters that have forced Wasps and Worcester into administration.
Administrator Andrew Sheridan described Monday as a “dark” and “devastating” day when 167 players and staff were fired from Wasps.
Premiership Rugby Limited admitted their board failed as they failed to oversee finances at Wasps of Worcester but plan to respond with a range of reforms agreed with the RFU.
Wasps and Worcester both recently took office during the Rugby Union’s financial crisis
One of the changes is expected to be the appointment of an independent commissioner, similar to the all-powerful figures who run American sport.
The move would give the final say in major financial and governance decisions to an independent body that cannot be controlled by the clubs.
PRL is also in talks with the RFU about introducing much more stringent financial reporting requirements for clubs.
While the final details are yet to be agreed, one of the proposals under consideration is to allow clubs to apply for a license to play in the Premiership, which should show them that they have sufficient funds for the next campaign.
The independent commissioner would manage the licensing system with the support of external auditors who are required to conduct a financial health audit of each club every 12 months.
Worcester owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham have been widely criticized
The club was banned from playing competitive matches after amassing £25m in debt