The RFU are currently under fire from all quarters after England's controversial World Cup campaign but it has not stoppped them from achieving a record financial performance this year.
The RFU have come in for plenty of criticism lately following England's disappointing World Cup which was dominated by off-field controversies and the subsequent resignation of manager Martin Johnson, and although these issues may have had a negative impact on the union's reputation they certainly have not harmed their bank balance.
Apart from their battle to find a suitable replacement for Johnson and criticism of their heavy-handed treatment of veteran centre Mike Tindall who was slapped with a massive fine after his World Cup capers the RFU have also been afflicted with turmoil in the boardroom this year.
All of these factors have resulted in disapproval from several quarters with former coaches Brian Ashton and Sir Clive Woodward adding their voices to the growing chorus of critics this week.
Ashton described the ruling body as 'chaotic' while Woodward's verdict was that they have become a 'laughing stock'.
Despite all of this the RFU still managed to maintain their robust financial health when they published their annual report and accounts.
Acting CEO Martyn Thomas commented: "In a year which presented many challenges, this is a significant achievement. The RFU's record revenues mean that the game benefits because although the union works to maximise profits, unlike a PLC we then invest this in the sport."
Thomas added that this would stand them in good stead as they built towards hosting the World Cup in 2015.
"These results put us in a very strong position for the lead-up to Rugby World Cup 2015 which will bring a unique opportunity to grow the game nationwide, while creating a lasting legacy," he said.
Chief financial officer Stephen Brown explained: "The results are reflective of a solid financial and commercial base embedded over the past few years. Securing record revenues and operating profit is particularly relevant for the current season, when Twickenham Stadium has no autumn internationals and only two Six Nations matches.
"The strength of the RFU's balance sheet continues to grow and we will be in a position to comfortably repay the bank loan used to develop Twickenham Stadium's South Stand by December 2012," he said.
In summary the highlights for the year were:
* Record group revenues, with the total increased by £24.3m from £112.0m to £136.3m, largely driven by the match programme. This was accompanied by growth in most other revenue streams, in particular broadcasting, sponsorship and hospitality.
* Whilst the UK hospitality market as a whole remained flat at best during the year, Twickenham Stadium remained at the forefront of corporate entertaining, with 21,000 hospitality packages sold, an increase of 17% on the previous year.
* The 2010/11 results also demonstrated the success of Twickenham's year-round business, conference and events enjoying a 16% year on year growth, London Marriott Hotel Twickenham and Virgin Active Classic Health Club business jointly delivering £8.7m revenues in 2010/11, up from £6.4m revenues in the previous year.
* Investment in the grassroots of the game also reached record levels of £18m during the year enabling a full programme of activities and projects to be delivered by the Community Rugby Department.
* Investment in the Elite Rugby Department of £12.7m covered all England teams and their management, Elite Coaching, Refereeing and Sports Science and Medicine. Funding of £12.5m for the Premier Rugby clubs included fees and bonuses paid to England senior and Saxons players with £2.3m invested in the RFU Championship and £0.8m for clubs in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
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