The 2018 New South Wales Rugby League season delivered an operating surplus of almost $2million and a total surplus of $11.8million taking into account revenue from the NSWRL Centre of Excellence completed in December, the Annual General Meeting of the NSWRL was told today (Friday 15 March).

The healthy financial state came off the back of a 17 per cent increase in revenue from sponsorship, merchandising and membership revenue of $8.044million for the 12-month accounts period ending 31 October 2018, up from $6.854million in 2017.

This included $1.18million generated through the Blatchys Blues program in support of the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues, whose new coach Brad Fittler blooded 13 new Origin players on the way to bringing the Holden State of Origin Shield back to NSW for the first time in four years.

The AGM also resolved to unanimously support a proposed plan by the NSWRL and Country Rugby League (CRL) for their joint vision of a merger that would see Rugby League in NSW governed by one body for the first time in more than 80 years, with both organisations working towards merging into a single entity by 1 November 2020. 

Also at the AGM held at the new NSWRL Centre of Excellence at Sydney Olympic Park, Bob Millward OAM and Nick Politis AM were re-elected to the Board unopposed.

NSWRL Chairman Dr George Peponis OAM said success on and off the field in the 2018 season had set a strong foundation for the future from the continued solid financial performance, to the dominance of NSW teams at all levels and increased participation at grassroots level, culminating in the completion of the Centre of Excellence for operation from January 2019.

“Long-term growth and success for NSWRL is a key focus of ours and in the last year, we took significant steps in achieving these objectives, welcoming new corporate partners to guarantee a period of commercial stability,” Dr Peponis said.

NSWRL continues to receive strong support from the Australian Rugby League Commission, with an increase in financial support to assist with the conduct of NSWRL senior and junior competitions. 

NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said the success of NSW teams on the field extended beyond the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues and Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Origin teams, to the Under 18 and Under 16 State of Origin, Interstate Residents, Wheelchair Rugby League Interstate Challenge, National Junior Final and the NRL Intrust Super State Championship.

The NSWRL was also recognised at the annual Sport NSW Awards as the 2018 Organisation of the Year, a prestigious award acknowledging the organisation’s achievements from grassroots to high performance and community programs.

Trodden said: “We are in a very strong position to reinvest our resources back into the game of Rugby League in NSW which will continue to set up our organisation and the state for further success in the future.”

NSWRL continues to undertake support for the community of NSW with substantial funds being spent on programs that support Rugby League throughout schools, junior leagues and the broader community. 

To view the 2018 NSWRL Annual Report, click here.