Welsh Rugby Union pay-off costs revealed after 'toxic culture' allegations

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) spent £1.9m on restructuring costs in the last financial year, its accounts have revealed.

This included a payment of £480,000 to its former chief executive, who left his post earlier this year.

Steve Phillips stepped aside in January after a BBC Wales documentary heard accusations of a "toxic culture" at the game's governing body in the country.

Mr Phillips expressed at the time his "regret" at the "feelings and emotions expressed" by ex-employees of the union.

Abi Tierney was announced as his permanent replacement in August and will become the first female chief executive of the organisation when she starts in the role in January 2024.

The accounts show the WRU posted a loss of £4.3m in the last financial year.

It returned a turnover of £101.3m - £39.5m of which was generated from match income.

Acting chief executive Nigel Walker said in the report that the organisation had faced "unforeseen and exceptional circumstances".

"None of these fundamental changes were planned for," he added.

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The WRU's chair, Richard Collier-Keywood, said the team had "delivered a strong performance against a year full with difficulties".

"These difficulties have cost Welsh rugby significant money as the WRU parted company with some significant individuals," he said.

"The costs of these changes are disclosed clearly in our accounts and amount to £1.9m."

A full version of the WRU's audited financial statements is set to be published after the group's AGM due to take place on 19 November.