Matt Williams: Irish rugby clubs are in an unsustainable mess

Pressing need to strengthen ties between four provinces and their AIL clubs

A Division 1A game between UCD and Lansdowne at Belfield. Some sunlight needs to shine in the dark places of the AIL. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

A Division 1A game between UCD and Lansdowne at Belfield. Some sunlight needs to shine in the dark places of the AIL. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Most of the world’s professional rugby clubs are not financially independent. They rely on wealthy presidents to tip in cash, or are propped up by their national governing body.

In the case of the All-Ireland League clubs, many rely on the sale of international match tickets for income. Many clubs would be insolvent without this revenue. None of these business models are sustainable.

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