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Irish rugby set to land a £70m lifeline from Six Nations deal

 

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The Six Nations' impending deal will provide a financial boost to the IRFU.

The Six Nations' impending deal will provide a financial boost to the IRFU.

�INPHO/Dan Sheridan

The Six Nations' impending deal will provide a financial boost to the IRFU.

CVC Capital Partners look set to take a 14.5 per cent stake in the Six Nations in a move that could net the IRFU as much as £70m over the next five years.

World Rugby vice-chairman and FFR president Bernard Laporte has told the French union's general assembly that the investment is imminent. Although previously the deal was reported to be worth £300m between the six unions involved, indications are that the figure may rise to £400m over five years.

Having already taken a stake in the English Premiership and the Guinness PRO14, the investment firm were close to moving on the gleaming jewel in northern hemisphere rugby's crown before the Covid-19 pandemic struck in March and the unions put talks on hold.

It now looks like it will go through in the coming weeks in a major boost to all six stakeholders reeling from rugby's stoppage. A Six Nations spokesperson said: "Discussions with CVC are ongoing. We will not comment further at this stage based on the confidential nature of these discussions."

The deal could have a knock-on effect for the IRFU's hopes of securing agreement on a proposed 20 per cent pay cut with players.

CVC's investment in the PRO14 already netted the union £5m, the first tranche of a £30m sum it will receive over the next three years. In return for its stake, the Luxembourg-based firm - which previously had a major interest in Formula One - would take control of the tournament's commercial rights in the hope of increasing the value of broadcast and sponsorship agreements.

Belfast Telegraph