Six Nations 2010Dublin businessman John Hussey created a piece of sporting history when he became the first member from St. Mary’s College RFC (founded 111 years ago) to be enrolled as the 124th President of the Irish Rugby Football Union, at the Union’s annual Council Meeting in the Aviva Stadium.

He assumes the highest office in Irish rugby following a life long association with St. Mary’s College. As a wing three quarters he was a member of the schools’ junior and senior cup teams but on joining the club and being capped for the Leinster junior interprovincial team in 1966, he had his career cut short by a succession of injuries. He was elected President of the club in 1988 – ’89.

A well-known chartered accountant, Hussey’s high profile business life includes a 12 year stint as Managing Partner of Arthur Young & Company, after which he spent a number of years as a director of two companies involved in structured financing. He was also a consultant to a number of organisations in the areas of governance and strategic planning. He has held directorships in a number of other companies, including New Stadium Ltd which has been responsible for the development of the Aviva Stadium.

President of the Leinster Branch in 1998-’99, he was first elected to the IRFU in 1996, and since then he has made a major contribution to Irish rugby. He was Chairman of the Strategic Review Committee which produced the first IRFU Strategic Plan (2003 – ’07). As part of this process the Union made changes to its laws to create a new Management Committee. Hussey became its first Chairman and served the maximum two three year terms (2003 – ’09) in that capacity. He also chaired a number of other committees including the IRFU Academy and the IRFU Charitable Trust, of which he remains a trustee.

He was also Chairman of the Magners League (now RaboDirect PRO 12) for a seven year period noted for the tournament’s consolidation and growth in stature and popularity in Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and led the negotiations which recently brought the admission of two teams from Italy.

He is married to Patricia and has two sons, John Paul and David.

IRFU Announce Statement of Accounts 2010/11

As well as the election of the officers of the IRFU, the Honorary Treasurer Tom Grace presented the final accounts for the end of season 2010 – 11. Grace reported that the IRFU made a surplus of €6.8m for the year 2010/11 in line with its budgeted outcome. This surplus arises from revenues of €69.3m and expenditure of €62.5m. Despite the difficult operating circumstances, of this expenditure the IRFU again invested over €10m in domestic and community rugby support and development.

However, while reporting a surplus, Grace sounded a cautionary note to this and said, “In arriving at this net surplus it is important to note that some €14m of revenues and €7m of costs are non-cash items. This effectively means that the I.R.F.U. generated no net cash from its operations during the year.”

“The majority of the €14m in revenues represents the amortisation over their respective terms of the income raised from the forward sale of premium tickets and boxes. It is important to realise that these monies have already been spent by the Union on its investment in the Aviva Stadium. Likewise the €7m of costs represents the writing off of the Union’s investment in the stadium and other assets over their expected useful lives.”