Premiership Rugby have appointed a leading expert in corporate governance to review the financial position of all current clubs.

The plan to improve the sustainability of professional rugby in England received a significant boost today, with the appointment of Sir Nigel Boardman to lead a comprehensive review of Premiership club finances.

It comes just months after Premiership clubs Worcester Warriors and two-time European Champions Wasps went into administration. Both sides were relegated from the league with Wasps set to return in the Championship next season but Worcester’s future is still uncertain.

The review will look extensively at the current state of Premiership clubs’ finances and how to prevent similar situations from happening in the future by translating the results into financial regulation.

Sir Nigel is set to begin his role later this month and the news was welcomed by Martyn Phillips, chair of the Premiership Rugby Board, who said: “Financial reform of professional elite rugby in England is at the top of Premiership Rugby’s agenda and today’s announcement is a significant step forward for us.

“When Worcester Warriors and Wasps went into administration it was a devastating blow to two communities and professional rugby in England.”

What fans can expect from Premiership club finances review

Phillips went on to explain the practicalities of Sir Nigel’s position, including the establishment of a Financial Monitoring Panel (FMP) which will be supported by a “fit for purpose” regulatory framework.

As well as this, it was announced that Premiership Rugby would also be forming a Sporting Commission, which will take responsibility for key sporting decisions for the organisation and would be comprised of independent members including a former player.

Sir Nigel comes into the role with a glowing record that has seen him lead the government inquiry into the Greensill Capital lobbying scandal and act on several of the UK’s biggest mergers and acquisitions including Shell, Vodafone and Reuters.

He has also advised a range of sports bodies in his career, and collected accolades including the Financial Times’ Special Achievement Award and the Lawyer of the Decade Award from Financial News.

Phillips said: “To have secured someone of Sir Nigel’s calibre to lead this review is a major boost to our strategy.

“Once the review is carried out we will form a Financial Monitoring Panel to ensure clubs become financially stronger and protect the integrity of Premiership Rugby and its stakeholders.”

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