April 28, 2012
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FRU to review Digicel sponsorship

At their Annual General Meeting in Nasinu today, Rugby House council has agreed to see out its sponsorship with Digicel which expires in December next year.

While discussing Rugby House’s finances during the AGM today, TIkoitoga said the contract FRU signed with Digicel is binding and encompasses not only the 7s team, the XVs, U20s as well as development.

“Digicel owns FRU in other words,” Tikoitoga said. “Basically we can’t go to any other company without Digicel’s approval.

“If we have to settle it in court, we’d be on the losing end so the only option is to fulfill the contract and move on from there.”

In December 2012, the board and the rugby council will review the need to continue its sponsorship deal with Digicel.

Until then, Tikoitoga appealed to union delegates to lessen their dependency on Rugby House and acquire sponsors to help them meet expenses.

“It will be tough over the next two years so we are asking all of you to bear with us. We need to pay off our debts first and we will try our very best to manage what little funds we have.

“We can’t do this alone and need the support of all member unions to do this.”

Tikoitoga said they is a need to pay off mortgage on Fiji Rugby House's complex at Gordon Street in Suva - which amounts to approximately $200,000. There is also a $300,000 overdraft to be paid to Westpac and $100,000 for tax liability owed by FRU.

"These are but some of the reasons we have chosen to look within to appoint coaches for the national teams.We are trying to reduce costs hence have roped in Etuate Waqa as 7s coaches, Sale Sorovaki as U20s coach and Alifereti Mocelutu as assistant to head coach Inoke Male. If we had to rely entirely on outsiders, we would have to pay much more, something that we can't afford to do at this stage."


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