Feb 20, 2022

SLR in financial slump after losing Dialog sponsorship Featured

Sri Lanka Rugby is currently facing severe financial issues with all five sponsors having withdrawn their sponsorship pledges, reports say.

It is still to be established though, whether SLR is misusing funds received from World Rugby which were received for rugby development purposes. If such facts are proven as correct, then SLR stands to be severely reprimanded by World Rugby for not following financial protocols and misusing monies received for various other purposes. SLR could stand to lose out financially in the future if World Rugby's policies are being disregarded.

Despite being in severe debt at present and with letters of demand being received from multiple entities, SLR suffered its biggest blow when Dialog Axiata who had been a faithful supporter of SLR for years, withdrew its sponsorship offer after untoward demands were made by those running the affairs of SLR.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Dialog official said "We offered SLR Rs 60 million for the year and requested three weeks to have it approved. The reason being is that because for any payments over Rs 20 million we need our board's approval. We were then told by SLR officials that they cannot wait for three weeks, as they had already planned their league tournament and needed to commence it on schedule. We then offered Rs 19 million to have them start the tournament and said that the balance Rs 41 million would be paid after approval was granted. We were then told if that was the case then we cannot have media rights to cover the matches. As the tournament will not have spectators at the venue, it did not make commercial sense if we could not have our regular subsidiary - The Papare to cover the matches on television. After all, even the huge cost that we incur to provide television coverage was an amount that we did not even factor into the sponsorship cost, as we were bearing that too. But it was best that we parted company and walked away from SLR, as we anyway do provide sponsorship for Sri Lanka Schools Rugby."

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