Revenues at World Rugby fell off a cliff last year, plunging to just £10.8 million ($14.9 million/€12.6 million) from £381.4 million ($526 million/€445.9 million) in 2019.

The International Federation was fortunate to complete delivery of its money-spinning Rugby World Cup in November 2019, just before COVID-19 hit.

Since then, it has announced a coronavirus relief strategy, supported by a relief fund of $100 million (£72.5 million/€85 million).

A sharp decline in revenues was always to be expected at this point in World Rugby's business cycle.

But the unflattering year-on-year comparison will have been exacerbated by postponement of Tokyo 2020.

In 2016, a year after the previous World Cup, World Rugby managed to generate £30.8 million ($42.5 million/€36 million) of revenue, down from £344.9 million ($475.6 million/€403.2 million) the previous year.

This 2016 figure will presumably have included the bulk of an approximately $13 million (£9.4 million/€11 million) payment World Rugby was expected to receive for the contribution of rugby sevens to the Rio 2016 Olympics.

This was the first time rugby had featured at an Olympics for 92 years.

Fiji created one of the stories of the Games by winning the men's tournament, the Pacific nation's first-ever Olympic medal.

The loss for 2020 totalled £42.2 million ($58.2 million/€49.3 million), versus a £128.8 million ($177.6 million/€150.6 million) profit in 2019, and a £36.2 million ($49.9 million/€42.3 million) loss in 2016.

A "going concern" comment in the new accounts states that COVID-19 has had a "significant effect" on World Rugby's operational activities and tournament programme.

It says that management has "modelled the likely effect of COVID-19 on our cash forecast for the current four-year cycle".

Management was "comfortable that the forecasts they have prepared have considered a number of sensitivities, including a range of outcomes, and that in all cases there remains sufficient mitigation measures available to management to ensure that cash-flows are managed and that the group can continue to meet its obligations as they fall due for the period of at least 12 months from signing the financial statements".

Year-end assets totalled just under £290 million ($400 million/€339 million), of which £215.1 million ($296.6 million/€251.5 million) were long-term assets.

The other main point of interest in the document is the disclosure that World Rugby has taken on £32.5 million ($44.8 million/€38 million) of bank borrowings.

The accounts explain that this was drawn down "under a secured loan facility with Barclays Bank which is secured over the financial investment assets of the group".

The new document also discloses that World Rugby has "made commitments to its member unions to pay grants at a level of approximately £18 million ($24.8 million/€21 million) over the next year".

It has "entered into firm commitments to pay participation fees of £2 million ($2.76 million/€2.3 million) and host union tournament marketing fees of £2 million for the 2021 HSBC Sevens".

It was announced this month that a 2021 Sevens Series would kick off in Canada in September.

Six men's and four women's rounds are planned to take place in the final four months of 2021