Axed Wallaby Israel Folau’s multimillion-dollar payout from Rugby Australia could reportedly take a major hit if the sport’s governing body is forced into insolvency.
The former fullback ace was sacked by RA last year after a string of homophobic social media posts, including one stating hell awaits homosexuals.
The two parties agreed to an out-of-court settlement in December after the Folau sued RA for religious discrimination.
While the terms weren’t made public, it’s understood to be about $3 million, which is the value of the remainder of his four-year contract.
Rugby Australia has taken a massive financial hit with all play stopped during the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, it stood down 75 per cent of its non-player workforce and announced a $9.4 million loss.
The organisation spent much of the weekend in talks with the players’ association, seeking cuts to player remuneration. No deal has yet been reached.
Elsewhere, some of the game’s high-profile figures have called for chief executive Raelene Castle to be sacked.
At the weekend, World Cup-winning captain Nick Farr-Jones declared Rugby Australia “unbankable” and said it was probably time the entire board stepped down.
Farr-Jones believes the coronavirus pandemic has merely brought RA’s dire financial woes to a head and said the governing body only had itself to blame.
“I think the rugby community has lost confidence in the senior executives and the board of Rugby Australia. There’s no doubt about that,” he said.
According to The Australian, Folau’s settlement is being paid off in instalments – which are at risk should RA go under.
Should RA be forced to declare itself insolvent, the former Wallaby would become an unsecured creditor. Depending on the organisation’s assets, he’d likely be paid out only a few cents in the dollar.
Folau has been playing rugby league with French club Catalans Dragons in the Super League, although competition is suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He is reportedly expecting his first child later this year with former netball star wife, Maria.