The University of Oxford and OURFC are delighted to announce that they have concluded an agreement that will secure the future of OURFC and provide space for the development of the University’s sports facilities.
Under this deal, the University has purchased the 2 hectare site of Iffley Road Rugby ground bought for OURFC by Major R V Stanley in 1922. The University has signed a leaseback of about 83% of the site to OURFC including the pitch, two stands and Pavilion for a very modest annual rent leaving rugby activity in the future unaffected.
The sale of the site makes a significant contribution to the financial stability of OURFC and secures the long-term future of rugby at Iffley Road. The leaseback is for 250 years with a break clause on a rolling basis after year 150 (with a 3 year break notice).
The Club is also engaged in a major fund-raising effort to create both an Endowment Fund and an annual donation scheme (“1869 Society”) which should be completed by the end of the Club’s 150th anniversary season (2019/20). To date, the Club has raised £2.6 million (including the proceeds of the sale) for the Endowment Fund: the target is at least £4million. The recently announced “1869 Society” has already received one-off gifts of £22K and annual repeat gifts of £14K.
About 17% of the land purchased by the University will be used for the development of the University’s sports facilities that are located adjacent to the Rugby ground. Professor William James (Pro-Vice Chancellor (Planning and Resources)) has stated that “the University is very pleased to have concluded the deal which enables it to finalise the next stage of improvements to University sports facilities which are central to the student experience; in addition, the University is keen to help OURFC achieve financial stability to secure the future of rugby as a major student sport”.
Sir Ivor Roberts (President of OURFC) “thanked the University for conducting the negotiations in a most constructive manner”. He added “ that the 1,100 Rugby Union players, coaches, medical staff and officials within the University are very grateful to know that, coupled with our on-going fund-raising efforts, this deal ensures that the sport – which has seen a 50% increase in participation, particularly among women, in last 5 years – has a sound financial footing. Rugby at Iffley Road continues as it has done since 1922”.
The Women’s and Men’s Captains of the Club (Sophie Behan and Conor Kearns) have both welcomed the sale as the deal ensures that Rugby continues at Iffley Road with the Club well on the way to a sound financial future. The “Major Stanley’s Ground Trustees”, who have responsibility for the site under the 1922 Trust, have warmly endorsed the sale.
If you have any questions, please email Martin Jackson (Co-Chair OURFC) at firstname.lastname@example.org.