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Steve Brown congratulates England coach Eddie Jones on his contract extension in January

When Steve Brown was appointed chief executive of the Rugby Football Union in September 2017, he made his intentions clear: he wanted England to be the leading rugby nation in the world, both on and off the field.

Almost a year later, and things have taken a turn for the worse.

England endured a poor 2018 on the field, and off it the union has been embroiled in a row over the future of the women’s game, accusations of sexism in the workplace, and suggestions of financial irresponsibility.

But is there actually cause for concern at Twickenham?

BBC Sport takes a look at the issues facing the power-brokers of the English game.

Financial adjustment – or turmoil?

There is no doubt the RFU is at something of a financial cross-roads, with the union making a number of redundancies in the past few months.

In all, 62 people will or have lost their jobs, with the staff trimmed from 570 to nearer 500.

And, in a recent development, former CEO Francis Baron has been commissioned by a band of disenfranchised ex-presidents to investigate the union’s financial affairs.

The former Twickenham grandees are unhappy about cuts to the community game as well as the losses at the union in the past financial year – £7.7m in total, not helped by only having two Six Nations matches at home.

The RFU is understood to have found the conduct of the former presidents unfathomable, and is confused by Baron’s involvement, given he has not worked there since 2010.

Those at Twickenham have also questioned his understanding of the modern-day workings of the union and believe his report contains a number of factual inaccuracies.

However, the RFU balance sheet is not as healthy as it once was, with costs ballooning and income stalling.

A £220m Professional Game Agreement with Premiership clubs has stretched the finances, as has a vast increase in fees paid to England players on international duty.

Developing the east stand at Twickenham