Championship Clubs Respond to Funding Cut

Championship Clubs Respond to Funding Cut

Following the release of RFU's statement on cutting its funding of the Championship, the clubs have released several statements in response to the news.

"We are obviously disappointed by the decision, especially as it is punishing us against deliverables which were set out while Coventry Rugby was not in the Championship, even though we meet key objectives such as pathways for our players and coaches as well as a thriving community programme which is above some Premiership standards," said Coventry Rugby.

''We are also disappointed that the RFU has not been transparent in its statement in that the reduction represents a 50 percent cut, and that at no point has funding – England qualified players aside – been contingent on meeting the objectives set out in the rationale given to the national media, nor has there been any audit process in place.

''Nevertheless, we remain committed to being a professional rugby club that the people of Coventry and Warwickshire can be proud of, which is already reflected in the 10 percent increase in attendances we have had this season. We have invested into Butts Park Arena to make it a multi-sport and community hub and have an expansive Academy system which will in time bring the best young players from the area through to play for the first team.

''There is still plenty of discussion to be had as we plan for the future, but we remain focused on finishing the current season as positively as we can.''

Nottingham Rugby also responded after RFU outlined their decision to cut Championship funding by approximately 50% next season, saying:

''As I am sure you will expect, it has come as somewhat of a surprise to most, if not all Championship Clubs’ and it puts almost all clubs in a very difficult position. There has been no warning, no opportunity for negotiation, or discussion and very little notice to be able to make informed business decisions on the back of it.

''Clubs, including Nottingham, have been in the process of securing contracts for players and coaches in recent months and these will need to be reviewed alongside a thorough assessment of what our future trading and performance might look like. It will also come as a huge shock to players, coaches and support staff across the game and I am sure will affect many people’s livelihoods...''

Jersey Reds also issued a strong riposte to the Rugby Football Union, saying:  “Championship clubs have been trying for months to get clarity around funding following the end of the current funding agreement this summer. To be presented with this fait accompli when teams are already hiring for next season is immoral and irresponsible.

“There has been zero consultation, engagement, nor explanation before the announcement and no vision for the future of the Championship was provided. With Bill Sweeney’s heralded business background, this is astonishingly poor execution...''

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