RFU halves Championship funding.

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fleabane
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RFU halves Championship funding.

Post by fleabane » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:28 pm

The Rugby Football Union is to cut its funding of the Championship by 50%, throwing England’s second tier into turmoil and handing “ring-fencing to the Premiership on a plate”.

It is understood the RFU’s swingeing cuts of more than £3m will come into force next season, leaving a number of Championship clubs in a state of shock and uncertain of their futures. One club owner described the move as “showing contempt” for the Championship, suggesting the league could be reduced to amateur status in “two or three years”.

The move has been described as Premiership ring-fencing “by default”, with Saracens set to be relegated into a league beset by financial strife next season. “The RFU has handed ring-fencing to the Premiership on a plate and they’ve paid nothing for it,” added a Championship source. “They’ve just given it away . »

The 12 clubs were informed of the measures at a committee meeting on Tuesday. They receive around £550,000 in funding but halving that at such short notice will be “catastrophic”, according to one source, with another suggesting it could leave 200 players without clubs.

Premiership Rugby Limited, which contributes to Championship funding, has been seeking to pull up the drawbridge but failed in its attempts to implement an end to relegation for the start of this season. The tier-two clubs will now have to operate on significantly lower budgets and, with a host of players on long-term contracts, some clubs face considerable upheaval to stay afloat let alone push for promotion.

“It’s the RFU saying it doesn’t want the Championship,” the Nottingham chairman, Alistair Bow, said. “The Premiership has had a lot of influence over all the decisions regarding the Championship, certainly for the 10 years I’ve been involved. I do strongly believe the actions the RFU has taken have handed PRL everything on a plate and without having to pay a penny for it. The RFU has handed English professional rugby … everything, to the hands of PRL.”

The RFU announced a return to profit in December but more losses were forecast for the coming year. The latest annual report highlighted a 7% reduction in investment in the professional game and a 6% drop at community level. The accounts also showed a drop of £7m in investment to £100.5m, and that figure was forecast to fall to £95m in the next year.

“It’s not a money-saving exercise, it’s more to do with value for money,” Bow said. “Either the RFU has been very badly informed, or misinformed. I don’t think they know what the cuts will do for a club like Nottingham. It’s nothing more than contempt for what we’re trying to do for the sport as a whole. I just wonder if these people at the RFU who make these decisions have ever run a proper business.”

PRL has long been trumpeting its A League as an alternative second tier for English rugby and, emboldened by its cash injection of more than £200m, appears to have got its way. One source suggested the Championship had “fallen victim to the cartel that is PRL”, while another said there has been a lack of explanation from the RFU for the cuts.

“The bit that’s frustrating is what is the rationale behind the savage cut in funding? Are they rugby reasons or is it purely financial,” a Championship director of rugby said. “It’s a massive backwards step.

“The RFU obviously don’t see us as part of the pathway programme which is a bit sad really given what the Championship has done for the Premiership and England over the years. What about the coaching pathway, where are they going to cut their teeth, what about the refereeing pathway? Five or six years ago they were saying we had to all be fully professional. Now, suddenly, they say you have to be firmly part-time.”

This is from The Guardian 11 Feb 2020
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ads
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Re: RFU halves Championship funding.

Post by ads » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:57 pm

That's really :censored:. I would prefer to see a strong second tier like in France. They need money pumping in rather than taking away!

CJ
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Re: RFU halves Championship funding.

Post by CJ » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:45 pm

+1.
Shows greed, lack of understanding, short termism - all sorts of other descriptions . A really bad decision IMO

trendylfj
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RFU cuts the championship adrift

Post by trendylfj » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:15 am

Whoever said ring fencing the league should not happen (and I am one) should pulling their hair out at this news. Madness, unfair, are just 2 of my thoughts.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/ ... sh-funding
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fleabane
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Re: RFU cuts the championship adrift

Post by fleabane » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:42 am

See « RFU halves Championship funding »thread.
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jgriffin
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Re: RFU halves Championship funding.

Post by jgriffin » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:49 am

Absolutely appalling, at a time when more investment would be ideal. I can see the purpose as being a move to some form of Pro14 structure with the shareholding clubs and perhaps one or two others; more unlikely it would facilitate Pro 14 breakaway clubs.
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CrumblingTerrace
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Re: RFU halves Championship funding.

Post by CrumblingTerrace » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:04 am

The Championship would be a worthy recipient of the £350k each Premiership club received from Saracens' fine. Now that would be a gesture.

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Re: RFU halves Championship funding.

Post by ay2oh » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:09 am

CrumblingTerrace wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:04 am
The Championship would be a worthy recipient of the £350k each Premiership club received from Saracens' fine. Now that would be a gesture.
Agree with you but do you think that with the majority of Premiership clubs being £000’s in debt that this will happen .
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JP14
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Re: RFU halves Championship funding.

Post by JP14 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:16 am

Really shocking, I advocated temporary ringfencing but it was for the benefit of the Championship clubs, this slashing of the cash is outrageous.

Could this be taken to court?
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kend
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Re: RFU halves Championship funding.

Post by kend » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:29 am

It is understood the RFU’s swingeing cuts of more than £3m will come into force next season
This is outrageous. It gives the clubs no time at all to adjust their finances or seek alternative sources of funding. It will hit the livelihoods of players and coaches. If, as it appears, the RFU have done this without consultation it is a massive failure of organisational governance. It is quite possible that the financial liabilities of some clubs will be such that a sudden withdrawal of funding will cause them to go under.

Meanwhile I assume Saracens will still receive the 'parachute payment' PRL provide to relegated shareholder clubs......

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Re: RFU cuts the championship adrift

Post by wellstiger » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:39 am

So much for grass routes rugby.
Shame on you. Game development cut for ££££££££ :smt013

kk20gb30
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Re: RFU halves Championship funding.

Post by kk20gb30 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:06 am

An astonishing decision to say the least ; ill-conceived and made with undue haste.

Robespierre
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Re: RFU halves Championship funding.

Post by Robespierre » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:05 pm

ads wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:57 pm
That's really :censored:. I would prefer to see a strong second tier like in France. They need money pumping in rather than taking away!
Good point. ProD2 here in France is highly competitive and good preparation for the Top14.
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jgriffin
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Re: RFU halves Championship funding.

Post by jgriffin » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:13 pm

Robespierre wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:05 pm
ads wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:57 pm
That's really :censored:. I would prefer to see a strong second tier like in France. They need money pumping in rather than taking away!
Good point. ProD2 here in France is highly competitive and good preparation for the Top14.
Absolutely - it grows the game. This cut will separate one form of rugby from another, but seems consonant with moving to a franchise/regional US model.
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A game played on grass in the open air by teams of XV.

Old Hob
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Re: RFU halves Championship funding.

Post by Old Hob » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:18 pm

Now would be a good time for everybody to get behind Ealing and ensure they come up next season and Saracens stay down.
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