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RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
Discussion started by Faithful_City , 11 February, 2020 22:25
RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
Faithful_City 11 February, 2020 22:25
Well here we go, the Championship clubs will never survive with a 50% reduction in funding.

Quote:
The Telegraph

The Rugby Football Union has been accused of "selling its soul” to Premiership Rugby and "ring-fencing" the top flight after the governing body opted to slash its £6.4 million funding to Championship clubs by almost half next season.

It comes as Premiership Rugby also confirmed it would be reducing its funding by half to the second tier of English club rugby, down from £1.7m to £850,000 next season, and will end it completely from the start of the 2021/22 season.

The Championship clubs, who each received a letter on Tuesday morning detailing the cuts, were called to what was said to have been a highly-charged meeting at Twickenham.

RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney and director of performance Conor O’Shea explained to the clubs that they will reduce the funding from £530,000 to £288,000 per club as part of a new 12-month deal starting in July. It will be reviewed again in six months.



Full Article HERE


Moratorium on relegation will be next step

JP

Re: RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
Faithful_City 11 February, 2020 22:27
Part 2

Quote:

The RFU insisted that the reduction in funding followed a review of spending called ‘Project Union’ and that the Championship had failed to deliver on five key strategic targets after a significant hike in funding over the last four years from the profits of hosting the 2015 World Cup.

Sweeney also insisted that the RFU was “not using this as a means to seal it [the Premiership] off in any way”, and that promotion and relegation remained in place for clubs with deep enough pockets to bridge the £6m spending gap with Premiership clubs, and meet minimum-standards criteria.

“We don’t think this is an amount of money which defines whether or not you can still go for that, if that is your ambition to go there,” said Sweeney. “But clearly there will be speculation about is this a direction [ring-fencing] in terms of the way the game is going forward.”


JP

Re: RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
Faithful_City 11 February, 2020 22:31

Re: RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
TVM Rides Again 12 February, 2020 08:48
If I were a cynic....and I'm generally not....but if I were....

Was the championship set up to fail? Money won't close the gap in a short period of time. Clubs will need to be bona fide full timers (which has been questionable with the championship) for at least 5 years to make the progress with getting their squads physically ready - as their money still isn't close to enough to close the gap to the premiership.

Did the RFU invest in an excuse?

Re: RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
Faithful_City 12 February, 2020 08:57
No, I think they genuinely wanted a fully professional 2nd tier to develop England players. 24 pro clubs gave a huge player base.

They haven’t managed to unite and build a commercially viable product.

So now it will be over to PRL to develop the 2nd tier. It could end up 2 leagues of 10 or even 8

JP

Re: RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
Faithful_City 12 February, 2020 09:02
From Nottingham Rugby Chairman

Quote:

Nottingham chairman Alistair Bow slammed the decision of RFU as he believes the governing body has handed the domestic rugby on a plate to Premiership Rugby Limited.

“It’s the RFU saying it doesn’t want the Championship,” 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 move could also see PRL promoting its A League as the potential second tier of English rugby leaving future of Championship clubs in uncertainty.


JP

Re: RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
Old Col 12 February, 2020 09:42
Give the Championship the Saracens parachute money instead .That's £1million or something like it ,I think.

Re: RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
Faithful_City 12 February, 2020 10:00
But that is not a long term plan for improving professional Rugby in this country.

CVC now have big financial clout in The Premiership, The Pro 14 and soon to be The 6 nations, put all that together and the demise of the Championship(that will now happen) and we could be heading to two British and Ireland(The Lions) Conferences.

https://www.sixwaysrugby.co.uk/Sportsnetwork/Images/conferences.jpg

Maybe this is how it could look


The top 6 from each conference goes through into the European Cup, the rest go into the Challenge Cup.

CVC influence will be massive

JP

Re: RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
Faithful_City 12 February, 2020 14:56
I have empathy for them but no sympathy. They have been given several years of funding from PRL and RFU under the premise they turn fully professional, improve their stadia and attendances. As they have now not done so and the agreement has come to an end PRL and RFU have acted.

Cecil and other club benefactors have spent £millions of their own money building up professional rugby and most of the Championship clubs have spent very little in comparison

Most believed they could keep ownership of their clubs to the old fashioned local dignitaries. Well in this day and age ownership needs to taken on by owners who have money to spend in their £millions.

If you want to retain a club which is owned by its mebers then go or stay amateur.

JP

Re: RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
PMB 12 February, 2020 21:51
How much do you really think that Championship club owners have invested? That last comment is pretty insulting given what championship clubs have provided to the prem in terms of players. Given minimal support by the RFU/PRL the fact that the championship still exists is quite amazing and should it disappear might suddenly be missed-too late.

I do worry that to some people if it is not prem it has no value just recognize the hundreds of lower league rugby clubs that ignite the desire to play, watch and enjoy, please beware the path we (some people) appear to be treading .

Re: RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
Faithful_City 13 February, 2020 09:50
It would seem the Championship clubs have finally been kicked into action

Quote:
Championship clubs are considering forming a breakaway league and introducing a salary cap which could threaten relegated Saracens’ attempts to keep hold of England stars such as Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje next season, the Guardian understands.

Sorry but if the Championship clubs set up a breakaway league Saracens will not be relegated into it as it is what it says on the tin "a breakaway league", so silly thought

Quote:
Other options being explored by club owners, who are raging at the Rugby Football Union’s decision to slash their funding by 50%, include organising mass protests at England’s forthcoming Six Nations matches at Twickenham and calling for the return of the promotion playoffs.

That won't come to much as the championship club supporters I would suspect will make up a minority of those attending the game. Most of them get less than 1,000 home supporters and not all those will travel. The majority of support at a 6Nations will be Premiership supporters and grass roots supporters who will all still benefit from RFU funding.

Quote:
Bill Sweeney, the RFU chief executive, has also come in for stinging criticism as the angry fallout continued on Wednesday. One club owner described Sweeney, who took over from Nigel Melville last May, as a “hatchet man” and the union as “deplorable”, while Will Stuart, currently part of Eddie Jones’s England squad, called the cuts “pure garbage” on social media.
It is understood a breakaway league was suggested on Tuesday, when the clubs were informed of the cuts, with a proposal to buy the league from the RFU for a nominal fee. The clubs are concerned that while the RFU has confirmed funding will be halved for next season, they will not receive a penny from the 2021-22 campaign and as a result see no reason to remain under control of the union. Some clubs are also believed to be exploring the possibility of joining the Pro14.

Why would you think the RFU will sell you the league for a nominal sum, if it came to a bidding war (PRL have already offered to run the 2nd tier) PRL will win.

Possibility of joining the Pro 14 - What as their 2nd Tier because the will not expand the Pro 14 by another 12 clubs, or is that only the top few Championship clubs want to join and sod the rest. Pro 14 will not happen, unless.

The Irish, Scots and Welsh join PRL and create 2 conferences then the The Championship clubs can join with Italian and SA clubs

Quote:
Any changes to the Championship’s structure would have to be agreed by all 12 clubs, whose chairmen struck a defiant tone on Wednesday against what they perceive to be “handing the Premiership ring-fencing on a plate”. One believes supporters at England’s Six Nations matches against Ireland and Wales should protest against the RFU’s decision while it is understood a £2.5m salary cap has also been suggested. With Saracens in breach of the Premiership’s £7m salary cap this season, keeping hold of their top earners would be almost impossible.

If the Championship clubs stay within the control of the RFU and Saracens get relegated they will be part of the championship and will be entitled to vote on a salary cap and as they need 100% agreement then Sarries or even Falcons this year are not going to vote for that Turkeys and Christmas

Quote:
Within the Championship there remains a sense of astonishment at the timing of the cuts, which will lead to hundreds of job losses, and a feeling that the RFU’s explanation does not stand scrutiny. It is understood the Championship clubs were offered a three-year extension to their funding last year, with a modest increase, if they agreed to a ring-fenced Premiership. The offer was rejected and next season’s cuts have been described by one well-placed source as “@#$%& for tat”.

I'll wager the clubs who don't want promotion had wished they had voted for a moratorium on relegation and promotion as this would not have happened and they would be getting an increase in funding this year.

Quote:
Sweeney is taking the brunt of the criticism along with Conor O’Shea, who started as the RFU’s director of performance rugby last month. The Jersey Reds chairman, Mark Morgan, called the cuts “immoral and irresponsible”, adding: “With Bill Sweeney’s heralded business background, this is astonishingly poor execution.”
Cornish Pirates and Coventry released a joint statement which read: “For the RFU to use their own failure to deliver as a justification for unilaterally decimating the Championship is nothing short of outrageous, not least because it has come from people – Bill Sweeney and Conor O’Shea – who have been in post for only a short time.”

That's not going to help negotiations by name calling.

It is very sad it has come to this but the clubs have to accept some of the responsibility for it.

It is 16 years since we were first promoted, we have been relegated twice and spent most of our time at the foot of the table but we have never given up on continuing to invest in the club, its supporter and playing facilities and infrastructure. From my visits to away games at Championship clubs I have not seen a great change in their facilities and playing conditions since we first got promoted in 2004.

Why not allow the PRL to run the 2nd "Professional" Tier of English rugby thy have far more experience of it than the RFU or The Championship Clubs. It may well be each clubs 2nd team but it will be fully professional, coached, medical, health, dietary managed and a direct link to a 1st Tier club. Increase the salary cap to cover increase in player levels.

Then each club will have genuine 1st and 2nd teams with a full fixture list and they will also have an "A" Team fixture list alongside an Academy

JP

Re: RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
Faithful_City 13 February, 2020 10:12
Quote:
I

Amid a sorry atmosphere of rancour and mistrust, there was an angry joint statement from Coventry and Cornish Pirates yesterday that raised the prospect of England’s second-tier clubs breaking away from the Premiership and the RFU.

The two clubs complained loudly that the Union had come up with “no Championship-specific sponsorship funding [and] no Championship-specific TV broadcast deal”.

A breakaway is easier said than done, but it might give anyone unhappy at 13 self-appointed grandee clubs cornering the English market a chance to protest.

Sweeney also said: “The gulf in the playing standards between the Championship and the Premiership is evident. The Premiership side that goes down invariably comes back up again.” And of course it is true, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

While no one would sensibly argue for hundreds of English clubs to be fully professional, there has been a dearth of exciting ideas since the open era began in 1995. No conferences or freer movement between divisions or a geographical spread of franchises to cover the country; just a predictable format of one league at the top, populated by 13 private ventures kept afloat in part by the money made from their players representing England – the nation’s team.

Don't go blaming the RFU and PRL it is also the responsibility of the Championship clubs to develop their clubs and come up with some "exciting ideas"

Quote:
13 private ventures kept afloat in part by the money made from their players representing England – the nation’s team.

The money received from our players representing England does in no way keep us afloat and many a time we lose our best players to International Test matches and afterwards when they return unfit for duty.

SOUR GRAPES

JP

Re: RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
Faithful_City 13 February, 2020 10:36
Quote:
Rugby Dump

The Rugby Football Union’s decision to cut its funding for the Championship by almost 50 percent has sent shockwaves through English rugby.

The RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney has said that the decision to slash funding from £530,000 to approximately £288,000 is “based on a principle of ensuring levels of investment are geared to a clear return on investment,” but it has not been warmly welcomed.

Sweeney also added:

“The Championship is, and will continue to be, a useful way for players to get additional developmental experience, but we do not believe it is the primary place where Premiership and England players are discovered and developed.”

While many people have stressed that the Championship does provide a gateway for players into the top levels of the game, shown by the host of England players that have played in the league, the biggest concern is that this is a movement towards ring-fencing the Premiership.

This has been suggested by former Ireland international Jamie Heaslip, who was addressing the fact that many Irish players will suffer from these cuts. The former British and Irish Lions No8 questioned whether this is a “start of the Premiership moving towards ring-fencing”.

Agreed the Championship does provide a pathway for a few England players, however like Sweeney stated

Quote:
but we do not believe it is the primary place where Premiership and England players are discovered and developed.”

The primary place where England players are developed are the national Academies and some will get 2/3 games per season in The Championship until they break into their clubs 1st team.

The "A" league as it develops is now taking this up and if the clubs had a full fixtures 2nd Team they would get even more games.

Are the Championship clubs now developing Irish players to then go back and play against us because there is not a real 2nd Tier competition in Ireland?

JP



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 13/02/2020 10:38 by Faithful_City.

Re: RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
PMB 13 February, 2020 19:43
So JP you have no belief in the Championship-where the hell do you think Warriors came from? If I remember rightly it was something called Div 4 North progressing thanks to promotion/relegation to the Prem, five years in the Championship before reaching the "promised land". To deny other rugby clubs the ambition is a complete disgrace and should be kicked so far into the long grass that this denial of simple sporting fairness disappears without trace.

Re: RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
PMB 13 February, 2020 19:43
So JP you have no belief in the Championship-where the hell do you think Warriors came from? If I remember rightly it was something called Div 4 North progressing thanks to promotion/relegation to the Prem, five years in the Championship before reaching the "promised land". To deny other rugby clubs the ambition is a complete disgrace and should be kicked so far into the long grass that this denial of simple sporting fairness disappears without trace.

Re: RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
Faithful_City 13 February, 2020 20:07
All entitled to our views, if those competing for promotion cannot ever survive if they did get promotion because they have badly prepared, planned or not put the correct financial package together why should I support relegation where so many people lose their livelihoods.

Far better the 2nd tier was run by a totally experienced professional organisation. PRL/CVC

Not some grumpy old retired general.

JP

Re: RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
WarwickEastie 14 February, 2020 12:18
PMB

I don't think JP is questioning their right to exist, gain promotion etc - it's the assumption that funding will percolate down from the commercial viable bits in return for little benefit in terms of 'growing the game'.

If Championship clubs are not self sustaining, then they do need to show something for handouts e.g. development of the game at grass roots, bringing players through for Prem and Internationals.

I expect the RFU have handled it badly (as usual) and I would not be surprised if its driven by RFUs lack of cash, but fundamentally the 2nd tier needs to demonstrate its value if it wants to continue getting financial support, otherwise just go back to being good local (amateur) rugby clubs.

Re: RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
WarwickEastie 14 February, 2020 12:36
P.S. most of the clubs who progressed to the top leagues (ourselves included) had benefactors rather than relying on central funding to get there

Re: RFU and Prem Rugby slash funding to Championship Rugby
Fiver 16 February, 2020 10:45
I think the biggest question is "are there enough people in the UK who want to watch rugby?"

Clearly not, I'd suggest.


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