Wednesday, 12 February 2020

RFU dish out dose of reality

I do understand why Championship clubs are upset at the decision by the RFU to slash its funding to the Championship by some 50%. It must have come as a shock for many.

It is being suggested by some that the RFU are showing contempt for the Championship, that as a result of the funding cuts the league could be reduced to amateur status in two or three years and that effectively what this does is hand the Premiership ring-fencing by default.

I don’t disagree with any of that – but in reality something like this had to happen.

The Championship has for some years been something of a basket-case, with players being underpaid and inadequately insured by clubs on the brink of financial collapse.

Simply, and as I have said often enough, there has never been enough money in English rugby to sustain 2 fully professional leagues of 12 teams.

This day was therefore always going to come and all it really amounts to is a huge slice of reality – both for clubs who have been struggling to make ends meet and for players who were never really being paid enough to make a proper living anyway. There is no shame in having to revert to amateur status.

And for those few clubs who are, in fact, adequately and properly funded – I would hope that a place at the top table remains a possibility – and it is incumbent on the RFU and Premiership Rugby to make it so.

No comments: