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Another English club go into administration

By Jon Newcombe
BATH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Greg McGrath and Adam Nicol of Jersey Reds look on as they arrive at the ground during the Premiership Rugby Cup match between Bath Rugby and Jersey Reds at The Recreation Ground on September 16, 2023 in Bath, England. (Photo by Patrick Khachfe/Getty Images)

Jersey Reds, the winners of last year’s Championship, are set to enter administration.

The latest sorry saga to befall English rugby will be confirmed by the club later today, with players and staff having already been informed.

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Jersey’s climb through the leagues to become champions of English rugby’s second tier has been one of the success stories of recent times.

But RugbyPass understands that the withdrawal of one of the club’s main investors has contributed to a budget over-spend of circa £500,000 last season and they have been in financial difficulties for some time.

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Jersey government has offered its support over a number of years, to the tune of over £1million, but patience has grown thin.

Jersey Reds, the professional arm of the club, became a standalone company last year, safeguarding the future of the amateur set-up.

It’s a hammer blow to Harvey Biljon, who is in his testimonial year at the Reds, and has carved out a reputation for himself as one of the best DoRs outside of the Premiership.

Only a fortnight ago, Jersey went to Bath in the Premiership Cup and won 34-10 in front of the TNT Sports cameras.

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The news also means that coach Rob Webber and Kyle Eastmond’s fledgling coaching careers have hit the buffers; in the case of Eastmond, only two months in from signing.

It’s another bitter blow for the game in England, which last season saw the demise of Wasps, Worcester and London Irish.

A club statement reads: “Jersey Reds regret to confirm that the club ceased trading at 5.30pm on Wednesday September 27th and is exploring the way forward. However, liquidation appears inevitable unless a solution can be found in the very short term.

“The professional side made the move amid a continuing backdrop of uncertainty about the future of English rugby’s second tier, having competed in the RFU Championship for the past 11 years and won the league last season.

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“The decision came with an admission that the club would be unable to pay September salaries due this week, and would not be travelling to south-west England to fulfil the scheduled Friday night cup fixture against Cornish Pirates.”

Reds Chairman Mark Morgan said he was devastated that the move “had to be made”, but that it had become clear on Wednesday that there was no alternative.

“We had been able to start the season and maintain sufficient funds to cover the summer, but regret that our conversations with potential new investors as well as existing ones have been unsuccessful,” he said. “At one stage at the end of last season it appeared there was a viable way forward for the second tier once the new Professional Game Agreement was implemented from summer 2024, but Championship clubs have been left in the dark since that point and this led to a growing fatigue among those who may have invested, but could not be given any concrete assurance about when the new structure would come in, or how it would be funded.”

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Comments

3 Comments
J
Jim 258 days ago

The chickens of the Covid lockdown coming home to roost!!!!! Another club..

M
Michael 259 days ago

Their rise up to potential prem was interesting to follow, sad news. RFU needs a complete overhaul of operations. Maybe getting involved with part ownerships. An anglo-welsh league could generate more interest and revenue. But the financial climate right now is challenging for rugby.

M
Mark 259 days ago

Blimey if a tax haven can't sustain a professional rugby club, what hope for the rest of the clubs in the championship and prem!!

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