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English Championship statement: ‘We have got what we came for’

By Liam Heagney
Recent Championship title winners Ealing in action (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Championship chairman Simon Halliday has lauded Friday’s RFU council vote that approved a promotion/relegation deal with the Gallagher Premiership while also agreeing to the creation of a new and independently chaired Tier 2 governance board.

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Clubs in the second division of English rugby recently reiterated their concerns for the future, claiming on June 3 that they had been presented with a proposition that they couldn’t accept as to do so would risk potential bankruptcy for the Championship’s participants and further isolate the Premiership to the detriment of the game in England.

That statement 11 days ago insisted that urgent meetings were needed to improve the outlook and following Friday’s latest RFU council meeting, a follow-up statement has now praise the administrators for what has now been decided.

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A statement read: “The RFU council today approved a promotion and relegation deal that the Championship clubs have been fighting for since the beginning of 2023.

“The deal means that in order to be eligible for promotion, the minimum operating standards have been relaxed to make them more achievable and the deadline for achieving those standards will be spread over four seasons. Full details will be announced in due course.

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“Previously, the terms and conditions of entry had been unacceptable to Championship clubs because the amount of investment needed and the shorter timetable made them impracticable to a potential promotion candidate.

“In its meeting, the RFU council also approved the new Tier 2 board, a body with an equal representation of Championship and RFU members, chaired by an independent person. That board will take decisions affecting the commercial exploitation of the second-tier league, hence allowing our clubs to make the most of their marketing, media and broadcasting rights.

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“The clubs believe these changes herald a new era for the professional game in England. They set the current 12 clubs – and all those who wish one day to join them – onto a brighter footing.

“With an agreed pathway to promotion, many of the current league’s clubs will now start the planning and investment that will give them a fighting chance to be the first non-P shareholder to reach the Premiership since London Welsh in 2014.”

Championship chairman Halliday said: “We have got what we came for. Now our clubs – and every club – can realistically dream of promotion to the Premiership.

“There is now a genuine path for ambitious clubs to rise; the top tier is reconnected to the rest of the English rugby, and we can use our commercial potential to fund the growth that rugby sorely needs at our level.

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“This is a result that brings common resolve to our sport, guaranteeing that English rugby remains open and fair from the lowest league to the highest.”

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Michele 31 days ago

Does anyone know when these plans will be implemented? I’m wondering when promotion/relegation is coming in.

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Mzilikazi 4 hours ago
Daugunu salvo shows why Wallabies work-rate is everything to Schmidt

Nice article, Brett, and good to be writing about a second win. I think Georgia will be far more testing. Tbh, I have not looked at their touring squad, but at full strength they are a far better and more dangerous team than they were at RWC France. They would have been disappointed they did not perform to full potential there. I think that the WB’s under Joe Schmidt have started soundly. Recovery from a serious setback always takes time. And the Jones era was that and more. I think the arrival of Les Kiss back to his native Qld. is a very positive factor, and the fact that he and Schmidt know each other well is a help. Players I think are much improved this year: Daugunu, who has blossomed with the Rebels, so credit to the coaching unit down there. Am pleased he will come back to the Reds. McReight is said to have put on up to 7 kgs since last season. His work rate has always been good, but it is his carrying into contact that has gone up. Now makes those critical one or two metres post contact very often. Is conceding fewer penalties now as his game matures. Rob Valetini was good last year, but is now a greater force this one. A really punishing ball carrier. Hunter Paisami is now a more controlled player. His carrying into contact is very impressive for an 80 kg man. Interestingly, if you saw Nick Bishops latest article, he has a team for RC with Kerevi at 12. Also Skelton in the team. Not sure if there will be o’seas players as early as RC though….but need them in by the EYOT games.

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