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Welsh rugby enveloped in its latest existential crisis

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Exeter statement: EGM arranged to address funding shortfall

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Bob Bradford/CameraSport via Getty Images)

Exeter Chiefs have issued a statement clarifying their financial situation amid concerns regarding the loans they took to get the club through the pandemic. Cash has become a major talking in the Gallagher Premiership this season, with Wasps and Worcester financially toppling over and being automatically relegated to the 2023/24 Championship if their respective receivers manage to find buyers to take them out of administration.  

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With Bristol having now reported on Friday a pre-tax loss for last season of £3.3million despite record turnover for 2021/22 of £14.2m, the focus has since suddenly switched to Exeter who have insisted that all will eventually be well at the club once permission is received from board members to sell off an unspecified non-rugby asset that will cover their schedule of loan repayments. 

Board member approval is needed for this budget-balancing sale to go ahead and it won’t be until the end of November that this permission can be secured.

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A club statement read: “As a result of the Rugby Football Union and Premiership Rugby Limited’s decision to continue playing behind closed doors during the Covid-19 pandemic, Exeter Rugby Club were forced to borrow substantial government-backed loans to pay our players and staff.

“The funding from the government was not in the form of grants, but loans which carry interest. These are due to be repaid and the income from our normal trading is not sufficient to pay them and all other expenses.

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“Accordingly, the rugby club board decided to sell one of our non-rugby assets for which members’ approval is needed and which is being sought at an extraordinary general meeting at Sandy Park on Wednesday, November 30.

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“This should be more than sufficient to see the club pay the loans and be financially secure for the future. No further comment will be made by the rugby club.”

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