He also outlined the difficulties that Gallagher Premiership and Greene King IPA Championship clubs will face in England with no crowds for the foreseeable future. He said: “Premiership and Championship Clubs will face significant financial hardship.
“Our community rugby clubs, many of which run grounds at the heart of their communities, are under threat. Without crowds and league games, community rugby will lose an estimated £86m in revenue this season.
“From the outset, we have been clear that an autumn without crowds would leave us with little choice but to approach the government for financial help. Unfortunately, we are now in that position. Without support we are in danger of clubs at the heart of communities across England, as well as players and volunteers, disappearing forever.”
With crowds potentially not returning to stadiums until 2021, the new Championship season may wait until then before starting in order to avoid playing in empty stadiums and the financial hit that comes with that.
A cry for help https://t.co/DpPgG2H0iS
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 22, 2020
Fears are now mounting amongst the rugby public over the future of England’s second division, with many saying this crisis has only exposed how unsustainable the model is. It seems a long time ago that the RFU made the pre-Covid-19 decision to slash the Championship’s funding in February, and those problems have only been compounded in the following months.
While some clubs will survive in the Championship, some could be thrown into a perilous position, with growing concerns over the future of the professional game in England.
Coventry Rugby brought this into sharp relief, sharing a statement on Tuesday saying: “It is also essential now that sports clubs and hospitality venues have additional support from the government to help keep our staff employed and minimise the effects of lost revenues which these new regulations will have.”
Statements like this make it increasingly clear why the RFU are seeking help from the government.
I really fear for some of the rugby premiership / championship and national teams if they don’t get crowds in. They don’t get football money and will have to fold. The outlook is bleak. Can’t see it improving for a long time and by then it maybe too late for some
— Gary Higgins (@GHiiggs) September 22, 2020
Grass roots rugby can and will survive, but grave doubts over the prem and championship teams. National leagues will depend on the club structures. We as a sport are desperate for new iniatives and ideas to save our https://t.co/KvZMxkLQIi
— mark harrison (@greengiant62) September 23, 2020
Very concerning statement, grassroots rugby clubs will no doubt suffer but i would be very concerned for those clubs in the Championship, and especially those in the L3-L6 bracket who have big player/overhead budgets #sadtimes https://t.co/5Xo1dY0Ocx
— Aldridge Rugby Club (@AldridgeRFC) September 23, 2020
I genuinely feel sorry for the @Champrugby clubs and players! No support, no direction from gov body and n sign of improvement. When will @EnglandRugby step up and offer some support? @LSFCOfficial @CornishPirates1 @DoncasterKnight @NottinghamRugby @jerseyrfc
— Rhodri Mcatee (@rodmac007) September 22, 2020
Really cannot see professionalism lasting much longer in the championship. Sad to see but I do feel it has been coming for a while, even before covid. It would be great to see someone/something put money into the league and back it as there are some class players in there https://t.co/VbuQLx8ujs
— WS (@_will_sutton) September 23, 2020
This is an extremely sad situation that will potentially result in a lot of people losing their jobs. Clubs that made signings and honoured contract offers are now facing financial ruin – even the ones with deep pockets. A horrible state of affairs. https://t.co/lBTLDCWhU5
— Simon Hutchinson (@HutchMedia) September 22, 2020
This is an unmitigated disaster. But it is one that has been threatening to happen for years. Rugby in its current form has never been sustainable long term. All we can hope for now is a far reaching plan that preserves our game for the future. Hopefully one built from bottom up!
— Clive Chapman (@Clive_Chap) September 23, 2020
Maybe people will open their eyes that the game has been built on sand. Plastered over by egotistical, delusional, brivardo by the governing bodies. No sustainability in mind. That includes the club owners. The game will survive. But not with the structure we’ve seen.
— ChambersNZ (@AndrewChambers2) September 22, 2020
Think at least Saracens will be able to withstand that, but you have to fear for the other clubs, not really sustainable. Personally I would like to see these games aired on television by maybe channel 5 or itv maybe. Might even prefer to watch some of these games to the prem!
— simongillott (@simongillott) September 22, 2020
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