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Saracens could receive equal RFU-funding

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Saracens could potentially receive equal RFU funding as 11 other cash-strapped Championship sides

Despite the slashing of the annual RFU grant to Championship sides as of next seasons, relegated Saracens could be set to receive an equal share of the much-reduced sum.

The RFU announced that they would be radically reducing funding to English rugby’s second league, which is nominally fully professional, but who rely heavily on the subsistence payment from the governing body.

The announcement has caused dismay across the league. This season Championship sides were able to avail of roughly £500,000 per club, which would work out at the equivalent of 20 players at £25,000 per season.

That figure has nearly been halved. According to an RFU statement, aggregate funding will amount to approximately £288,000 per club and “represents a return to the levels of funding prior to the 2016 – 2020 cycle”.

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RugbyPass asked the RFU to clarify if Saracens – as a Championship club – would receive the payment and a spokesperson for the body said it was yet to ‘confirm the specifics’ of the funding.

Not only could Saracens possibly receive this grant, but they are potentially set to avail of at least £2million in a Premiership parachute payment on their way to the second tier.

Despite an imminent player exodus, Saracens are expected to bounce straight back into the Premiership from the Championship. However, the job of competing with the English giants for smaller Championship clubs has just become significantly harder.

Championship clubs are furious at the cuts. A joint statement from Cornish Pirates and Coventry Rugby said:  “For the RFU to then use their own failure to deliver on these as a justification for unilaterally decimating the Championship is nothing short of outrageous, not least because it has come from people – CEO Bill Sweeney and Director of Performance Rugby Conor O’Shea – who have been in post for only a short time, in Conor’s case just a matter of weeks and with Bill only having been in the sport for six months.”

Elsewhere Saracens will be donating £1,000 for every try scored by Saracens Men at Allianz Park to three good causes for the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign.

The initiative will begin when Mark McCall’s side host Leicester Tigers on Saturday 7th March and money raised for each home dot down will be equally split between Saracens charity partner Duchenne UK, the Saracens Sport Foundation and the Saracens High School.

This weekend’s match against Sale Sharks (Saturday 15th February) will also be used to raise money for a separate charitable fund.

Worcester Warriors second row Michael Fatialofa’s JustGiving page will receive £1,000 for every Saracens try during the game as well as money collected via buckets around the ground, in the hospitality lounges and on the club’s match day shuttle buses.

There will also be a book where supporters of both Saracens and Sale Sharks can write messages of support for Michael.

Fatialofa sustained a life-changing spinal cord injury at Allianz Park in January and RPA’s (the official charity of the Rugby Players Association) campaign is raising funds to support the 27-year-old and his family with his needs throughout this testing time.

A statement read: “With the ongoing uncertainty over Michael’s prognosis, length of rehabilitation and future career/work prospects, donations will help cover immediate necessities as well as future finances, costs and unforeseen expenses of Michael and his family.”

For fans who would like to donate directly, they can do so via the following link: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/michaelfatialofa

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Saracens could potentially receive equal RFU funding as 11 other cash-strapped Championship sides
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