The RFU have revealed they have no plans to bail out any of the financially stricken Gallagher Premiership clubs.
The 2019/20 top-flight season ground to halt last month and with no sign of a resumption happening any time soon, the clubs have implemented a round of player and staff pay cuts amid fears that some of the dozen businesses operating in the top flight might go to the wall amid the coronavirus crisis.
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There have been calls for financial assistant from English Rugby HQ to help out the elite clubs, but CEO Bill Sweeney insisted there is nothing more in the kitty to help fund a sector of the game in England that has been benefitting from an eight-year deal inked in 2016.
That was worth more than £225million to ensure the national team enjoyed more flexibility towards preparation and to guarantee greater player access.
“We are in constant conversation with them,” said Sweeney. “I talk with the CEO there (Darren Childs), maybe not daily but at least every other day. They are working through their own issues and we are not as intimately involved in some of those.
“They are looking at the rest of their season and what it means for them. They are looking at issues that are particular and specific to the clubs. I’m not sure there is anything more in detail I can possible give you on the Premiership.
“We have already stated that we help them out to a large extent with the professional game agreement, so if you look at the payouts we make to the PRL and into the professional game and the Premiership they are quite significant and that is covered in the PGA agreement.
“We have got 2,000 clubs in the country, from levels three down to twelve, and we are very concerned to make sure that the grassroots of the game is really fit and healthy and in great shape to rebound from this, so at the moment that is very much our focus.”
Sweeney added that no conversation has yet been broached about the possibility of Twickenham being required by Premiership Rugby to host its final on a date other than the already scheduled June 20.
The RPA is understood to be “picking up the pieces” and advising the players in relation to their contracts following this latest move by the clubs
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 1, 2020
“We certainly wouldn’t do anything that would hinder their recovery. There is lots of issues involved there. A list of questions come up about player welfare and the start of next season would be a consideration.
“There is a lot of issues there that need to be addressed but we would certainly do all we could to help but it has to be for the right reasons as well.”
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