Simon Jupp, the member of UK parliament for East Devon, has asked the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for funding support for Exeter Chiefs and other Premiership rugby teams in England. 

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Speaking in parliament this week, Jupp described the bleak economic situation the Chiefs find themselves in while sport is played behind closed doors. 

With no indication as to when fans will be able to return to stadiums, this will only get worse, and fellow Gallagher Premiership clubs have warned of the possibility of extinction. This is why Jupp asked for support from the government. 

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He said: “I’m proud to have the mighty and previously profitable Exeter Chiefs based in my constituency. Sadly the Chiefs are currently losing around £1million a month because games are being played behind closed doors. 

“They employ 200 staff and bring joy to 1,000s across the city, the south-west and much further afield as well. 

“The losses are hitting the club hard and they are going to need a helping hand over the coming months. I would urge DCMS and the treasury to draw up packages of support to help the Chiefs and many professional rugby union clubs survive the winter. 

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“If we really want to achieve our goal of improving the health of our nation, what sort of message would the closure of sports clubs across the country send fans, supporters and future sporting stars. We must act now or it’s game over.”

Stars across the game have made appeals after the government announced that it would be postponing the initial plans to reintroduce supporters back into stadiums in October. Instead, it is more likely that it will not be until the new year that stands are occupied. 

This goes far beyond supporters wanting to be at matches or players not wanting to play in sterile atmospheres, as the financial ramifications of this decision are far graver for rugby clubs.

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