'It's a very sad day': Championship winners Jersey Reds cease trading

Jersey Reds have ceased trading after four years of financial difficulties Credit: ITV Channel

Championship Rugby Union winning side Jersey Reds has ceased trading, with the club warning it will "inevitably" go into liquidation unless a last-minute rescue deal can be found.

The Reds' upcoming game on Friday night against the Cornish Pirates has been called off after the club's financial position meant it is unable to pay salaries in September.

It comes as Rugby Union sides face ongoing uncertainty about the future of the second tier of English rugby.

Clubs have faced mounting financial challenges since RFU funding was cut in early 2020 ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jersey Reds said the pandemic led to further cuts, creating a "challenging landscape" which has gone on for nearly four years.

The Reds' chairman, Mark Morgan, said he was "devastated" it's come to this, but says it is clear there is no alternative.

"We had been able to start the season and maintain sufficient funds to cover the summer, but regret that our conversations with potential new investors as well as existing ones have been unsuccessful," he said.

Jersey's rugby club started out in 1879, making its way into the Championship in the 2011/12 season Credit: ITV Channel

He continued: "At one stage at the end of last season, it appeared there was a viable way forward for the second tier once the new Professional Game Agreement was implemented from summer 2024.

"But Championship clubs have been left in the dark since that point and this led to a growing fatigue among those who may have invested, but could not be given any concrete assurance about when the new structure would come in, or how it would be funded."

During the last season, Worcester Warriors, Wasps and London Irish all suffered similar fates.

In 2022, Jersey Reds separated the professional side from the amateur Jersey RFC operation "in order to safeguard the future of amateur rugby in Jersey".

Mr Morgan said he "very much regretted" the impact this will have.

He said: "There are a large number of players, coaches and other members of staff who have made huge contributions to the club in recent seasons, and we regret the massive effect this will have on all of them – it’s a very sad day."

The full scale of the impact of the professional team's financial collapse will likely only emerge in the coming days and weeks.

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