RFU 'extremely disappointed' in Jersey Reds' decision to cease trading mid-season

Jersey Reds have closed their doors as the club prepares to go into administration Credit: ITV Channel

The Rugby Football Union has criticised Jersey Reds' decision to cease trading "at this early point in the season".

The club is set to go into administration after ongoing financial problems meant it is not able to pay its players and team's wages for September 2023.

The Reds' chairman, Mark Morgan, said he was "devastated" to have to wind up operations after talks with potential investors were unsuccessful.

He said recent decisions by the RFU were a factor: "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."

The RFU has hit back, saying it is "deeply concerned" by the news and that the Reds "had clear confirmation" on how much funding they would receive before the start of the season.

Jersey Reds previously called for more support for second tier clubs from the RFU Credit: ITV Channel

In a statement, it said: "It is extremely disappointing that investors would take decisions at this early point in the season to place the club in such a position.

"Championship clubs had clear confirmation from the RFU on funding for the 2023/24 season and we have been working with the Championship and Premiership Rugby on the new Professional Game Partnership and shape of Premiership 2 with funding levels to be confirmed at the end of this calendar year.

"The Championship has been fully involved in these discussions since February which are aimed at stabilising and strengthening the professional game."

It continued: "This news will clearly impact the season for the Championship league and Premiership Rugby Cup competition, which was introduced this season as a way to offer a new format to supporters, bringing with it the experience of playing Premiership sides and the opportunity to welcome new fans into Championship clubs and assist them to grow new audiences."

The governing body says it is working with the Rugby Players Association to support the Reds players affected.

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