Doncaster Knights: Funding issue could result in London-centric Championship - Steve Lloyd

Steve Lloyd
Steve Lloyd

Doncaster Knights benefactor Steve Lloyd fears that the Championship could become dominated by London-based clubs.

A new £225 million deal between the RFU and Premiership clubs was announced earlier this week - but there was no mention of increased funding for second tier clubs.

And Lloyd feels the exclusion of the Championship could jeopardise its future.

“There has been no agreement and the Championship clubs can rightly claim to be the poor brother in all of this and we are currently playing a game of cards in which we just don’t have a hand, let alone a good hand,” Lloyd told the Daily Telegraph.

“We feel that there has been a lack of conversation between PRL and RFU and the Championship clubs.

“If the RFU are the owners and funders of the Championship, that should start with a business plan. When we inquired as to what they wanted of the Championship two or three years ago, we were told that they wanted us to be a full-time professional league.

“If we don’t get the necessary funding, the clubs are going to have to revert to being part-time professional or even amateur status.

“The danger of that is if we go part-time professional, outside of London, clubs will struggle to get the players. Guys can get good jobs in London and play part-time but that becomes more difficult up north and in the Midlands. Our fear is that in 10 year’s time, 10 out of the 12 clubs in the Championship would be in London.”

Championship clubs currently each receive £530,000 per season in funding from the RFU and Premiership Rugby.

An RFU spokesman said that it remained fully committed to a “strong and thriving Championship” and that talks would continue.