Rugby Football Union funding of Championship rugby 'inadequate'

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Plymouth Albion v Cornish Pirates
Bottom-of-the-table Plymouth Albion have lost nine and drawn one of their 10 Championship games this season

Plymouth Albion's chairman Graham Stirling claims the Championship is unsustainable unless the Rugby Football Union increases its funding to clubs.

Albion unless they can find £250,000 to see them through until the summer.

Championship clubs currently receive £380,000 a year from the RFU.

"We do get central funding from the RFU, but it's inadequate to support a fully professional side in the second tier," Stirling told BBC Sport.

The Championship replaced the old National One division in 2009, with the aim of being a fully-professional second tier. However, the plans were described at the time as 'financial suicide' by First Division Rugby, the body that at the time represented clubs in the division.

Stirling: RFU funding of the Championship is 'inadequate'

Since then Nottingham,London Welsh and Plymouth, in 2010 and have come close to folding.

Two years ago, Championship clubs claimed the RFU had failed to pay them what they were promised when the league was set up.

"All the Championship clubs are saying we're grossly underfunded," Stirling said. "We've got negotiations ongoing with the RFU and that funding needs increasing.

"We're hopeful some will come through next season, and it must come through or there will be casualties.

"I didn't want Plymouth Albion to be the first casualty, but we could well be if we can't save this."