RFU gives more money to Championship clubs in new deal

Cornish Pirates v Rotherham
All 12 clubs in the Championship are fully-professional

The Rugby Football Union has agreed to an increase in the amount of money it pays to clubs in the Championship.

The new agreement between English rugby's governing body and second-tier clubs runs until the summer of 2020.

Funds will also go towards player medical insurance, while clubs will be expected to invest in their facilities.

It comes just weeks after discussions to expand the Premiership and scrap promotion and relegation to the Championship began.

The new central funding deal is the first since the Championship was formed in 2009 from the old National League One. The amount of money which clubs will receive has not been revealed.

A number of the 12 teams in the division have called for extra funding from the RFU for the division, which is seen as a key breeding ground for future English talent.

Clubs in the Championship
WorcesterJerseyPlymouth Albion
DoncasterRotherhamLondon Scottish
BristolCornish PiratesYorkshire Carnegie

Earlier this year bottom-of-the-table Plymouth Albion almost entered administration, with the club saying the

Nottingham, London Welsh and Plymouth, in 2010 and have come close to folding since the league was formed. Plans for the formation of the Championship at the time were described as "financial suicide" by First Division Rugby, the body that represented clubs in the competition.

"The Greene King IPA Championship Clubs were unanimous in their agreement to the new funding deal with the RFU," said Bedford chairman Geoff Irvine, who is chairman of the group that represents the 12 second-tier club.

"Of course we would have liked more but the RFU were very professional in the negotiations and the clubs understand the demands that the Union has in terms of funding from all areas of the game.

"The five year deal should provide some stability and enable clubs to undertake long term planning for the future."

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