Championship clubs threaten legal action against RFU
With the start of the new Championship season only nine weeks away the 12 clubs in the league are at loggerheads with the RFU over a claim that the governing body has failed to deliver funding of over £2.3 million, writes Dick Straughan.
The clubs claim they are each owed £77,000 for the three seasons of the competition to date and that a further four-year funding offer from the RFU leaves them a further £120,000 down on the original agreement.
It is understood that legal advice sought by the clubs over the issue has indicated that there is a breach of contract. They initially believed that they would each receive £295,000 per season in 2009-10, rising to £400,000 in 2015-16.
The RFU have countered this claim, stating that the original funding agreement was based on estimated figures and standby their offer of £359,400 for each Championship club by the 2015-16 season.
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While there has been no comment on the issue from the Cornish Pirates, Geoff Irvine, chairman of the Championship clubs, said: "The RFU has not kept to the promises it made and if we want to see standards improve then we need to have a commitment which is honoured.
"What is of particular concern to the clubs, though, is that the RFU refuses to fulfill its responsibilities to the Championship when it "owns" the competition."