Premiership could rescue 'neglected' Championship
June 15, 2014
Aviva Premiership chief executive Mark McCafferty has floated the prospect of a takeover of the Championship after accusing the Rugby Football Union of neglecting the second-tier league.
McCafferty claims that Championship clubs are not being adequately rewarded for their role in developing the league and providing players for the Premiership. Teams in the Championship currently receive annual funding of £365,000 from a central pot of £4.4m.
The RFU contributes £2.7m to the pot each year, with £400,000 coming from sponsors Greene King, £1m from Premiership Rugby and £320,000 from Sky Sports. But clubs believe they are being sold short after seeing little commercial improvement in the league since the current structure was introduced in 2009.
Asked if the Premiership would consider taking control of the Championship, McCafferty told the Rugby Paper: "That depends on the RFU view but a lot Championship clubs would support that.
"The quality of the Championship has gone up but what's holding them back is the commercial side. We've got a reasonable track record so if there is help and support we can give, I'd like to think we can find ways of doing that.
"The RFU should be investing more in the Championship. Clubs are doing a great job as far as England and player development is concerned and a country the size of England should support two levels of fully-professional rugby,
"That should be the ambition and vision but you can't do it on a shoestring, you've got to invest more money in it. The Championship should be better funded to stand on its own two feet and it needs commercial expertise.
"It hasn't progressed commercially as it has done on the field, so you need to ask 'why? Can we help?' We're certainly open to discussions."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Liverpool will not consider a deal to sell Raheem Sterling this summer even if he refuses to sign a new contract, sources have told ESPN FC
Arsenal and Juventus have both made offers for Paulo Dybala, according to Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini
Real Madrid left-back Fabio Coentrao says he would be very interested in a move to Manchester United next season
Manchester United have taken non-league sensation Sam Grimshaw on trial, sources have told ESPN
Rugby league legend Kevin Sinfield has opted to cross codes to union and has signed for Yorkshire Carnegie
The Hurricanes have always been a franchise rich on talent, but something was always awry; not any more as they look the real deal Sam Bruce writes
Could the ongoing problems with the interpretation of the breakdown and rolling maul be solved with a simplification of the lawbook? Scrum5 discusses
Maurice Hamilton looks through the reaction of the British press to Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari returning to winning ways at the Malaysian Grand Prix
Concussion, relegation and the mother of all surprises - it's the Monday Maul.
Luis Suarez graced the Anfield turf again on Sunday and vowed that if he ever returned to England, it would only be to play for Liverpool
Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin has said he is unsure if he would have made the grade if he had stayed at Barcelona and is pleased to have been given a chance by Arsene Wenger
Six months after being victim of a machete attack that left him fearing for his life, Kell Brook dished out a vicious attack of his own in his a first world title defence
Amir Khan believes the time is not right for a Battle of Britain with Kell Brook for the IBF world welterweight title as the reigning champion is virtually unknown in the United States
Manchester United target Mats Hummels is considering his Borussia Dortmund future
Rory McIlroy walked off at the Honda Classic. What next for the Northern Irishman?
Who has driven in the most GPs before taking pole position?
After a 10-year break in the fixture, England and Italy have faced each other three times in as many seasons, with one win each and a draw
Join Steve Bunce and Barry Jones each week for the latest news, views and debate from the boxing world.
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner