Richmond Rugby to kick off new season next month but lament lack of funding

  Posted: 02.02.21 at 12:41 by Richmond Rugby

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Richmond FC has today confirmed that the club will participate in the upcoming Greene King IPA Championship season provisionally scheduled to start on Saturday, March 6.

This has been a very difficult decision for the club’s directors who were concerned not only with the financial impact on the club but on the wider community and the recent high incidence of Covid-19. The club has already received funds from the RFU/PRL in anticipation of playing in the 2020/21 Championship season, a league regarded as elite. We also completed a crowdfunding campaign in September, helping raise funds to replace the loss of our main club sponsor after six years.

However, the cost of PCR testing, alongside covid-related costs, and playing with no crowds will inevitably impact the club financially and will result in a loss this year, in addition to the losses in 2020. We are disappointed that grants were not made available for testing and other covid-related costs.

Our men’s first-team squad, who have been training three times a week since July, were consulted ahead of this decision, and after lengthy discussions the board felt on balance that Richmond should compete in the league, within a safe testing environment, and in keeping with our club vision, To provide an inspiring environment where a culture of ambition promotes rugby excellence, enjoyment, and friendship.

Richmond's chairman John Heaton,said: “I am delighted that finally we can take our place in the Greene King IPA Championship. The players have trained since July and deserve their chance. I am very grateful to our sponsors who have stuck by us and hope that our members get some enjoyment from watching the streamed matches.”

First-team captain Cameron Mitchell added: “We are hugely excited to have the opportunity to pull on the Richmond shirt and compete in the upcoming Championship season. We understand this has been a difficult decision, but we look forward to representing the entire club, and making our members and supporters proud with our performances on the pitch.”

The club would like to thank all Richmond sponsors, members and season ticket holders for your continued and loyal support. We will provide more information shortly on league fixtures, match streaming and player sponsorship opportunities. In the meantime, please stay safe and we look forward to welcoming you all back to the club as soon as we can.

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