THE reigning champions of the Championship, Jersey Reds, have confirmed they have 'cased trading' and say 'liquidation appears inevitable' if they cannot secure new funding.

New and previously existing investors have pulled out ahead of the new season, leaving the club in a position to have to cease trading as a business. They say that if they do not receive new investment, liquidation "appears inevitable". 

The club, who won the Championship title last season as well as reaching the Championship Cup Final, have cited costs from Covid-19 and reduced funding as causes for their collapse.

Reds say they are unable to pay players and staff salaries that are due at the end of this month - despite having £370,000 in short-term government grants to try and tide the club over until a new investor came on board.

Without the necessary funding, they look set to follow in similar route to the likes of Worcester Warriors, Wasps and London Irish, who have all gone into administration in the last 12 months.  

In a statement, Reds' chairman Mark Morgan said: "We had been able to start the season and maintain sufficient funds to cover the summer, but regret that our conversations with potential new investors as well as existing ones have been unsuccessful.

"At one stage at the end of last season it appeared there was a viable way forward for the second tier once the new Professional Game Agreement was implemented from summer 2024, but Championship clubs have been left in the dark since that point and this led to a growing fatigue among those who may have invested, but could not be given any concrete assurance about when the new structure would come in, or how it would be funded."

The RFU released their own statement, saying: "It is extremely disappointing that investors would take decisions at this early point in the season to place the club in such a position.

"Championship clubs had clear confirmation from the RFU on funding for the 2023/24 season and we have been working with the Championship and Premiership Rugby on the new Professional Game Partnership and shape of Premiership 2 with funding levels to be confirmed at the end of this calendar year.

"The Championship has been fully involved in these discussions since February which are aimed at stabilising and strengthening the professional game.
"This news will clearly impact the season for the Championship league and Premiership Rugby Cup competition, which was introduced this season as a way to offer a new format to supporters, bringing with it the experience of playing Premiership sides and the opportunity to welcome new fans into Championship clubs and assist them to grow new audiences."