The Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the Greene King IPA
Championship Clubs - Jersey RFC were represented by Chairman Bill
Dempsey - have today announced a new five year agreement which will
see an uplift in central funding. The deal further strengthens the
partnership between the two parties for the continued growth of the
The RFU will increase its central funding of the competition to
include a range of elements, designed to further enhance the second
tier of professional rugby.
The partnership - which runs until 2019/20 - will require clubs
to allocate a percentage of funding to developing their facilities
while in addition, the RFU will now contribute towards player
medical insurance, ensuring the league continues to develop both on
and off the field. The new agreement will begin ahead of the
2015/16 season, replacing the final year of the current deal.
Now in its sixth season as the professional second tier of English
rugby, the Greene King IPA Championship continues to play a vital
role in the development of English talent through the English
Qualified Player (EQP) scheme, which financially rewards clubs for
fielding home grown talent. The scheme - introduced into the league
in 2011/12- forms an integral part of the funding structure and
continues to do so throughout the new agreement.
With 17 of the current England squad having played Championship
rugby, the league continues to offer an integral pathway for future
International talent; a fact further recognised today by the
In addition to investing in facilities and player medical
insurance, the new agreement will also see a rise in funding for
the British & Irish Cup.
Commenting on the announcement, RFU Chief Executive Officer Ian
"We are delighted to have reached an agreement with the Greene King
IPA Championship clubs, particularly one that encourages vibrant
and sustainable businesses both on and off the field. The Greene
King IPA Championship is a crucial part of the professional game in
England and as evident by today's announcement, one that we are
focused on developing and improving alongside the clubs.
"You only need to glance at the England squad to see the
influence of the Greene King IPA Championship: Jack Nowell, Mako
Vunipola, George Ford, Tom Youngs, Luther Burrell, Billy
Twelvetrees and so on. We are very fortunate to have such a wealth
of talent in this country, and a big part of that is down to the
quality of rugby on offer in the Greene King IPA Championship. With
this new deal, we should see that continue to grow from strength to
"I would like to thank the Greene King IPA Championship Clubs,
particularly Geoff Irvine (Bedford) and Ian Connell (Cornish
Pirates), for their cooperation and tireless work in bringing this
new agreement to pass. On behalf of all parties, we look forward to
a bright future for the competition."
Geoff Irvine, Chairman of the Greene King IPA Championship Clubs
"The Greene King IPA Championship Clubs were unanimous in their
agreement to the new funding deal with the RFU. 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".
23 Mar 2023
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