• England cavalier Cipriani must hope Lancaster changes tack
Plymouth Albion have little more than a week to raise £250,000 or go into administration and be relegated from the Championship. The plight of a club that has tried to pay its way in a division dominated by two sides for whom money is little object, Bristol and Worcester, without in any way trying to match them, has raised the issue of funding in English rugby’s second tier.
The Championship is the impoverished little brother of the Premiership. Its 12 clubs receive £380,000 annually through central funds, money made up of a contribution from Premiership Rugby, television, title sponsors and the Rugby Football Union. It would not be enough to provide a year’s wages for a marquee player in the top flight.
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