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Jersey Reds: Championship club set to enter liquidation after States Assembly funding vote defeated

Jersey Reds announced last month they would cease trading after being unable to pay players and staff for September; A States Assembly vote went 30-13 with one abstention against financially supporting the Reds on Wednesday

Jersey Reds
Image: Jersey Reds are set to be liquidated after a funding vote in the States Assembly went against them

Jersey Reds are set to enter liquidation after the island’s States Assembly voted against funding the Championship club for the remainder of the 2023/24 season.

The Channel Island outfit announced on September 28 they had ceased trading after being unable to pay their staff's wages for the month.

However, last year's Championship winners are now set to be liquidated after Jersey's ministers voted 30-13 with one abstention against financially supporting the Reds on Wednesday.

"We are bitterly disappointed at the decision in the States Assembly regarding government funding, but hardly surprised," a statement from the club read.

"We are proud of what the Reds achieved over the years in consistently difficult circumstances. The opportunity to support a valuable asset has been let slip and the Island will be the lesser for it.

"Given the decision and in the absence of a 'White Knight' we now have no option but to move our trading vehicle into liquidation. Details of the liquidator will be gazetted in the near future."

Jersey's demise comes with them having already played three games of this season's Premiership Rugby Cup, and follows the collapse of Gallagher Premiership trio Worcester Warriors, Wasps, and London Irish in the past year.

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Chairman Mark Morgan had previously criticised the game's powerbrokers for failing to put into place a structure for the second tier that would have allowed the club to attract financing.

"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," Morgan said.

"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.

"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.

"There are a large number of players, coaches and other members of staff who have made huge contributions to the club in recent seasons, and we regret that the massive effect this will have on all of them. It's a very sad day."

Sweeney: Jersey demise was 'a complete surprise'

RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney denied the governing body had been made aware of concerns over Jersey's financial stability.

Speaking on a media call on Wednesday, Sweeney stated all indications the RFU had received from the Reds were they had long-term plans in place and revealed they were even in discussions about the Championship winners competing in the European Challenge Cup earlier this year.

"This was a complete surprise to us," Sweeney said. "The last business plan submission from Jersey was in June...They were projecting to make a loss, but had plans in place in terms of their growth plan and future investors which led us to believe things were under control.

"There were no alarm bells at that stage. There were no repeated warnings from anybody about the situation in Jersey and in May we were talking with them about being a potential candidate for the European Challenge Cup, given the reduction of teams in the Premiership.

"It wasn't a club we had on any kind of risk register, so now the focus is on doing what we can for the players."

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