Time to re­think the B&I Cup fi­asco and of­fer real in­cen­tive

The Rugby Paper - - Letters / Views -

WITH the Cham­pi­onship stum­bling from one cri­sis to an­other, due to lack of suf­fi­cient cen­tral fund­ing, there is an­other as­pect of the game which is help­ing to drag the league fur­ther into the mire.

What is it? The much ma­ligned B&I Cup. Apart from a small hand­ful of clubs, there has vir­tu­ally been no sup­port for this com­pe­ti­tion since its in­cep­tion in 2010.

There is to all in­tents and pur­poses no fi­nan­cial re­turn, as most of the small amount of money gained by reach­ing the quar­ter fi­nals and fur­ther, is swal­lowed up in trav­el­ling ex­penses. In fact, many clubs show a loss! The gates are by and large abysmal – less than a thou­sand for this year’s fi­nal when Jersey were away to Mun­ster A!

To add in­sult to in­jury, there was no tele­vi­sion cov­er­age – not even for the fi­nal!

With this lack of sup­port and in­ter­est by the RFU above all in set­ting up a worth­while cup for Cham­pi­onship clubs, to­gether with the loss of ex­tra rev­enue from play-off matches in the new league struc­ture, it is no won­der that many clubs can­not see much of a fu­ture.

The in­tro­duc­tion of a de­cent cup com­pe­ti­tion would be a good start. Scot­tish teams were orig­i­nally a part of this com­pe­ti­tion, but it was not long be­fore they re­alised the fu­til­ity of it and pulled out.

The RFU must in­tro­duce some­thing worth­while in which all clubs are keen to par­tic­i­pate. ROD LYON Nance­gol­lan, Corn­wall

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