London Welsh are just the latest to fall into the money trap in English rugby

London Welsh insist they should have been given more time to save their professional section and remain in the English Championship. The Rugby Football Union insist they gave the Welsh three deadlines and none of them were met with the money to save the club. It means that Welsh follow the sad path taken by near neighbours London Scottish and Richmond in 1999 who both went bust during the early years of professional rugby in England.
While the famous name of London Welsh will live on in the form of their amatuer secution, those involved with the professional part – playing and administration – are now out of a job. In truth, the Welsh have been an accident waiting to happen for years. They fought in the courts to be given a bigger share of the spoils when getting promotion to the Aviva Premiership but that money was never going to be enough to allow them to live with the biggest clubs who, on the whole, have racked up debts of tens of millions between them. Some clubs cut their cloth according to their income but most rely on benefactors who are so nuts about rugby they are happy to throw millions away. Welsh never had that kind of money and despite the generosity of backers over the years, their financial muscle was never strong enough to support lofty thoughts of being one of the big names of the game again. The great days of the 1970’s saw Welsh become the most famous club in the world but that was during the amateur era and it is ironic that all that now remains is that amateur section. The club lives on in this shape and all that is left of the professional outfit is hundreds of thousands of pounds of unpaid bills and players looking for new employment.

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