Doncaster Knights boss reveals extent of RFU central funding cuts

Doncaster Knights head coach Steve Boden has revealed the stark drop in RFU central funding to Championship clubs.

Doncaster Knights head coach Steve Boden. Picture: Tony Johnson
Doncaster Knights head coach Steve Boden. Picture: Tony Johnson

The expansion of the Premiership to 14 teams from 2022-23 has opened the door for another second tier side to join the top table.

But Knights, who travel to Newcastle Falcons on Saturday for their only pre-season fixture ahead of the new campaign, have been forced to tighten the pursestrings as a result of funding cuts and also the loss of revenue during the pandemic.

"It's well documented that the Championship isn't funded anywhere near enough,” Boden told BBC Radio Sheffield.

“I think before it was about £600,000 that each club got and that's an absolute pittance compared to what the French teams, for example, get in their second and third tier.

“We'd bite their hand off for that right now.

“I think we're down to about £140,000 a year to try and operate on a full time budget which is virtually impossible.”

Well-backed Ealing Trailfinders are big favourites to win promotion to the Premiership. Boden believes better funding at Championship level would make the top two leagues more competitive.

“For me that's the way forward [to increase Championship funding] but it's way out of my job description,” he said.

“If you want to have more sides who have the opportunity to go up into the Premiership and have a more competitive Premiership then I just feel that addressing the funding in the Championship is one way of doing that.”