“I don’t think you could have one group that gets the majority of the income and expect Level Two to be fully professional. I think the Championship is a very good competition – virtually every team can beat another on a good day – but it’s not financially sustainable as a fully professional league.
“When you’re talking about integrity in rugby and clubs not going bust, why would any business spend £15m on the unknown? ”It is a good question and one to which everyone at Ealing, backed by the travel company founded by the millionaire businessman Sir Mike Gooley, would like a clear official answer. What about the wider optics, too, of a smartly run club with no debts being excluded from the Premiership again while the supposed elite collapse in a heap? “What happened to us last year I thought was fundamentally wrong, ” says Ward. “But it’s been made even more wrong by the fact other clubs are still being allowed to operate in debt. You can’t be that much in debt and it still be a case of spend, spend, spend. You can’t have 167 people being made redundant at Wasps and think rugby is in a healthy state.
Photograph: Ealing TrailfindersThey would have made the Premiership leap already had the RFU not ruled them ineligible last season because the venue was deemed not to meet the strict promotion criteria. Subsequently, the club has been advised promotion could now happen in May with a 5, 000 capacity as long as a contractor has been engaged and the necessary planning and safety assurances are in place to guarantee a 10, 001-capacity arena for the following season. Given the worsening financial climate and the Premiership’s current instability, Ealing are wondering if this is entirely fair or practicable. Even Premier League football demands a mere 5, 000 minimum capacity. “We could host Manchester United here and then go and play at Old Trafford in front of 74, 000 but we can’t host a Premiership rugby game, ” says Ben Ward, the Trailfinders’ director of rugby.
London Scottish Ealing Trailfinders live score, video stream London Scottish Ealing Trailfinders live score (and video online live stream) starts on 22 Oct 2022 at 14:00 UTC time in RFU Championship, Rugby