Raiders hope but not confident of cash boost

RAIDERS co-chairman Charles McHugh is urgently seeking answers from the RFU at Twickenham as to whether the Guernsey club is eligible for much-needed Covid-19 cash grants.

An on-the-pitch handout, but will Raiders get one from the UK government? – Buccaneers and Corsairs meet in the final Chairman’s Select Test matches this lunchtime.
(Picture by Martin Gray, www.guernseysportphotography.com, 28933252)
An on-the-pitch handout, but will Raiders get one from the UK government? – Buccaneers and Corsairs meet in the final Chairman’s Select Test matches this lunchtime. (Picture by Martin Gray, www.guernseysportphotography.com, 28933252)

On Thursday the UK government announced major spectator sports in England would receive a combined £300m. cash injection to protect their immediate futures over the winter period.

This included rugby clubs below Championship level receiving a total of £23m.

Raiders, who lost £115k in RFU funding after the pandemic struck, are keeping their fingers crossed that they will receive something.

Although there are 1,900 clubs below the championship, McHugh presumes a level 4 club like Raiders in National 2 would receive more than a level 12 club in Hampshire 2.

But he is less than confident.

‘I have made enquiries of our RFU council member who has responded by saying at this time he does not have any details on the terms of loans or grants and these are being administered by Sport England.

‘That fills me with some foreboding as in the past whenever we have applied to Sport England for any forms of grant or assistance the reply has always been the same, that it does not recognise the Channel Islands as a jurisdiction under its remit.

‘Guernsey Raiders are however affiliated members of the RFU to whom the grants have been provided so we’re hoping that we are treated the same as any other RFU affiliated club, but that remains to be seen. Watch this space.’

Jersey Reds, meanwhile, appear set to receive £750,000 from the bail-out after it was agreed Championship Clubs should receive £9m.

In the short term, Raiders stage the third and final game in their Chairman’s Select Test series at Footes Lane today with the main game between Buccaneers and Corsairs taking place at 1pm.

Raiders are hoping for a big crowd ahead of what they hope is a busy bar for the England-Ireland international clash that follows.

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