A TOTAL of £370,000 in ‘short-term’ government grants was provided to Jersey Reds – which is on the brink of liquidation – in the past three months in a bid to buy the club time to find private investment, the politician with responsibility for sport has said.
The Island’s only professional sports club ceased trading on Wednesday evening and their scheduled game with Cornish Pirates on Friday has been axed.
Assistant Economic Development Minister Lucy Stephenson said: ‘Like many, I am saddened by today’s announcement from Jersey Reds, who have been a much valued addition to Island life.
‘The previous government provided extensive financial support to the club, and Jersey Reds also enjoyed significant support during Covid.
‘With the welfare of players, coaches and their families in mind, in the last three months this government has twice given Jersey Reds short-term grants totalling £370,000 to provide them with the opportunity to try to find alternative funding sources. Sadly, their efforts have not been successful.
‘Government could not commit further money at a time when there so many other demands on the public purse – including responding to the cost-of-living crisis – and in fairness to other sports and businesses in the Island.
‘The Reds’ announcement shows how prudent it was for them to separate the professional and amateur arms of rugby. Participation in amateur rugby remains strong, and the minis, juniors, and parts of JRFC will continue to thrive. Government will work to ensure that any impact on the amateur game is minimised.’