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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 July, 2003, 12:42 GMT 13:42 UK
WRU clubs the 'best off'
A BBC Wales investigation has revealed that junior rugby clubs in Wales are better off than those in England, Ireland or Scotland
A BBC Wales investigation has revealed that junior rugby clubs in Wales are better off than those in England, Ireland or Scotland.

Welsh rugby clubs revolted against the Welsh Rugby Union to guarantee funding of 8,000 apiece with no strings attached, but other countries demand more for their money.

Welsh clubs get that minimum funding no matter how many teams they run, what level they are, or even if they pay players.

In England, though, the majority of clubs receive much less from the RFU than their Welsh equivalents.

On a sliding scale from 1,100 upwards, only those in division three and above get more than a division seven side in Wales.

Division three sides get 15,000 per season, division four 4,200, division five 3,200 and division six 2,100. The rest get 1,100.

In both Ireland and Scotland money is only available if clubs can prove they're developing the game at all levels, with extra cash the better they do.

In the Clubs of Ireland scheme, sides can earn slightly more than 8,000, but only by fulfilling all the available criteria.

That depends on the number of junior and senior teams they run, provision of coaching, medical back-up and referees under a complicated merit scheme.

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The maximum available is 12,000 Euros (around 8,000), but the normal take-up is about three-quarters of the total money available from the Irish Rugby Union.

The remainder is used to improve facilities at failing clubs.

The system in Scotland is equally complicated and depends on clubs proving they spend the Scottish Rugby Union's money effectively.

Last year, clubs received 2-3,000 depending on their status. On top of that they could earn up to 24 accreditation points, with an extra 240 per point.

The qualifications are similar to those in Ireland, depending on the number of teams at all levels, the number of players, coaches, referees and medical back-up. Clubs earning the maximum are a rarity.

This year the funding will be even more stringent, though, with overall cutbacks of 25% to fund the Scotland's team Rugby World Cup expenses.

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