From Bloomberg Sports & the Press Association
English rugby will receive a massive 12mm pound (US$19mm) boost
when insurance company Allied Dunbar takes over the sponsorship
of Leagues One and Two next season. The top two divisions will
be relaunched as the Alliend Dunbar Premiership over 3 years.
The insurance company takes over from Courage, who invested in
the leagues from the beginning, 10 years ago. Courage have
provided 5mm pounds over the last 3 years, spread throughout the
1,200 league clubs.
The 24 top clubs' share of the money is expected to enable them
to maintain a high salary level for star players. Donald Kerr,
chairman of the English Rugby Partnership, the new
organizationthat liks the RFU and the top clubs, said, "This
sponsorship is a major vote of confidence which will enable us to
contiue to invest in player development and in improved
facilities for spectators."
ERP chief exec. Kim Deshayes added, Today English club rugby took
a giant step forward into a proper professional structure for the
Clubs from Division Three downwards are expected to find new
sponsors on a regional basis to replace Courage.