Jersey Reds: Championship club aim to buy ground back by 2020

Jersey Reds
Jersey were an amateur side playing in the seventh tier 12 years ago

Jersey Reds chairman Mark Morgan hopes the club will be able to buy back their ground within three years.

The Championship club was forced to sell their assets for £1.5m in November in order to see out the season.

They hope to sell a plot of land that they own for £750,000 within the next few months to halve their target.

"It is a huge amount of money, but we've got a very large support base and sponsor base and a lot of people that really want to help," said Morgan.

"So when you think about that as £250,000 a year for three years, it should be achievable.

"We went through a horrible time and I wouldn't wish that on any club, but two things that have come out of it really are fantastic.

"One is that we are back in control of our own destiny, but secondly the number of people that have stepped forward to ask 'how can I help', giving their time and ideas. Out of adversity has come some tremendous support and loyalty to the club."

'I'm very keen for us to stay professional'

Jersey are one of three Championship clubs to have had financial difficulties this season - London Welsh went into liquidation in December, while Cornish Pirates were forced to change owners in September in order to survive.

Reports in December suggested that the Premiership could abandon the A league and 'buddy up' with Championship clubs, allowing second-tier sides to loan up to 12 first-team players from top-flight sides and an unlimited number of academy players.

"I'm very keen for us to stay professional. I think that whether we like it or not, the option of going down would be a traumatic one for us," Morgan told BBC Radio Jersey.

"Directly on our books we'd have a spine of guys fully employed by us, but the difference with this new idea is that these guys don't come to us for a week at a time. They will come to us for half a season at a time minimum.

"I can't see this plan formally being in place for the start of next season, I'm more confident it would be for the start of the following season.

"But that shouldn't stop us putting informal relationships in place with clubs and starting to make it work. If we know it's coming, let's start making it work now."

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