Ealing Trailfinders withdraw appeal against decision denying them promotion

The Rugby Football Union said Ealing, who won the Championship title, failed to meet minimum standards criteria for their ground.

By Press Association Published: 22 April 2022 - 11.59am

Ealing Trailfinders have withdrawn the club’s appeal against the decision denying them promotion to the Gallagher Premiership.

Earlier this month, the Rugby Football Union announced that both Ealing, who went on to win the Championship title, and then league leaders Doncaster Knights had both failed to meet minimum standards criteria for Premiership entry.

The clubs fell short as their respective home grounds are unable to hold at least 10,001 supporters.

Covid recovery measures agreed by the RFU last June allowed for the Premiership to be expanded from 13 clubs to 14 at the end of the 2021-22 season, enabling the winner of the second tier to move up.

Ealing’s Trailfinders Sports Ground is able to hold approximately 5,000 spectators, with 2,115 seats.

According to the RFU, both clubs had suggested they could seek to expand their facilities, however no formal planning permissions are in place, while neither proposed ground-share arrangements in their applications.

Ealing, who claimed the title ahead of Doncaster by three points, announced on Friday the club had reluctantly stood down from their challenge to have the decision overturned.

“We have decided not to continue the appeal with the RFU appointed panel,” a club statement read.

“We are disappointed that having won the Championship, we will not be taking our rightful place in the Gallagher Premiership.

“Ealing Trailfinders remain more committed and passionate than ever in becoming a successful Premiership club”-

“We remain humbled and grateful for the enormous support we have received from the wider rugby public during this frustrating process.

“Rest assured that Ealing Trailfinders remain more committed and passionate than ever in becoming a successful Premiership club and strongly believe in the circumstances we are dealt this is our best route forward in achieving that at the earliest possible date.”

The RFU reiterated it will continue to collaborate with Championship clubs on the development of a sustainable Championship as well as a commitment of the Professional Game Board to review standards relating to minimum capacity ahead of the audit process next season.

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