Barwell denounces premiership cuts

The Northampton chairman, Keith Barwell, has denounced a proposal agreed by the RFU and Premier Rugby to reduce the number of clubs in the first division from 16 to 12 in an attempt to encourage greater professionalism.

Membership criteria of the Premiership will be tightened in the coming years with clubs required to have a 15,000 ground capacity by 2012, leaving a number of first division sides with no chance of making the top flight as their stadiums will be too small.

“There is no point in cutting the number in the first division,” said Barwell to the Guardian.


“I go to their meetings and they are a nice bunch but, while some are ambitious, others have no desire to get into the Premiership.”

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