"Shaky foundations" - Exeter Chiefs statement on financial position - Ruck

“Shaky foundations” – Exeter Chiefs statement on financial position

Tony Rowe CBE, the chief executive of Exeter Rugby Club, has responded to inaccurate reports circulating on social media regarding the financial state of the Chiefs.

In light of the recent downfall of London Irish, the third Premiership club to face such circumstances, Rowe asserts that Exeter is firmly positioned to move forward despite enduring challenging trading conditions over the past three years.

An article produced by the Press Association indicated that the Chiefs were on ‘shaky foundations’ following the collapse of three Premiership clubs.

“For the last three years, ever since Covid hit, every club has been tested like never before,” said Rowe. “It’s been a real challenge for all of us, not helped by the ongoing situation with the war in Ukraine, and sadly not every club has been able to get through the process as we have seen. 

“To lose another club this week underlines just how tough it has been and it’s a trend that needs to be bucked sooner rather than later. 

“Thankfully, the club had assets within its business structure that we were able to use to help bring much-needed funds back in to help combat the repayment on loans and address other issues around the finances. 

“That effectively helped keep us afloat through some tough trading months, but now as we look to the future we are very confident that next year we will be back in full recovery mode. 

“Sandy Park itself is incredibly busy, Sandy Park Hotel is very busy and with crowds starting to come back into stadiums, both for our men’s and women’s teams, as well as the concerts we are holding here this summer, we see a bright and exciting future ahead for the club and for our business as a whole.” 


Rowe’s latest comments come in the wake of online remarks made again this past week in which it was claimed Exeter Rugby Club were on ‘shaky foundations’. 

“As I said, it’s been a financially challenging time for all of us,” he added. “But what I guess it has shown is just how underfunded the game of rugby itself truly is. That’s something not only clubs have to address moving forward, but it’s also for the likes of Premiership Rugby and those who run the game in this country to really look into. 

“We can’t afford to standstill in any shape or form. For the game to grow in the manner we all want, we have to be looking at developing every aspect of it, both on and off the field.” 

Building for the future is clearly high on the agenda for the Chiefs, who are currently assembling a glut of the game’s most highly-rated young talent across both of their senior squads.

“Personally, I’m really looking forward to the future,” continued Rowe. “The squads we are assembling for the new season are hugely exciting and clearly with an eye to the long-term future as well. We have never been a club who look for a short-term fix, we’ve always had a vision of where we want to go, how we want to get there and a realistic time frame of how long that will be.

“Our success in recent years has been built around having those solid foundations and that is what we will continue to do as we look to attack next season and beyond.”

Find their article below.

List of the Premiership’s five most at risk clubs makes worrying reading

All clubs in the Gallagher Premiership have been facing a concerning period, as highlighted by the Press Association News Agency‘s recent report.

An investigation conducted earlier this season revealed the dire financial crisis engulfing English rugby, with Premiership clubs accumulating debts exceeding £500 million.

Furthermore, a thorough analysis of the clubs’ latest financial accounts unveiled that Premiership clubs collectively owed more than £36 million in taxes, with only two out of the 13 clubs having a positive balance with the HMRC.

Outlined below is an examination of the current situation of five clubs, and the findings are deeply concerning.


PA wrote: “Burdened by debts of around £30million and with an owner desperate to sell in Mick Crossan, London Irish are shaping up to become the next club to be removed from the Premiership.

All staff must be paid on Wednesday for the month of May for the Irish to be granted a deadline extension for their proposed takeover by an American consortium. “

Rob Simmons of London Irish during the Gallagher Premiership match between London Irish and Leicester Tigers at The Gtech Community Stadium, London on 25 February 2023 (Photo: Danny Loo/PPAUK)