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Newspaper's £100,000 appeal to save rugby club

A Midlands newspaper has launched a two-week fight to save a 134-year-old rugby club from going out of business.

The Coventry Telegraph is appealing for readers, supporters and businesses to back its appeal to raise £100,000 in just a fortnight and save Coventry Rugby Football Club.

Rugby Football Union chiefs met to discuss the club’s future and, on hearing about the Telegraph’s appeal, decided to grant a two-week stay of execution.

If the £100,000 isn’t raised in time, the club could be relegated to the very bottom of the league ladder.

The appeal is the brainchild of rugby reporter John Wilkinson who has been covering the club for 14 years.

He told HTFP: “It was our front page yesterday and we’re just going to push it with stories every day.

“We’ve had a letter of support from the RFU to help us on our way.

“There’s a supporters club helping in every way they can.

“Crowds at the games have generally dipped below 2,000 on average but we had almost 9,000 a few seasons ago.

“I’m convinced that a lot of these people are still out there. I am hoping they will come forward.”

The Trinity Mirror daily is now negotiating with a local building society to open a special account where cash and cheques can be deposited.

The club, which can boast former and current international players among its ex-staff, plays in the second tier of English rugby.

It went into administration in February but the Rugby Football Union allowed it to fulfil its fixtures to the end of the season.