Unpaid Salaries Threaten the Future of Spanish Rugby Giants Real Ciencias

In a concerning development, players from the Spanish rugby club Real Ciencias Rugby Club Sevilla have publicly disclosed that the club has failed to pay their salaries for the past three months, despite previous assurances from the board. This financial crisis threatens the club’s ambitious plans to build a semi-professional/professional roster and compete for top honors, potentially impacting the growth of the sport in Spain.

Real Ciencias Rugby Club Sevilla Faces Turbulent Times as Players Reveal Unpaid Salaries

BBC Rugby Union | 22 May 2024

In a worrying development, players from the Spanish club Real Ciencias Rugby Club Sevilla have publicly disclosed that the club has failed to pay their salaries for the past three months, despite reports that the board had reached an agreement and fulfilled their commitments to the roster.

The Real Ciencias, who enjoyed their golden years in the 1990s, winning two Spanish Premierships, three Cups, and one Copa Ibérica, were in the process of building a semi-professional/professional roster to compete for the top prizes in the Spanish División de Honor. However, their future now hangs in the balance due to these financial troubles.

The problems started in September when the club’s main sponsors, including the prominent energy company Enerside Energia, withdrew their support, and the municipality delayed the disbursement of promised grants. This forced the board to seek new solutions, which ultimately failed to materialize.

“The problems started in December. The president paid the salaries of that month from his own pocket, and we understood that something wasn’t going well. But payments stopped until February, and we took a stand in the game against Alcobendas [the players sat down for one minute].”

  • Fede Ehgartner, a loose-forward for the Sevillian club

Ehgartner further elaborated on the dire situation, saying, “We are in a rough spot, as some of the guys can’t pay their electrical bills, rent, and feed their families, and the board seems not to care.”

The club is home to several Spanish internationals, including Marcos Muñiz, Enrique Cuadrado, Michael Hogg, Vicente del Hoyo, and Alvar Gimeno, whose futures are now uncertain as rival clubs VRAC, El Salvador, and Burgos have expressed interest in their services.

Spanish Rugby’s Growth Faces Uncertainty

Spanish rugby is poised to make significant strides, with rumors of a possible inclusion in a future EPCR Challenge Cup and a bid to host a Men’s and Women’s Rugby World Cup. However, the ongoing turmoil at Real Ciencias adds a level of uncertainty to this growth.

As the club celebrates its 52nd anniversary, there is a real risk that it will have to adjust its ambitious goals due to the current financial crisis, even with a new sponsor recently joining the fold.

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