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YOU'VE DONE IT! EXCLUSIVE Coventry Rugby Club plays on after RFU decision.

Byline: By John Wilkinson

YOU'VE done it! Coventry Rugby Club is playing on.

Thanks to the efforts and cash support of the Coventry public, Cov will be on the pitch at Plymouth Albion on August 30 for the first game of the National Division One season.

The Rugby Football Union is issuing an official statement today, but the Telegraph can exclusively reveal that the 134-year-old club has been given the green light to carry on playing.

The Telegraph-led appeal to raise a performance security bond of up to pounds 100,000 stood at pounds 52,597 by yesterday's noon deadline.

And the RFU has acknowledged the overwhelming support given to the appeal by the people of Coventry and Wrawickshire and the passionate feeling on the street that the famous club and an important piece of the city's sporting history should not be allowed to die.

RFU tournaments and competitions director Terry Burwell said: "Coventry's participation in Division One next season is confirmed. The bond was a fundamental requirement, and the way in which the supporters and people of the city have committed to this can only be applauded. The board of First Division Rugby has welcomed the decision."

The hard work is not over, however, and the appeal will remain open until the pounds 100,000 target is achieved.

Mr Burwell added: "We hope that people will continue to contribute to the bond and that this good news will help to achieve the ultimate goal."

Club official John Butler is one of three appeal fund trustees who will now work with the RFU to put the bond, which will stand fior a period of two years, in place.

"To raise over pounds 50,000 in such a short space of time and to do it largely through fans and the general public, as opposed to the business sector, is a remarkable achievement," said Mr Butler.

"We all offer a big vote of thanks to everyone who has contributed in whatever way, and hopefully the club can continue to prosper."

HOW YOU CAN STILL HELP

YOU can contribute to the performance bond by cash or cheque at any branch of Coventry Building Society quoting account number 60786949.

Cheques should be made payable to "Coventry Rugby Club Trust." If you have internet banking you can make a direct payment quoting the Society's sort-code 40-63-01 and account number 60786949. You do not need to quote an additional reference number.

The building society is simply accepting contributions to the fund. The welfare of the fund will be the responsibility of the Board of Trustees managing the Coventry Rugby Club Appeal.

They will decide what should happen to the money if it is refunded to them at the end of the two-year security period.

The trustees will issue a refund for those who have proof of contributions (receipts are only available when making a contribution over the counter at a branch of the Coventry Building Society). The trustees may opt to donate any cash which is not refunded to charity, possibly a local rugby cause.

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REPRIEVED... The Cov rugby stadium at The Butts
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 3, 2008
Words:520
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