Further delay for Saints and fellow Premiership clubs

Premiership Rugby has issued a statement confirming that Saints’ league campaign will be postponed for longer than the initially proposed date of April 20.

Saints boss Chris Boyd
Saints boss Chris Boyd

Due to the ongoing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the domestic season in England’s top flight will continue to be suspended until further notice.

Premiership Rugby is working with clubs’ directors of rugby and medical staff to scenario-plan for a number of restart dates – with all measures put in place to ensure safety and wellbeing.

Saints will be in touch with season ticket holders, match ticket purchasers, hospitality guests and box holders via email to outline the implications for their tickets.

“Following a series of constructive meetings with our clubs, investors, players’ representatives, commercial and broadcast partners, and the RFU, we have agreed on our approach to restart rugby, as soon as it is safe to do so,” said Premiership Rugby’s chief executive, Darren Childs.

“This is not an easy conversation.

"We are dealing with a catastrophic pandemic that is unprecedented in our lifetimes, the effects of which are heartbreaking and devastating.

“We also must recognise that when the pandemic is finally at an end; there will still be the economic challenge for many years to come.

"The markets and businesses that people rely upon are not immune to this virus.

“Many livelihoods are built on professional sport and Premiership Rugby is proud to be home to many of the world’s greatest players.

"But the livelihoods are not just those of talented players, there are many vital roles across the clubs: from academy teams to medics, canteen staff to groundspeople.

“So, I’m proud of how our clubs, staff and players have pulled together to make swift and dignified decisions to preserve the sustainability of their independent businesses in order to sustain the challenges ahead.”

Premiership Rugby is also exploring with the RFU opportunities to reschedule the Gallagher Premiership Rugby final until later in the year – with all tickets valid for the rescheduled date, and a minimum of 2,500 new tickets to be donated to NHS and essential workers.

The league is continuing its dialogue with DCMS and Public Health England to ensure it resumes play safely and promptly as soon as the government gives its approval to do so.

Childs added: “Our clubs know that we are creatively working with government and medical professionals to come back promptly, as soon as we know that it is safe to do so.

“Therefore, we all remain committed to finding a way to play, so long as we can do this safely, and with the welfare of players, staff and fans at the heart of every decision.”