TWO of Redruth’s most influential senior players are set to leave the club, as the National League Two South outfit continue to battle against a financial shortfall.
Long-serving forward Darren Jacques and back Lewis Vinnicombe were among the Redruth players who assembled for a team meeting on Thursday night, when it was confirmed that the club can no longer afford to pay them. The Reds have now taken this action three times in as many seasons.
Jacques, who has been one of the team’s star performers for nearly a decade, made his intentions clear via Twitter on Friday evening. He wrote: “After our club meeting last night, I decided it was time to leave the Reds. This is due to club changes and [me] personally having a young family.
“I appreciate all the support, it’s been ten great years. I’ll still be playing local rugby but less time demanding.”
Jacques is on the verge of joining Western Counties West side Truro. He saw their 29-14 victory over Okehampton at St Clements on Saturday from the sidelines. Fellow Cornwall player Vinnicombe also looks set to continue his rugby away from the Recreation Ground, following the outcome of last week’s meeting.
Redruth treasurer Jerry Penna said the club’s decision was necessary to ensure a more certain future. He told the Western Morning News on Friday: “It has become apparent that we need to reduce our operating costs and we are not able to offer remuneration to the players as we previously did.
“It is just one of a number of measures that we have to invoke to get the club on track a little bit. We said to the players last night that we respect any decisions they make and we know they all have different commitments. I think everyone understood and we will just go on from here.”
Redruth have struggled since funding from the sport’s governing body was cut over recent seasons. Penna added: “Our main problem is that in the last four years, the revenue from the game – the RFU – has dropped by £70,000 to nothing and we have to cut our cloth accordingly.
“We were open and honest with the players and just told them that we were going to have to take certain measures to reduce running costs. It was immediately apparent to me, as treasurer, that we could not commit to having a full-time general manager and to paying money to players.
“We are starting a process that will hopefully take the club forward for the next ten years – and it is imperative to us that we retain our status as a National League club.”