Rugby chiefs told to ‘consider resignation’ as MPs hammer Worcester collapse

Massie-Taylor, meanwhile, who took over as the chief executive of PRL in October last year, was told that if a similar situation had occurred in the Premier League, with 16 per cent of its clubs folding in a season, it would be a resigning matter.

“If that happened the head of the Premier League would resign on the spot,” Knight said. “I don’t know how you can come to this committee today and say what you’ve said with a straight face, frankly.”

Massie-Taylor cited “extreme economic circumstances”.

He told the committee his organisation would also introduce its own “independently-chaired financial monitoring panel”.

In a further bid to prevent conflicts of interest, clubs have agreed to bring in a National Football League-style commissioner.

‘If it wasn’t so tragic it would be laughable’

Julie Elliott MP, meanwhile, asked Judith Batchelar, chair of the Rugby Players Association, why her organisation spent half of its £3m turnover on salaries. Elliott added she was concerned about the lack of support mechanism in the RPA. Batchelar said the RPA was “re-looking at its remit”.

“We will issue a special report on sessions from today,” Knight concluded. “Frankly if it wasn’t so tragic it would be laughable.

“All in all it adds up to a failure on an epic scale of the game and that’s the reason you’ve had two clubs which have gone under.”