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Bees struggle to survive as crisis looms over club

Solihull and Birmingham Bees’ head coach Russell Earnshaw has said his team needs to remain upbeat despite problems on and off the pitch.

Solihull and Birmingham Bees’ head coach Russell Earnshaw has said his team needs to remain upbeat despite problems on and off the pitch.

This week saw the departure of influential fly-half Mark Woodrow as the Bees’ off the field problems intensified.

The record breaking 29-year-old said that it was the “hardest decision” of his life, but had to leave the cash-strapped club because he was not getting his salary paid.

Despite the cash flow problems affecting the Sharmans Cross club, Earnshaw is determined to keep his side buzzing with the ball.

“It’s frustrating what’s going on, but all credit to the players for continuing to play as well as they have,” he said.

“In our last game (against Bristol) we only lost by four points to a team who are probably the favourites to go up, and we had ten injuries going into that game too.

“As a club we need to stop burying our heads in the sand. We need to sort ourselves out off the field and we need the board to create a long term plan for us going forward.”

Mark Woodrow, who is leaving to play for Italian side Viadana, said the club’s off-field problems ultimately forced his hand.

“It’s my birthday today, but it’s been a bittersweet celebration - after all, this opportunity wouldn’t have come along if we’d have been paid,” said Woodrow, who made 70 appearances for B&S and scored 635 points.

“I’m coming down tomorrow to say my goodbyes and although everyone has said it’s a great opportunity I still feel like I’m leaving the boys in the lurch.

“I never wanted to leave Bees but under the circumstances and with so much uncertainty ahead of the club, when a side like Viadana come calling, I think most players would have made the same decision.”

Earnshaw and his team will have a chance to temporarily forget about their problems when they play London Welsh tomorrow (Saturday).

“They’re a good side, I’ve seen them play this season and they are quite similar to us - they like to play their rugby,” said Earnshaw.

“There are a few guys coming back this week for us, so hopefully we’ll have a few more options this weekend.”

* The Bees are desperate for local businesses to help them by becoming new sponsors or investors. Call 0121 705 0709 for further details.

 

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