SOLIHULL and Birmingham Bees’ head coach Russell Earnshaw has opened his heart on the situation at the troubled club, saying he and his troops won’t go down without a fight.
He is also taking the drastic action of asking for players to come and train with the Championship outfit - due to the amount of players who have left or refuse to play for the Bees.
“I am learning a huge amount about myself and all the other people who are part of my ‘Bees life’,” admitted Earnshaw, who was hinting at the players who have refused to play for the Bees since their wages were temporarily stopped.
The financial situation at the club is dire and they have recently been granted another extension to pay the taxman his £93,000 - but they also owe other parties, including the players.
Earnshaw added: “Off the field, the support of the fans has been crucial - from paying for the team bus to Bedford, to collecting on a match-day, to putting up me and Eugene (Martin, assistant coach) and feeding us on a regular basis.
“Indeed, the support we have received from the majority of other clubs, their fans and their players has also been fantastic for the boys.”
The Bees on-field problems have mirrored their off-field ones, with the Championship new-boys rooted to the bottom of the table after failing to win a game. Despite this, eternal optimist Earnshaw said he is focusing on the positives.
“We have scored three tries per game against Nottingham, Bristol and Bedford, who will all be there or thereabouts come May-time,” he said, admitting he wished there were bonus points for scoring three tries - instead of four!
He added: “We have blooded a lot of young players and players who have not played anywhere near this level before.
“We are still playing every Saturday - the fact that we even get to 3pm is a credit to the players and everyone who works for and helps out the club.
“It’s not easy but we all love playing for the club and we believe we will come through this stronger and in better shape than when we were put in on a heavily soiled wash. I have no issue with players that have left us and wish them all the best.
“It has been incredibly emotional at times as I consider us very close as a team. Unfortunately, this is the nature of professional sport and we cannot look back and must move on as a club.”
* Earnshaw is inviting any ‘aspirational rugby players with ambitions to play in the Championship and beyond’ the chance to train with him and the boys over the next few weeks. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 07900 056 556.