Championship clubs have expressed “very low levels of confidence in the RFU” in a statement issued following an emergency meeting.

Representatives of the clubs, including their owners and benefactors, met on Wednesday to discuss the way forward following the collapse of Jersey Reds.

Championship winners Jersey were the fourth professional club to collapse in just over a year following Wasps, Worcester and London Irish, while second-tier clubs expressed their dissatisfaction with the proposed Professional Game Partnership between the Rugby Football Union and Premiership Rugby.

The statement released to the PA news agency read: “The group as a whole expressed very low levels of confidence in the RFU and its representation of our interests in discussions over the Professional Game Partnership (PGP).

“Any such partnership must serve the interests of our clubs and communities or it will not be a ‘partnership’.

“The Championship does not accept any construct of the PGP that excludes our clubs from discussions of funding levels and other matters crucial to the recovery of the game in this country, such as the player-pathway.

“These all impact our participation in a potential Premiership 2 (P2), which was supposed to be part of a new whole-game restructure for professional rugby.

“The owners and benefactors of Championship clubs have however agreed to continue to analyse the viability of P2, as requested by the RFU, to the extent that they can.

“The clubs in attendance shared their views on their willingness and ability to continue in the light of the dramatic cuts to their funding, which surely made the collapse of Jersey Reds more likely.

“As clubs who are crucial, among others, to the development of the next generation of England internationals, we are deeply concerned that issues vital to that pathway have not been discussed with us. We believe that our very role in those plans has effectively been sold off in the PGP discussions.

“We also believe that the player-development role that Championship clubs can most effectively play depends entirely on our clubs having greater control of young players on that pathway than is currently the case.

“Consequently, we propose to actively review our relationships with Premiership clubs and our role in developing their young talent.”

The Championship clubs have appointed Ben Blanco, former global sponsorship lead at Heineken, as commercial consultant and Simon Cohen, former chief executive of Leicester Tigers, as their independent member.

“Having two individuals of such experience and standing in the game will hold us in good stead as we analyse all opportunities ahead, bearing in mind that we now own our commercial and broadcast rights for the next two years at least,” the statement continued.

The RFU is yet to comment.