/ Rugby

French & English clubs reveal Rugby Champions Cup plans

Updated: Friday, 25 Oct 2013 21:43 | Comments

The future of the Amlin and Heineken Cups remains shrouded in as much confusion as ever following a new statement on the RCC
The future of the Amlin and Heineken Cups remains shrouded in as much confusion as ever following a new statement on the RCC

Premiership Rugby and Ligue Nationale de Rugby have this evening released a press release stating that all parties have reached agreement on the European club competition formats and the principles of financial distribution of the Rugby Champions Cup.

The release states: "These [agreements] are on the basis of the platform proposed by the English and French clubs and which correspond with the principles which guided the formation of the Rugby Champions Cup.

"In order to finalise an agreement, the solution proposed for the governance of the new competitions and confirmed by the clubs is that the Rugby Champions Cup would be under the overall regulatory responsibility of the unions of six nations."

The wordy statement implies that English, French and Welsh clubs have come to an agreement over the new tournament, as these are the parties currently in agreement over breaking away from the European Cup Rugby setup eg the Heineken and Amlin Challenge Cups.

"The new Rugby Champions Cup organisation will look to finalise an agreement which respects the balance between all parties in European rugby" - PRL and LNR

The PRL and LNR statement continues: "Under this solution, the unions of six nations will be responsible for: compliance with IRB regulations, appointment of the match officials, disciplinary processes, anti-doping and integrity."

The press release goes on to declare that the three European leagues will run the "management and promotion of the competitions, sale of all commercial rights and financial distributions."

Politically the statement also makes note of the desire to retain a pan-European competition that maintains the work done by the ERC by saying: "This solution meets the respective needs of the parties and is an integral part of the overall proposals, alongside competition qualification and format and share of financial distributions."

Crucially, however, the statement ended by saying "the new Rugby Champions Cup organisation will look to finalise an agreement which respects the balance between all parties in European rugby." 

What can be drawn from this last sentence is of course the lack of agreement between all six nations currently competing in the Heineken Cup.

The statement comes in the wake of the ERC's own statement, released on Thursday, which outlined that progress had been made to restructure the current tournament for future seasons.

Representatives from the English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, French and Italian unions attended the ERC meetings in Dublin.

Thus, it would appear an impasse between the RCC and the ERC remains as firm as ever.

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