/ Rugby

RFU chairman Bill Beaumont has offered to help resolve Heineken Cup issues

Updated: Friday, 21 Sep 2012 17:22 | Comments

The success of the Irish sides appears to be one of the main issues that English and French teams have with the European Cup's current format
The success of the Irish sides appears to be one of the main issues that English and French teams have with the European Cup's current format

Rugby Football Union chairman Bill Beaumont has offered to help broker a deal between the Aviva Premiership and Rabodirect PRO12 clubs and save the future of the Heineken Cup.

Beaumont will meet the 12 English clubs next Wednesday and is prepared to use his influence by acting as a mediator in a row which threatens to wreck Europe's premier competition.

The Premiership and French clubs have served notice on the current European participation agreement, seeking changes to the qualification system and greater financial rewards from 2016.

Premiership Rugby agreed a £152million contract with BT Vision, with the aim of establishing a "dazzling new European tournament" when the current accord ends.

But the PRO12 clubs have so far rejected Premiership Rugby's proposals and if there is no agreement within the next six months that could be the end of the Heineken Cup.

Beaumont brokered a peace deal when the RFU were involved in a television rights war in 1999 and is ready to step into the breach for the English clubs.

"As chairman of the RFU and being involved in the Six Nations we have a meeting coming up in Rome and this (the current European row) will be an agenda item," Beaumont said.

"I would like to think with the contacts that I have got and the relationships I have built up amongst our neighbours I will try and use my best endeavours. That is what the RFU wants."

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