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Premiership and Top 14 clubs threaten breakaway from Heineken Cup

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    Premiership and Top 14 clubs threaten breakaway from Heineken Cup

    Couldn't find this posted elsewhere, they're at it again!

    Premiership and Top 14 clubs threaten breakaway from Heineken Cup

    • English and French clubs want qualifying process changed
    • Premiership chief says Celtic nations have unfair advantage




    Premiership and Top 14 clubs have threatened to break up the Heineken Cup format by forming a new tournament. Photograph: Paul Harding/Action Images

    The leading clubs in the Aviva Premiership in England and Top 14 in France are ready to organise an alternative tournament to the Heineken Cup because they feel European rugby's premier club competition is weighted too heavily in favour of the Celtic nations.
    Leinster and Munster have dominated the Heineken Cup in recent years, winning the trophy between them in five of the last seven seasons with Leinster champions three times in the last four tournaments.
    Rivals in England and France believe the success of the Irish sides is largely because they are able to rest players regularly during the RaboDirect Pro 12 campaign as qualification for the following season's Heineken Cup is a virtual formality, something that is not the case in the Aviva Premiership and Top 14.
    "Most of the Ireland squad will not be released for the Pro 12 until rounds three or four, something they could not do if they depended on their finishing position in the league for European qualification," said Mark McCafferty, the chief executive of Premiership Rugby. "The clubs in England and France have served two years' notice that we intend to pull out of Europe because there needs to be a level playing field.
    "So far, the response from the other countries has been slow, even though we are not sabre-rattling. We have not been locked in talks and there is no meeting about the issue until the end of next month. Our view is that the qualification process needs to be changed so that it is entirely merit based – the top teams in all three leagues as well as the winners of the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup should make up 20 sides taking part."
    The English and French clubs want to ration the Pro 12 involvement to the top six teams in the league, which would run a risk of Scotland and Italy, whose teams currently qualify automatically, not being involved in a Heineken Cup campaign.
    "I think those countries have effectively made that decision by forming the Pro 12," said McCafferty. "It is like me saying that the Premiership has to provide a qualifier from the south-west. It cannot be good for the competition that you do not have the best sides qualifying. Aironi were disbanded at the end of the last season and the newly formed Zebres go straight into the Heineken Cup.
    "Are the Italian teams ready for the Heineken Cup given their record? It is all put into perspective when some really big names are not involved and the system plays a role in the way Leinster and Munster have dominated the competition in recent years. European Rugby Cup Ltd is dragging its heels and I cannot understand it."
    McCafferty acknowledged that the two sides were approaching the problem from different directions. "Some 80% of our business is the Aviva Premiership," he went on. "It is what drives our revenue and gates.I understand the Pro 12 model is different, but we cannot damage our core competition for 20% [the Heineken Cup].ERC should know that we are serious and while the issue has to be resolved, everyone has to realise we cannot carry on as we are. If it is not, we would go to an Anglo-French competition and if others wanted to join us, fair enough.
    "I feel for the Welsh regions because they are caught in the middle. They have financial issues and you cannot build a business on three home games. Ireland have a central system with the union funding everything apart from the overseas players. Wales are reliant on private money largely and they need a business with 15 home fixtures. I think changing the qualification for Europe would strengthen the RaboDirect."
    ERC denied that it had been slow to respond. "We have held meetings with all our shareholders and asked them to draw up proposals which will be considered at next month's meeting. Notice was served by the French and English clubs and the French Rugby Federation at the beginning of June and it was agreed at a board meeting a few days afterwards was that we would have a workshop in September after holding briefings with everyone.
    "We do not want to enter a war of words with Premiership Rugby, but we have been working away in the background and we are in the second phase of the consultation process."
    Marty in the Morning

    #2
    This is merely the Premiership negotiating through the press for a bigger slice of the ERC cake.

    There is no way the IRB will sanction an Anglo French cup competition instead of, or in opposition to, the Heineken Cup.

    Comment


      #3
      Perhaps if the Aviva Premiership concentrated on getting the standard of the teams in their competition up to the same standard as the Pro12 teams, they would attract better gate attendances, thus providing the cash they so obviously crave to grab more of from ERC. Also how can we call it a European competition if two of the Six Nations countries have very little chance of qualifying for it??

      Comment


        #4
        Funnily enough, top six from the rabo and extra teams from the AP, a sh*te league, and the T14 who would put out kids teams in the HEC would make Munster, Leinster and Ulster's life easier. It would be an absolute disaster for italian and scottish rugby however not that these c*nts would concern themselves with supporting the game of rugby as long as they can undermine those unions so they go back to being whipping boys in the six nations. Arrogant pr*cks.

        Comment


          #5
          I'm not so sure. The English clubs didn't play the year Ulster won the European Cup, so a no show is not without precedent.
          Yorn desh born, der ritt de gitt der gue,
          Orn desh, dee born desh, de umn bork! bork! bork!

          Comment


            #6
            Going to throw a wild accusation out there: This is from the league who didnt want to relegate Newcastle and promote London Welsh becasue their ground wasnt up to scratch. (i think..) How is one of the lower teams going to get the funding without playing in the upper leagues? Was this fair? Fair enough it's been resolved now but they were still sticking to their guns.

            Another point: Maybe if they didnt have the Anglo-Welsh cup they could rest and provide more players to the H Cup......
            Last edited by russo; 22nd-August-2012, 19:31.

            Comment


              #7
              Premiership and Top 14 clubs threaten breakaway from Heineken Cup

              Leinster, Ulster, Munster, Blues, O's, Scarlets, Embra.

              6 from 7 to qualify, the other into the Amlin where they'd probably end up anyway.

              It does nothing to create the sort of pressure they are carping about.

              It's no good complaining that Munster and Leinster have the advantage of not really having to qualify when they both finish in the top six year in year out anyway.

              They just can't bring themselves to say "we want to put our ****e mid table teams in instead of the Italians".
              "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

              "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


              "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by glorob View Post
                This is merely the Premiership negotiating through the press for a bigger slice of the ERC cake.

                There is no way the IRB will sanction an Anglo French cup competition instead of, or in opposition to, the Heineken Cup.
                Agreed - The English and Serge Blanco types in France live in a World where they feel that they own European Rugby. Any format on an exclusive basis for these 2 countries would also be outlawed by the ECHR - remember the Bosman Ruling.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I would like to see the competition expanded, add another 8 teams. Do away with the best runners up, Have a round of 16 and allow a proper qualification process for the quarters.

                  While searching for a more comprehensive list of the clubs in Europe. I stumbled across this which i am sure some of ye will enjoy reading.

                  http://www.dummies.com/how-to/conten...gby-clubs.html


                  Looking at the possible inclusion of Portugal, Spain and Romania and Russia and Georgia in a lower tier competition could be an interesting addition. These are huge television markets revenues derived would surely ofset the extra costs.
                  Last edited by bigron; 22nd-August-2012, 21:03.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'm not totally against what they are saying. Rabo fails as a product because of the HEC qualification process.

                    Its anot just about the HEC its about making the Rabo the best product it could be.

                    I accept the point it will make no difference to Leinster and Munster. But HEC qualification should be top 7 only from the Rabo. The likes of Edinburgh take the piss every year.
                    I always knew Madigan was a closet Scrum Half. Ignore All things that suggest Continuity.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      They should just admit they want more money. Their excuses are so bad is laughable.

                      The English and French clubs want to ration the Pro 12 involvement to the top six teams in the league, which would run a risk of Scotland and Italy, whose teams currently qualify automatically, not being involved in a Heineken Cup campaign.
                      "I think those countries have effectively made that decision by forming the Pro 12," said McCafferty. "It is like me saying that the Premiership has to provide a qualifier from the south-west.
                      Theres not much logic behind that statement. The HEC is organised by 6 countries, not by 3 league.

                      Saying that Irish players have an unfair advantage by playing less is basically saying he wants the Irish players to be overplayed like the English players. Thats easier than admitting English players are being overworked.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by McCafferty
                        Ireland have a central system with the union funding everything apart from the overseas players.
                        Fair play, as bull**** goes, he's not messing around with the small stuff, is he?
                        Ceterum censeo INM irrumandum esse.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by LeakyBoots View Post
                          "Most of the Ireland squad will not be released for the Pro 12 until rounds three or four, something they could not do if they depended on their finishing position in the league for European qualification,"
                          Jeez Leinster and Munster should really get those internationals back playing every match so they can make the top 6................oh wait!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Start of a new season and the same old same old from the English & French camps.
                            Excellence is hard to keep quite - Sherrie Coale

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by LeakyBoots View Post
                              Couldn't find this posted elsewhere, they're at it again!
                              This has been an ongoing thing since last April.

                              http://www.munsterfans.com/threads/3...nd-at-it-again

                              http://www.munsterfans.com/threads/3...-qualification

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