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The Future of the Heineken Cup In Doubt?

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    Irish Times quotes Philip Brown

    ​“Generally we, by that I mean the shareholders in ERC, be it Italian, Scottish, Welsh or ourselves, find it a deplorable way of doing business whereby you have these press statements issued the night before a board meeting with threats and ultimatums.
    …………………We have been accused in the media, by Mark McCafferty and others, of simply stonewalling and not engaging with PRL and LNR, which is a downright lie.
    “We have made a number of proposals……………
    “In any negotiation, nobody gets exactly what they want. We know what we would like but we know we’re probably not going to get exactly what we would like, but that’s the nature of negotiation. Unfortunately that’s not the way other parties across the table appear to think.”

    ‘Lack of understanding’
    What added to Browne’s frustration was, he said, the lack of understanding within the English club game “as to what exactly is going on”.
    “ I think there is misinformation and disinformation out there. I don’t like negotiating in public, I don’t think it’s a good way of doing business but apparently that’s the way they do their business, or the people they employ do their business.”

    In particular, Browne cited the difference in responsibilities, with the Unions and Federation seeking to protect the well-being of the entire game under their respective jurisdictions, whereas the PRL are solely concerned about acquiring more power and money for the English club game............

    Nonetheless, Browne believes negotiations remain “fluid” and that the Heineken Cup can still be saved.

    “I have to hope in the better instincts of human nature, and that people will actually, in good faith, sit around a table and try and find a solution.
    “This should not be about winners and losers, it should be about trying to make the whole thing work for everyone.
    “As to whether we will get there, I don’t know. The IRFU will certainly put its best foot forward and try and make the negotiations work, but it requires all parties to come to the table willing to find real solutions, as opposed to holding guns to people’s heads.”

    Comment


      Originally posted by exiled to connacht View Post
      Has he said this since meeting ended?
      No. Definately preceded the ERC meeting.
      Mumha Abu

      Comment


        Lewis speaking on Radio 4 this morning mentioned that they can not create a new competition,they already have a company set up and there are contractual agreements.
        It is getting very confusing.Sounds like one thing said in the meeting then premier league saying opposite outside.Firstly the English need to sort themselves out.The union and league have been arguing between themselves for years.English Cricket got themselves into a similar mess some years ago when Kerry Packer came in the scene created a new tournament, and any England played joining got banned from test cricket.All about money.
        Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. (Marcus Aurelius, 121-189 AD)

        Comment


          I reckon the blazers will use the spill out to increase their bargaining power in future negotiations re broadcast rights etc..They have a valuable commodity- otherwise PLR & club owners wouldn't be wanting to take it away! - and will emphasise its value to potential "stakeholders" who wont want to lose out on the prospect of realising it's commercial value. Flush out your threats and challengers then deal with them.
          Mumha Abu

          Comment


            Well, well. Somebody finally dropped the "L" bomb.

            I suspect we may be taking the bad cop role, and the Welsh the good cop, btw. We have been demonised by the club numpties for, you know, beating them, which just cannot be right; so the Welsh saying "no", softly, has a better chance of sinking in.
            Ceterum censeo INM irrumandum esse.

            Comment


              The more this goes on the more I hope the Pro12 nations stick to their guns and keep away from an Anglo French venture. It is quite obvious that they have no desire to see rugby grow on a world stage, basically saying what we have we hold. It is pretty obvious as it stands at present the Scots and the Italians perhaps do not deserve the places and revenues allotted to them from the European Cup. However without the profile and revenue gained they have little chance of progress thus rugby will never really gain the widespread recognition that it is capable of gaining.

              This is so short sighted it is scary, instead of these so called business men sitting down and looking at how can we expand our market and increase the value of our product they are looking to contract and increase the value of the product, this works for stuff people need like oil wont work for sport. In fact it is so bloody stupid we should keep well away from it. Nail our flag to the mast that is Sky and improve the product that is Pro12, maybe even add a second division trying to pull in teams from Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium. There are plenty of Irish, Welsh, Scottish & Italian people in England for Sky to make a success of the Pro12
              I am one of the 5 clowns woo hoo

              Comment


                Originally posted by exiled to connacht View Post
                One of the things that caught my attention is the low opinion the league is held in by the welsh in particular but also by many of our and Leinster fans. Perhaps now is the time to reform the pro12 also to make it more fit for purpose and attractive to the customer to use wrays word.
                I think this is a very valid point, especially in light of Rob Kearney's comments.

                Comment


                  Brown's interview in the IT today is pretty good. Calls a spade a spade and a liar a liar. About time too.

                  The amount of bull**** being pedalled in the English press is truly shocking. Not one journalist over here seems to be arsed actually looking at this critically rather than just parroting the likes of Wray and McCafferty. Their duplicitousness is so bleeding obvious you'd think somebody would write a piece challenging their claims. Many of the papers are just publishing propaganda straight from the pen of the PRL gob****es.

                  Quentin Smith's article in the Torygraph today is telling:

                  "It is crucial to point out that competition is open to teams from the other four
                  nations. Let us see who comes. I would be amazed if no one else joins us. We
                  will then see what they bring to the party and then work out the competition
                  structure and how the revenues will be distributed
                  ."

                  Now, they've already sold the rights for a major chunk of the tournament to BT so the only thing left for the other unions to "bring to the party" are the Irish and Italian TV rights, which would be pretty small. The clubs would use this to justify offering them a small hill of beans in return for their participation. Gee, where do we sign up Quentin?

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by Thomond78 View Post
                    Well, well. Somebody finally dropped the "L" bomb.

                    I suspect we may be taking the bad cop role, and the Welsh the good cop, btw. We have been demonised by the club numpties for, you know, beating them, which just cannot be right; so the Welsh saying "no", softly, has a better chance of sinking in.
                    It does have the whiff of an orchestrated response, doesn't it?

                    Comment


                      I'm very slow, but I'm only now seeing the reason why the Franglais want a competition with 20 rather than 24 teams. It's very simple really, 12 is a majority in a 20 team league, run by clubs. It isn't in a 24 team league.

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by DONC View Post
                        The more this goes on the more I hope the Pro12 nations stick to their guns and keep away from an Anglo French venture. It is quite obvious that they have no desire to see rugby grow on a world stage, basically saying what we have we hold. It is pretty obvious as it stands at present the Scots and the Italians perhaps do not deserve the places and revenues allotted to them from the European Cup. However without the profile and revenue gained they have little chance of progress thus rugby will never really gain the widespread recognition that it is capable of gaining.

                        This is so short sighted it is scary, instead of these so called business men sitting down and looking at how can we expand our market and increase the value of our product they are looking to contract and increase the value of the product, this works for stuff people need like oil wont work for sport. In fact it is so bloody stupid we should keep well away from it. Nail our flag to the mast that is Sky and improve the product that is Pro12, maybe even add a second division trying to pull in teams from Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium. There are plenty of Irish, Welsh, Scottish & Italian people in England for Sky to make a success of the Pro12
                        Kearney's statement in terms of timing on behalf of the players was unhelpful in my view. If our top players threaten to go because we're outside this then the IRFU are in a rock and a hard place.
                        I always knew Madigan was a closet Scrum Half. Ignore All things that suggest Continuity.

                        Comment


                          Regardless of the outcome of all this, the Saracens Chairman Nigel Wray should be ashamed of his conduct, the damage he has already caused and the damage he may yet cause. In his self-centred drive for more money, he has caused significant and possibly long-term damage to European rugby and inter-club relations. This whole thing has not been handled well at all. I worry for the future when people like him are involved.

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by The Outlaw View Post
                            Kearney's statement in terms of timing on behalf of the players was unhelpful in my view. If our top players threaten to go because we're outside this then the IRFU are in a rock and a hard place.
                            No they're not. Let them **** off. Let them see how many overpaid full backs 5 french clubs can absorb.


                            The game is bigger than any player, and we can't hand the game to that shower of spivs that are running the Premiership.

                            Control of the game by the ****wit who suggests HEC matches in Timbuktoo on an annual basis? Balls to that. I'll carry Kearney to Biarritz on my back first.
                            "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


                              Originally posted by Balla Boy View Post
                              Control of the game by the ****wit who suggests HEC matches in Timbuktoo on an annual basis? Balls to that. I'll carry Kearney to Biarritz on my back first.
                              That's the spirit BB. Remember to make sure you don't take him past the horizontal and that you put him down gently.

                              Comment


                                Rob Kearney having difficulty with a front-on challenge?

                                Well, that's unheard of. Tut, tut, tut.
                                Ceterum censeo INM irrumandum esse.

                                Comment

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