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    Thin end of the Wedge indeed you'd think they'd wait a year or two before taking on the RFU but it seems not. (Independent.co.uk)
    Clubs demand £14 million World Cup compensation

    England's Premiership clubs, emboldened by the "historic" agreement that has given them a central role in running next season's new European competitions, are set for three more battles with rugby's governing bodies.

    The clubs are demanding £14 million from the Rugby Football Union as compensation for the disruption caused by next year's World Cup in England and Wales.
    And the clubs, having paid tribute to the RFU's chief executive Ian Ritchie for smoothing the new European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) accord, are set to test the resolve of the world governing body, the International Rugby Board (IRB), with plans to create a World Club Cup in June 2018.
    The month-long tournament, which has been discussed with broadcasters Sky in the UK and Supersport in South Africa, would see the eight quarter-finalists from the European Champions Cup meeting eight crack southern-hemisphere teams from what by then will be the Super 16.
    A key aspect of the European accord that will see a 20-team Champions Cup replace the Heineken Cup next season is that the national unions have nine seats on the 18-strong EPCR board. It preserves the IRB's treasured Regulation 13 that says unions must sanction cross-border competitions and is a compromise from the clubs' threat at one time to go it alone, but hugely preferable in the clubs' eyes to the union-dominated, Dublin-based European Rugby Cup Ltd (ERC).
    But the IRB, whose World Cup for national teams provides the bulk of their operating revenue, may view a World Club Cup dimly as a rival interest.
    Unlike many other leading countries, England's players are contracted to the clubs and released for international matches under a Heads of Agreement between the RFU and Premiership Rugby that expires in 2016 and is currently being renegotiated.
    With next year's World Cup being played in September and October, the 2015-2016 club season will start two months later than normal in November. The Premiership clubs insist there is no danger of them withholding England players from taking part but the RFU has so far refused to meet the £14m demand, which a club source said is "a figure that's been scientifically worked out" as commensurate with them not playing competitions between May and November.
    Another effect of the need to squeeze 33 rounds of the Aviva Premiership and European Champions Cup into a shortened 2015-16 season is a threat to England's tour to Australia in June 2016 – "a massive problem", according to one club source, and an echo of this year's shambles of England facing the world champions New Zealand in Auckland on 7 June without the players from the previous week's Aviva Premiership final.
    "We want all outstanding matters including the World Cup compensation and the new Heads of Agreement for post-2016 to be done by the end of this year," said Bruce Craig, the Bath chairman and passionate driving force behind the new Europe.
    "We don't want to be going into a World Cup year with any distractions. Ian Ritchie has shown himself to be a businessman and a savvy guy at the head of the RFU who is not embroiled in rugby politics. It has been a pleasure working with him."
    It was Craig who came up with the "Champions Cup" title for the slimmed-down 20-team European tournament to replace the Heineken Cup which England's clubs hope will more than double the £10m annual revenue they were being promised by ERC.
    Further details can be revealed here. The 2014-15 Champions Cup draw will be seeded purely on finishing positions in this season's leagues, abandoning the previous weighting given to past performance. The three champion clubs of the Premiership, Pro 12 and French Top 14 will be joined from a blind draw by two of the three beaten finalists, as top seed in each of the five pools.
    The third remaining beaten finalist will be in a pot of second seeds along with the next best-placed teams from the three leagues, and so on throughout the draw. Teams from the same country will be kept apart although it is inevitable two pools will feature two clubs from one country – either England or France, depending who wins this May's play-off between their seventh-placed clubs.
    ERC had promised the 2015 Heineken Cup final to Milan, and Craig said EPCR may stick to that plan, adjusted for a new early-May date that clears the three league finals to be the season's concluding showpieces. "The San Siro Stadium looks a great venue," Craig said. "An 80,000 capacity and I'm sure supporters would love a three or four-day trip to Italy in May. We will take club and regional rugby to a new level, with much greater interest in the clubs, the players and the cities."
    Craig conceded the World Club Cup may not take place until 2022, with international teams' June tours having been agreed up to 2019, and British & Irish Lions tours scheduled for 2017 and 2021.
    The three-man EPCR commercial executive will include Craig, Rene Fontes from France and Paul McNaughton from Ireland. If the trio are split over a "reserved matter", it will need a 66 per cent vote from the board, which includes four representatives each from the English and French leagues, but just one from the Welsh regions, plus an independent chairman.

    Fides et Robur

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      Well that didn't take long, you would think, in a country where everyone is taught the dangers of appeasing extremists, the RFU would realise that PRL would be emboldened by any concessions although all this small print seems to indicate that PRL have really got little more than ERC conceded months ago, the name change and change of location.

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        "The 2014-15 Champions Cup draw will be seeded purely on finishing positions in this season's leagues, abandoning the previous weighting given to past performance. The three champion clubs of the Premiership, Pro 12 and French Top 14 will be joined from a blind draw by two of the three beaten finalists, as top seed in each of the five pools.
        The third remaining beaten finalist will be in a pot of second seeds along with the next best-placed teams from the three leagues, and so on throughout the draw. Teams from the same country will be kept apart although it is inevitable two pools will feature two clubs from one country – either England or France"

        I actually like the sound of the new seeding system and personally i'm on board with a lot of the new changes. Even with the finances i can understand where the spilt per club argument comes from. Its the personalities behind all this i'm worried about Wray and Craig just want to ape football which is just madness because rugby as a sport is nowhere near stable enough to support this cut-throat laissez faire attitude
        Fides et Robur

        Comment


          Something I don't understand is how the main board is made up. The article indicates that their are four representatives from LNR, four from PRL and one from their bitches RRW. How many union representatives are there?

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            So the three league winners and the runners-up in France and England it is so, meaning Ireland go from three seeded teams to one. It will certainly make things interesting.

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              Originally posted by whimpersnap View Post
              So the three league winners and the runners-up in France and England it is so, meaning Ireland go from three seeded teams to one. It will certainly make things interesting.
              Are you suggesting the 'blind draw' might be a little less than 'blind' whimpersnap?!?! I am shocked at your cynicism!?!?

              Comment


                Originally posted by the plastic paddy View Post
                Are you suggesting the 'blind draw' might be a little less than 'blind' whimpersnap?!?! I am shocked at your cynicism!?!?
                English and French balls are more competitive than Celtic balls. You could say they're the most competitive balls in the world. They'll win any contest (except on a rugby pitch).

                Comment


                  Originally posted by the plastic paddy View Post
                  Something I don't understand is how the main board is made up. The article indicates that their are four representatives from LNR, four from PRL and one from their bitches RRW. How many union representatives are there?
                  Basically there seems to be an executive board (ERCC) and a commercial board (EPCR). The executive board is made up of all the unions plus all the clubs with 9 votes each from what I've heard for each side so equal say really on the governance side of things with an independent chairman as the tie-breaker. The EPCR is the commercial wing with 3 representatives one from each league PRL, LNR and PRO12 so basically club controlled any of the agreed contentious issues at this level automatically gets referred to the ERCC which needs a 66% approval to ratify.
                  Fides et Robur

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by whimpersnap View Post
                    English and French balls are more competitive than Celtic balls. You could say they're the most competitive balls in the world. They'll win any contest (except on a rugby pitch).
                    And Wiggy Healy wants them to be pink.

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by Sportsground View Post
                      Basically there seems to be an executive board (ERCC) and a commercial board (EPCR). The executive board is made up of all the unions plus all the clubs with 9 votes each from what I've heard for each side so equal say really on the governance side of things with an independent chairman as the tie-breaker. The EPCR is the commercial wing with 3 representatives one from each league PRL, LNR and PRO12 so basically club controlled any of the agreed contentious issues at this level automatically gets referred to the ERCC which needs a 66% approval to ratify.
                      How do 6 unions get 9 representatives?

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                        Originally posted by the plastic paddy View Post
                        How do 6 unions get 9 representatives?
                        No idea think i saw it in the Guardian somewhere the gist of it was that whatever way the voting power works out its 50/50 between clubs and unions. Which would tie in to the whole governance of the game stuff being secured/unanimous but concessions being made on the commercial side
                        Fides et Robur

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by Sportsground View Post
                          No idea think i saw it in the Guardian somewhere the gist of it was that whatever way the voting power works out its 50/50 between clubs and unions. Which would tie in to the whole governance of the game stuff being secured/unanimous but concessions being made on the commercial side
                          The only thing I have read is nine stakeholders, the six unions, LNR, PRL and their bitches. Now it seems that the scabs only have one representative, probably to make the tea and coffee while the English and French Nigels get four each.

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                            No surprise that the PRL are already chomping at the bit for yet another format. They'll break this agreement just like they broke the others.
                            "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

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                              The Future of the Heineken Cup In Doubt?

                              On the governance, I suspect that if the Nigels had managed to affect the coup of wresting control of the game from the unions we would have heard a lot more about it. The commercial commitee being dominated by LNR/ PRL means diddly because unless there is unanimity, they need 66% of the Union dominated main board to push anything through, or so that Independent article implies.

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by Beckenham Wasp View Post
                                If the branches and the professional teams are integral to each other they don't have to be. The branches and the professional teams serve to completely different functions. It is called innovation. A bit like when Rugby Union went from being an amateur sport to being an open professional one.

                                I haven't just made this all up. It is exactly how the Super Rugby provinces in New Zealand are organised. The provincial unions run the community and amateur game whilst they co-own the professional Super Rugby teams with the NZRFU and private interests. The Unions remains in control they just make use of private money.

                                What would you prefer? A professional team that was 100% Union owned and uncompetitive or a professional team that has an element of private ownership but could retain its best Irish and foreign players? That is the choice Irish rugby is likely to face.
                                Why? We currently have competitive union owned teams that are beating yours out the gate regularly. It seems to me that you (and other English rugby fans) are determined to foist your own visibly failing model on the rest of us.

                                Our provinces are more successful than your clubs, produce more talent than your clubs, sign better overseas players than your clubs, get bigger crowds than your clubs.

                                It's you who should be "innovating".
                                "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

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