Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

English Premier Clubs Confirm HEC Pullout

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    English Premier Clubs Confirm HEC Pullout

    Just heard on "The Rugby Club", on foot of a Premier Rugby statement, that the English clubs will be withdrawing from the HEC next season.


    Can't find the statement online - anyone else ????


    #2
    <table ="std_newsartd" summary="Layout table" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><t><tr><td ="line">Found.............


    Premier Rugby Statement</td></tr>
    <tr><td ="date">5 April 2007, 6:46 pm</td></tr>
    <tr><td ="author">By Jonathan McConnell</td></tr>
    <tr><td ="multimedia">



    </td></tr>
    <tr><td ="abstract">Following a Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR)
    Board meeting today, the following statement is issued by Premier Rugby
    (PRL) after discussions with LNR.</td></tr>
    <tr><td ="article">The current Agreement for the European Rugby
    Cup (ERC), which has been in place for the last 8 years, comes to an
    end after this season. This Agreement did not include any shareholding
    for the tournaments' participants; the clubs.


    Negotiations on a new Agreement have now been taking place for over
    twelve months during which such club shareholdings were a fundamental
    principle. ERC is Europe's foremost international club tournament and
    all clubs have contributed substantially, alongside the Unions, to its
    sporting and commercial success over the last 8 years. It is
    appropriate that they should become equal partners with the Unions in
    any future Agreement.


    LNR and PRL both believe a position was clearly reached last year
    which confirmed that clubs would have a much greater say in any minimum
    7 year Agreement, and that they would both hold shares in the new ERC.
    The clubs remain by this position reached in October 2006 as the basis
    for any future Agreement.


    Regrettably, while the Federation Francaise de Rugby (FFR) and the
    Federazione Italiana Rugby (FIR) have confirmed this position, the
    Rugby Football Union (RFU) appears no longer to accept this. As a
    result, LNR and PRL clubs are not willing to participate in the absence
    of a new Agreement based on last year's position and which is inclusive
    of all parties. </td></tr></t></table>

    Comment


      #3


      It is a pity that the LNR do not have the decency to tell us what their true demands are?


      Comment


        #4
        They did say what their demands are, equal partners with the unions.


        Hibernicis natione, Mumhan per gratiam Dei

        Comment


          #5
          They are but the top brass in the English rfu like a lot of countries are a crowd of old todgers and dont want to disrupt the nest egg theyve made for themselves. Think this is going to have dire consequences for us in a number of knock on ways and dont be surprised if the two high profile signings Leinster were to have made are not announced at all
          \"If you can dream it, you can do it\".
          \"To the cowardly and unfaithful, nothing is possible\"

          Comment


            #6

            <div>@@@@SPAN> From @@@@/SPAN>@@@@SPAN>The Times@@@@/SPAN></div><div><!- this will be populated from CMS ->
            <!- BEGIN: Module - Advert:Top ->







            <!- For Travel Search -><!- Modified key value pair for tiles -><no>
            <!- END: Module - Advert:Top -></no></div><div> April 6, 2007</div><h1>Distrust flourishes as power struggle threatens stability</h1><!- END: Module - Main ing -><!-CMA user Call Diffrenet Variati&#111;n Of Image ->
            <!- BEGIN: Module - M24 Article line with no image (a) -><!-set value for print friendly -><!- getting the secti&#111;n url from article. This has been d&#111;ne so that correct url is
            generated if we are coming from a secti&#111;n or topic -><!- Print Author name associated with the article -><div id="main-article"><div><!- Print Author name from By Line associated with the article ->@@@@SPAN>@@@@/SPAN>@@@@SPAN> Gerald Davies
            @@@@/SPAN></div></div><!- END: Module - M24 Article line with no image -><!- BEGIN: Module - Main Article -><!- Check the Article and display accordingly-><!- Print Author image associated with the Author-><!- Print the of the article-> <!- Paginati&#111;n ->

            Once more the sport is experiencing threatening times. The actions of the
            French and English clubs in announcing their boycott of the European
            competitions next season is another regrettable episode in the progress of
            the game over the past 20 or so years.


            Every so often there is a flexing of muscles. There are moments when
            questions arise over the future of rugby union and the path the game should
            take, as well as who should be the governing authority. After the upheaval
            of the breakaway of the Northern Union in 1895, rugby union, for some 100
            years, moved forward in a clear direction and at its own pace. It was
            strictly amateur.


            In 1983, when the rugby union authorities had become increasingly more
            commercial, while the players were expected to observe an undiluted amateur
            ethos, David Lord, an Australian, proposed the signing-up of 200 players
            from the rugby-playing nations to embark on matches throughout the world for
            which they would be contracted and paid. This “circus” did not get off the
            ground because it was unsustainable without the assent of the unions. But it
            did ruffle a few feathers.


            In 1995, during the World Cup in South Africa, there were similar manoeuvres
            to attempt to draw players away and to set up an international circuit of
            matches. But that scheme was scuppered, too.


            Both these plans appeared to favour the wellbeing of the players and to
            ensure that they would share in the financial benefits and, by being paid,
            bring an end to amateurism. Underpinning all this, however, was the ambition
            among the interested parties to wrest the authority from the established
            governing unions. There was a struggle for power to administer rugby and to
            usurp the authority of the respective unions.


            The present climate is an inauspicious one, of doubt and of conflicting
            views. Strong and opposite positions have been taken. Distrust flourishes.
            There are hidden agendas; of devices and desires that threaten the stability
            of rugby and can go beyond what appears to be no more than a local
            difficulty in Europe.


            There are whispers that there are conspiracies of power-broking being
            discussed. There is gossip that the English clubs wish to bring the Lions
            under their wing. There have been attempts to hijack the Barbarians brand.
            Such intrigue is rife, with these two famous rugby entities perceived as
            cash cows for the benefit of the clubs. Who is to be believed?


            Wherever lies the truth, there is an unhealthy tension. This could fuel the
            unappetising thought that the sport should be split: the professional game
            should look after itself and the governing unions should look after the
            amateur side.


            But such a split would divide opinion as well as scatter the sport’s

            Comment


              #7

              <div>@@@@SPAN> From @@@@/SPAN>@@@@SPAN>The Times@@@@/SPAN></div><div><!- this will be populated from CMS ->
              <!- BEGIN: Module - Advert:Top ->







              <!- For Travel Search -><!- Modified key value pair for tiles ->
              <no><!- END: Module - Advert:Top -></no></div><div> April 6, 2007</div><h1>Show of force by English and French sinks Europe</h1><!- END: Module - Main ing -><!-CMA user Call Diffrenet Variati&#111;n Of Image ->
              <!- BEGIN: Module - M24 Article line with no image (a) -><!-set value for print friendly -><!- getting the secti&#111;n url from article. This has been d&#111;ne so that correct url is
              generated if we are coming from a secti&#111;n or topic -><!- Print Author name associated with the article -><div id="main-article"><div><!- Print Author name from By Line associated with the article ->@@@@SPAN>@@@@/SPAN>@@@@SPAN> David Hands, Rugby Correspondent
              @@@@/SPAN></div></div><!- END: Module - M24 Article line with no image -><!- BEGIN: Module - Main Article -><!- Check the Article and display accordingly-><!- Print Author image associated with the Author-> <!- Print the of the article-><!- Paginati&#111;n ->

              Neither
              a last-minute intervention by Bernard Lapasset nor the opprobrium of
              the Celtic nations could deter France’s leading clubs from their
              boycott of next season’s Heineken Cup and, two hours after their stance
              was confirmed yesterday, England’s Guinness Premiership followed suit,
              as they had agreed to do.

              The decision of the 26 clubs — 14 from
              France and 12 from England — will surely bring European competition,
              the most significant and popular invention of the professional era in
              the northern hemisphere, to its knees. Any modified tournament
              involving the Celtic countries and Italy will be little more than
              repetition of the existing Magners League and the gaps left in the
              fixture lists of Scotland, Ireland and Wales will be financially
              damaging in the extreme.

              However, the RFU, whose refusal to share
              with the Premiership clubs its holding in European Rugby Cup Ltd (ERC)
              is claimed to be the root cause of the boycott, will call a meeting of
              the six unions involved to discuss ways in which European rugby can be
              supported. They will attend Thursday’s ERC board meeting in Dublin, by
              which time they will have taken legal advice on what they consider a
              breach of the agreement between the RFU and the clubs.

              Serge
              Blanco, the president of the Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR), said that
              there would be no going back after his organisation’s board meeting,
              which voted 14-3 for the boycott in the Paris Orly Airport Hotel. “We
              don’t have the desire to quit, but we don’t want to suffer,” Blanco
              said. “The French clubs have invested a lot in this competition. We
              can’t continue to be walked all over. Either respect us or don’t
              respect us.”

              He also said that the French clubs will not seek to
              fill the gap in the fixture schedule, in part because there is little
              likelihood of an alternative competition being approved by the
              Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) but also because next season is
              crammed full of the World Cup. It is a tacit admission that the Top 14
              clubs have created the space they want for their domestic competition,
              which will not be played while the global competition is held in France
              during September and October.

              Lapasset, the FFR president, tried
              to woo them away from what governing bodies, sponsors, broadcasters
              and, most important of all, supporters will perceive as a damaging
              course of action. He offered the LNR 15.66 per cent of the French
              shareholding in ERC (leaving only 1 per cent in FFR hands) for the next
              two years.

              “I’m very disappointed [that the offer was turned
              down] because I feel that was a strong and reasonable proposal,”
              Lapasset said. “We need European competition. It will be very difficult
              to rebuild.”

              Premier Rugby Ltd (PRL), the umbrella body for
              England’s Premiership clubs, reit

              Comment


                #8
                <div id="article">
                <h2>England join euro boycott</h2>
                <div ="subarticle">
                By Ben Blackmore -
                Created on 5 Apr 2007</div>
                </div><!-
                clubtext=
                channeltext=445670
                comptext=
                defaulttext=
                hlid=445670-><div ="NewsTeaser">


                <a href="http://www.skybet.com/skybet?acti&#111;n=GoEvEv&amp;id=10513702" &#111;nclick="" target="_new" target="_blank">HEINEKEN CUP BETTING
                Biarritz are favourites to win this year's Heineken Cup. Check out the latest odds at Sky Bet.</a>
                </div>
                <div id="article">
                <div id="articleRHS"><!-
                image path = http://images.skysports.com/images/ppics06_07/RugbyUni&#111;n/heineken_cup.jpg-><div ="articleImage"></div>
                </div>Premier
                Rugby have confirmed England's Guinness Premiership sides will join
                France's topclubsin boycottingnext year's Heineken Cup.


                The French National League were first to confirm their actions on
                Thursday, meaningmany of European rugby's biggest names, the likes of
                Yannick Jauzion, Christophe Dominici and Dimitri Yachvili, will not
                grace the greatest stage in club rugby next season.


                Now England's participantshave pulled out too, ripping the heart
                out of the Heineken Cup - which hasbeenwon by a French or English
                teamin nine of its last 11 years.


                The boycott arrives as the culmination of afall-out between the RFU
                and Premier Rugby, which has created an untenable situation in the eyes
                of the respective participating club sides.


                "The current agreement for the European Rugby Cup (ERC), which has
                been in place for the last eight years, comes to an end after this
                season," explained a statement from Premier Rugby.


                "This agreement did not include any shareholding for the
                tournaments' participants - the clubs. Negotiations on a new agreement
                have now been taking place for over 12 months, during which such club
                shareholdings were a fundamental principle.


                "ERC is Europe's foremost international club tournament and all
                clubs have contributed substantially, alongside the Unions, to its
                sporting and commercial success over the last eight years. It is
                appropriate that they should become equal partners with the Unions in
                any future agreement.


                "LNR and PRL both believe a position was clearly reached last year
                which confirmed that clubs would have a much greater say...regrettably,
                while the Federation Francaise de Rugby (FFR) and the Federazione
                Italiana Rugby (FIR) have confirmed this position, the Rugby Football
                Union (RFU) appears no longer to accept this.


                "As a result, LNR and PRL clubs are not willing to participate in
                the absence of a new agreement based on last year's position, and which
                is inclusive of all parties."


                The major sticking point is the RFU's shareholding in the European
                Cup, a percentage of which Premier Rugby believe they are entitled to
                as part of an agreement made in October.

                Clubs of English and French rugby want greater control over
                the running of the tournament, but the RFU are unwilling to budge on
                the issue.

                Indeed, director of rugby Rob Andrew believes France are using
                the shareholding issue as a smokescreen to hide their true grievance,
                suggested to be the fixture congestion that will follow the 2007 World
                Cup.

                As it stands, French domestic rugby would have to begin during
                the showpiece tournament, meaning a severe loss of top players and
                revenue for clubs.

                English clubscan now expect tobe hit with legal action from the RFU, who are yet to comment on Thursday's events.</div>

                Comment


                  #9
                  <h1>
                  Twickenham declares war in Heineken Cup dispute










                  @@@@SPAN ="starrating">


                  @@@@/SPAN>

















                  </h1>




                  <h3>
                  By David Llewellyn
                  </h3>


                  <h4>
                  Published:06 April 2007
                  </h4>




                  <div ="Copy">
                  <div ="article">










































                  <div style=": ; top: 304px; visibility: visible;" id="article" ="ad">

























                  </div>








                  </div>
                  <div id="CopyC&#111;ntent">





                  Twickenham last night declared war on Premiership clubs after Premier
                  Rugby joined its French counterparts in a boycott of next season's
                  Heineken Cup.







                  Martyn Thomas, the chairman of the Rugby Football Union, is preparing
                  to open talks with representatives of National Division One, the league
                  just below the Premiership, to see if they would be willing to take
                  part in next season's European competitions.


                  "We will request written confirmation of the PRL decision not to
                  participate in European competitions next season before we talk to the
                  First Division clubs," he said. Thomas was furious at the Anglo-French
                  boycott, which was sparked by the RFU's refusal to split its
                  shareholding in European Rugby Cup Ltd with PRL.


                  "There is not a chance of us giving up any shares to PRL," he said.
                  "The disgraceful and selfish actions of the French and English clubs
                  have fully justified our stance. How could you allow people who behave
                  like this to hold shares in the Heineken Cup?"


                  Thomas went on to criticise the Ligue Nationale de Rugby, which
                  represents the French clubs. "There is no justification for the
                  decision of LNR," he said. "They are trying to pretend that they are
                  doing this because of what's happening in England. All they are worried
                  about is fixture congestion in a Rugby World Cup year. Involving us is
                  a desperately feeble attempt to cover their tracks."


                  Bernard Lapasset, the president of the French Rugby Federation, said
                  he would try to bring both sides in the English dispute together again.


                  "I am deeply disappointed with the decision," he said. "I will get
                  back to the RFU over the next few days to see where we go from here. I
                  will try to persuade them to talk again to the English clubs."


                  Both PRL and the RFU are entrenched. The PRL statement declared:
                  "LNR and PRL both believe a position was clearly reached last year
                  which confirmed that clubs would have a much greater say in any minimum
                  seven-year agreement, and that they would both hold shares in the new
                  ERC. The clubs remain by this position reached in October 2006 as the
                  basis for any future agreement.


                  "Regrettably, while the Federation Française de Rugb and the
                  Federazione Italiana Rugby have confirmed this position, the Rugby
                  Football Union appears no longer to accept this. As a result, LNR and
                  PRL clubs are not willing to participate in the absence of a new
                  agreement based on last year's position and which is inclusive of all
                  parties."


                  Twickenham reacted angrily. A statement said: "Withdrawal from the
                  European Competitions puts PRL and the Premiership clubs in clear
                  breach of clause 5.1 of the Long Fo

                  Comment


                    #10


                    Players and coaches at every Premiership club will be saddened by the decision, particularly those such as Saracens, who are in a qualifying position for next season’s Heineken Cup. “But it’s important the clubs unite and continue with this position,” Mark Sinderberry, their chief executive, said.


                    Funny how he doesn`t mention the fans-these are the people who keep their clubs going through paying at the gate what is often ordinary rugby.<!- Signature ->

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by toomey


                      Players and coaches at every Premiership club will be saddened by the decision, particularly those such as Saracens, who are in a qualifying position for next season’s Heineken Cup. “But it’s important the clubs unite and continue with this position,” Mark Sinderberry, their chief executive, said.


                      Funny how he doesn`t mention the fans-these are the people who keep their clubs going through paying at the gate what is often ordinary rugby.


                      <!- Signature ->

                      i was saying that in the last few days. the lack of commentary on the affect on fans and economy's and businesses outside the players and clubs and sponsors is shocking
                      "Some people don't know their easy lives... I wouldn't be so ungrateful" - Fiacre Ryan - #AutismAndMe

                      Comment


                        #12
                        <DIV =storyer>
                        <H1>Cup axe could devastate rugby - Thomas</H1>@@@@SPAN =storyDate>Friday, 6 April 2007 08:50@@@@/SPAN> </DIV>
                        <DIV =story><?:namespace prefix = rte ns = "urn:rte-search" /><rte:>


                        Twickenham chief Martyn Thomas has claimed the Anglo-French boycott of next season's Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup could 'devastate northern hemisphere rugby'.


                        Thomas, the Rugby Football Union's management board chairman, has confirmed an RFU intention to meet with officials from other shareholder unions in European Rugby Cup - Welsh, Scottish, Irish and Italian - in Dublin next Wednesday.


                        He said: 'We are concerned at the effect the English and French clubs actions will have on the other shareholder unions in ERC who will also suffer significant financial losses.
                        <DIV id=story_island></DIV>


                        'We will be calling a meeting of these unions shortly to discuss ways in which European rugby can be supported.


                        'There is no doubt this is an issue that could devastate northern hemisphere rugby.'


                        While Thomas admits he would 'never say never' to any hope of resurrecting next season's tournaments, the reality is both competitions are facing meltdown.


                        Thomas added: 'The decision taken by PRL (Premier Rugby) is a deeply regrettable one, not least because it is a clear breach of a key term of the LFA (Long Form Agreement).


                        'The RFU has been open to discussions on the Heineken Cup, but only in the context of securing a new overall, long-term deal on all elite player issues.


                        'Our legal advice on PRL's withdrawal from the Heineken Cup is clear, namely that they are in breach of the LFA.


                        'The RFU will consider carefully over the next few days what action, if any, it should take in the light of the best interests of the game and what value there would be in forcing the clubs to play in a tournament against their wishes.'


                        Premier Rugby claim the major issue revolves around shareholding in ERC, and the RFU's refusal to hand the clubs shares. Premier Rugby say an agreement to that effect was reached last October, although Twickenham bosses have categorically denied this.


                        Premier Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty told PA Sport: 'The Union (RFU) puts nothing into the competition and takes nothing out of it, so we don't think it is unreasonable for the clubs to say we should be equal partners.


                        'They say they cannot reach an agreement which goes out beyond the remaining term of the Long Form Agreement. That is when our clubs begin to think 'have you got another agenda for a couple of years' time?'


                        'This has proved a hugely difficult decision, particularly when we have been negotiating for the last 15 or 16 months.


                        'We are not asking for all the shareholding or all the votes. We are asking to be equal partners from a share-holding point of view in a club competition.


                        'We need for our interests to be recognised and incorporated into a long-term agreement. We don't want a European competition without the French, and we don't want a European competition in which people's interests aren't fairly reflected.


                        'We are not pulling out of anything. The (ERC) agreement comes to an end at the end of this season.


                        'The problem is that we have not reached a new agreement. Because of that we are not in a position to sign up for another tournament. There is no tournament to be pulling out of.


                        'What is covered in the LFA is European competition. What we have said is that without the French clubs it is not a European competition, and any rugby supporter would understand that very clearly.'


                        Ratification of the boycott comes barely a fortnight before a record three English teams contest this season's Heineken Cup semi-finals, with Northampton meeting Wasps and Leicester tackling Llanelli Scarlets.
                        </rte:></DIV>

                        Comment


                          #13
                          BBC - 6/4/07 7.32am
                          Heineken Cup could still be saved

                          The Rugby Union's management board chairman Martyn Thomas and
                          Leicester chairman Peter Tom have said the Heineken Cup could go
                          on next season.
                          The competition's future is in doubt after clubs from England and
                          France said they would boycott it.

                          But Thomas and Tom both told BBC Sport they would be prepared to
                          meet in order to try to resolve the situation.

                          "We remain available 24/7 to meet Premier Rugby and seek a
                          solution. The Cup can be saved," said Thomas.

                          Tom agreed but added: "There would have to be meetings in a very
                          short period of time in which all of the current issues can be agreed.
                          I don't think we can continue in the way we have before with lots of
                          different sets of talks.

                          "We need to be prepared to lock ourselves in a room for 24 hours to
                          sort it out."


                          Premier Rugby Limited said English teams were pulling out over an
                          alleged change of heart by the Rugby Football Union over giving
                          clubs a stake in the tournament.

                          The Rugby Football Union replied by saying the clubs were in clear
                          breach of their outstanding legal obligations.

                          "There are a lot of issues which we haven't resolved in 11 years but I
                          believe we were very close to resolving them at our meeting in
                          January," added Thomas.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            its a complete farce, they havent learnt from the cl implosion a couple
                            of years ago. This sort of malarky seriously damages the sport and any
                            potential competition in the eyes of the fans and the advertisers.

                            Even if the manage to get it together, I cant imagine that Heineken
                            would be too happy to sponsor whatever sellotaped mshmash they could
                            create.

                            Personally I hope the rfu and the ffr screw the clubs. Try to divide
                            them. Accept the decision, and ignore the top 4 teams in the league,
                            then offer the next english side a place. Try and break them by
                            offering the likes of Worcester a place in the HEC. If they dont agree
                            then include the top from division 1.

                            Split them.

                            And its about time that the HEC became a comp for 16 teams, wouold make
                            the competition more equitable and this is the ideal time to do it.
                            Offer a max of three teams from England and france places, declining
                            the lower you have to go to get sides in. For instance if you cant get
                            any from the premiership then you have just 2.



                            This is the only way forward, and it also increases the prestige of the second competition


                            Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice



                            Comment


                              #15
                              If the English teams are pulling out they should pull out now! Or is it a case of, I'll stand with the French but not just yet. Borrowed a set of balls did they?


                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X