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English Premier Clubs Confirm HEC Pullout

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    #46


    Originally posted by Drahcir
    is there any chance that the welsh will pull out of that next year just to spite them?

    Would that be the same crowd who profess to hate the English yet yearn for the days when they were cosying up to them ?


    NO chance ! [img]smileys/lol.gif[/img]

    Comment


      #47





      An contraire, they'll probably seek to increase the size of the A-W Cup. This is about business and money, not aboutrecreation or honourable conduct.
      New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.

      Comment


        #48
        Originally posted by Old Dog


        An contraire, they'll probably seek to increase the size of the A-W Cup. This is about business and money, not aboutrecreation or honourable conduct.


        The odds are high, that that increase would have to be approved by the RFU and the WRU, which won't be forthcoming from the RFU anyway. They may not be able to stop the current matches taking place as it is probably part of a binding contract.


        Don't forget that the RFU are probably having a lot of chats with the IRFU who are the most cunning, the most devious, the most vindictive organisation on the planet, when they are out to get someone. Machiavelli would be appalled !

        Comment


          #49

          SUITS YOU, SIR</font>



          Saturday April 7th 2007</font>



          SO much for the sabre-rattling.


          When League Nationale de Rugby (NLR) president Serge Blanco warned
          of pending Heineken Cup doom back in January it was greeted with
          general scepticism. Great player, sure, but prudent administrator? Get
          a grip.


          There was a feeling that Blanco did not have the full backing of
          the French clubs but the 14-3 vote in favour of a boycott conclusively
          disproved that contention.


          Once the English clubs (PRL) voted to support the French boycott,
          the nightmare scenario was in place with RFU chairman Martin Thomas
          summing it up best when stating: "An Anglo-French boycott of next
          season's Heineken Cup could devastate Northern Hemisphere Rugby."


          Put simply, the Heineken Cup dispute is, primarily, a progression of
          the club v country argument with the Celtic nations, where rugby is
          centrally contracted, the innocent victims.


          Precipice


          Without the Heineken Cup, the game in this country and Scotland
          (where they are already in crisis) stands on the precipice. The Welsh
          may, with considerable pain ride it out, but as Leinster CEO Mick
          Dawson stated: "It will be very serious for Irish teams in the short
          term. The potential loss of Heineken Cup games will be a huge blow. We
          have to look at the danger of not being able to sustain the
          professional game that has allowed us to compete so favourably at
          international level these last number of years."


          Garrett Fitzgerald, Michael Reid and Gerry Kelly at Munster, Ulster
          and Connacht respectively will each be experiencing the same feeling of
          insecurity.


          If ever there was a case of a (clearly contrived) decision leading to losers all round this is it.


          The French and English way of doing their rugby business carries
          with it an overpowering stench of arrogance. Whatever fault may lie
          with the RFU, ERC or International Rugby Board (IRB), at least those
          ruling bodies are acting in the greater interests of the game. The same
          can not be said of the the French and English clubs' bodies and what
          remains is a mess.


          From an Irish perspective, we are faced with a massive void after the World Cup.


          The Heineken Cup has taken Irish rugby at provincial and
          international to a new level. Once a distant fourth to Gaelic games and
          soccer, the oval ball code now enjoys unprecedented popularity due, in
          the main, to the cross-border club competition.


          Prior to the advent of the Heineken Cup, Irish teams routinely lost
          to their French counterparts and games, particularly in France, were
          lost in the mind before they began.


          Now Irish sides travel in expectation rather than hope with the
          Heineken Cup seen by many as the world's premier rugby competition.


          Yet, rather than capitalise on its growing success, we now have now
          the Northern Hemisphere nightmare, with the French and English placing
          the very future of this fledgling professional sport in jeopardy.


          In terms of revenue, profile and popularity, the Heineken Cup is far ahead of the Magner's (Celtic) League.


          How can Munster or Leinster, both heavily involved in re-developing
          their respective grounds, sell Heineken Cup debentures on the basis of
          a tournament whose future is in doubt? How can provinces currently
          trawling for new players continue to do so effectively with this
          massive threat hanging over their annual budgets?


          Will there be another mass exodus of Irish players, as happened in
          the mid-to-late 1990s before the IRFU properly grasped the
          professionalism nettle?


          And what of sponsors, broadcasters and, that most precious professional commodities, t

          Comment


            #50


            Here's two questions to ponder :


            1 - Do you think the EPL decided to do without £500-750K each for next season on a point of principle, OR do you think they really did have it in their mind to have some sort of an Anglo French Cup ?


            2 - While the RFU and FFR will not give permission for matches against S14 teams, there's nothing to stop the IRFU/WRU/SRU arranging such matches against S14 teams, is there ? In January, for example.

            Comment


              #51
              Originally posted by Point


              Here's two questions to ponder :


              1 - Do you think the EPL decided to do without £500-750K each for next season on a point of principle, OR do you think they really did have it in their mind to have some sort of an Anglo French Cup ?


              2 - While the RFU and FFR will not give permission for matches against S14 teams, there's nothing to stop the IRFU/WRU/SRU arranging such matches against S14 teams, is there ? In January, for example.


              PRL have decided to take a hit this season. They will do their best to make up the shortfall and the AWC will be the way forward.


              The French do not really have the time for an Anglo French Tournament this season and I expect nothing to happen. Both the LNR and PRL know there is no prospect of it getting sanction anyway and they will not want to break with their Unions.


              Once the HEC is dead something new can be started in 12 months. The French and English will have greater participation and their clubs will have a greater say.


              PRL will do a new deal to replace the Long Form Agreement and part of the price will be the RFU blessing of the new European Club Competition. One of the key objectives of LNR and PRL will be guaranteed by this competition which is the continued existence of Independent Professional Clubs and no regonalisation in France and England.


              I cannot see the Celtic Nations having trouble from their home Unions or the IRB in relation to playing friendlies against teams from down under.


              Comment


                #52
                Originally posted by glorob


                Once the HEC is dead something new can be started in 12 months. The French and English will have greater participation and their clubs will have a greater say.


                Why would the RFU (and indeed the other Unions) accept less in 12 months time rather than now ? They have the power to create the regions and select England players only from these clubs, thereby cutting out the GPL.

                Comment


                  #53
                  Originally posted by Point
                  Originally posted by glorob


                  Once the HEC is dead something new can be started in 12 months. The French and English will have greater participation and their clubs will have a greater say.


                  Why would the RFU (and indeed the other Unions) accept less in 12 months time rather than now ? They have the power to create the regions and select England players only from these clubs, thereby cutting out the GPL.


                  The RFU are renegotiating the LFA with PRL. They will do a deal on Europe in return for a new long term deal on International Players.


                  Going down the road of creating regions is an expensive road to travel. The GP for all it's faults has plenty of supporters and generates a lot of cash. It would take several years for a new structure to become established and gain consumer support.

                  Comment


                    #54


                    The current deal expires in July, so there's three months for new terms to be thrashed out.


                    The biggest loser in this could be the 6N if English and French clubs get first call on players.

                    Comment


                      #55
                      Originally posted by shtove


                      The current deal expires in July, so there's three months for new terms to be thrashed out.


                      The biggest loser in this could be the 6N if English and French clubs get first call on players.


                      They probably have to the end of April at the very latest. TV, sponsors etc are not going to sit around and wait. In adition fixture lists are normally finalised by July.

                      Comment


                        #56
                        <h1 ="ing">IRB ready to act over Heineken Cup dispute</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 ="article-author"><!- Print Author name from By Line associated with the article ->@@@@SPAN ="small">@@@@/SPAN>@@@@SPAN ="byline"> Mark Souster
                        @@@@/SPAN></div></div><!- END: Module - M24 Article line with no image -><!- Article Copy module ->
                        <!- 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 ->


                        A crisis meeting of the Six Nations will be held on Friday to deal with the
                        ramifications of the boycott of next season’s Heineken Cup by clubs in
                        England and France. Amid concerns that the world game is being undermined by
                        events of the past week, the IRB will then call a summit of the top 20
                        countries to finalise a strategy to deal with what is being seen as a threat
                        to the future of the sport at the elite level.



                        Jacques Laurans, the chairman of the Six Nations, has asked the chairmen and
                        chief executives of the leading unions in Europe to attend the emergency
                        gathering, to be held in either Dublin or London, after a flurry of activity
                        this week. The RFU is due to liaise tomorrow with the National League first
                        division about the possible inclusion of its clubs in the Heineken Cup next
                        year as a stop-gap measure and the European Rugby Council board will meet on
                        Wednesday.



                        Although the hands of the IRB are tied in terms of how far it can become
                        involved in the business of a member union — for instance, in the RFU’s
                        unending dispute with the Premiership — its feelings are clear. It will not
                        allow a handful of clubs to determine the course of world rugby and the
                        member unions are adamant that they will thwart whatever ambitions the top
                        26 clubs in England and France may have in that direction.



                        There is bewilderment and anger at what the clubs seek to achieve. Few can
                        understand the motives of Serge Blanco, the president of the French league,
                        given the concessions that have been made or offered, while the situation in
                        England appears to be equally perplexing. Is it just about the 50 per cent
                        shareholding in the RFU’s stake in the European Cup, for which many people
                        might have some sympathy, or is that part of loftier ambitions?
                        <!-#include ="m63-article-related-attachements."->


                        The IRB accepts that the clubs are an integral part of the game in England and
                        France, but they cannot be taken in isolation. The IRB is adamant it has a
                        responsibility to foster a strong and healthy game worldwide, not enabling
                        the rich to get richer. “Entrepreneurs cannot hijack the game for their own
                        ends,” an IRB official said.

                        Comment


                          #57


                          <div><div><!- BEGIN: Portrait image -><div><div><div id="dynamic-image-holder"></div><!- Remove following <div-></div></div><!- END: Portrait image -><!- Print Author name from By Line associated with the article ->@@@@SPAN> Mark Souster
                          @@@@/SPAN></div></div><!- END: Module - Module - M24 Article line with portrait image (b) -><!- Article Copy module ->
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                          It started as a local difficulty in France but is threatening to become
                          a conflagration that engulfs the sport. The boycott of the Heineken Cup
                          by English and French clubs prompted Syd Millar, the chairman of the
                          IRB, the game’s ruling body, to enter the fray yesterday with a
                          hard-hitting attack.


                          Millar described the likely demise of the
                          tournament as “absolutely disgraceful” and, with a withering
                          condemnation of the leading 26 English and French clubs, made clear
                          where he believes blame lies. He hinted that the sport collectively
                          would turn against them.


                          “The decision to withdraw from the
                          European Cup has been described as regrettable, unfortunate and
                          shameful,” Millar said. “It is more than that, it is absolutely
                          disgraceful and selfish to destroy a tournament. It will have serious
                          consequences for world rugby.”


                          He rounded on Serge Blanco, the
                          president of the 14-team French league, saying that he was either being
                          naive or a stooge for the Guinness Premiership clubs in what he felt
                          was their efforts to destabilise the European Rugby Cup (ERC) and
                          challenge the way club rugby is governed.
                          <!-#include ="m63-article-related-attachements."->

                          “It
                          is unbelievable that one man should be allowed to bring European rugby
                          to this state,” Millar said. He accused Blanco of meddling in English
                          rugby affairs and criticised the hypocrisy of his demands for respect.


                          “What
                          respect has he shown for those who have worked hard to develop this
                          tournament into the excellent event it has become?” Millar said. “What
                          respect is he showing for other European rugby nations who will suffer
                          financial hardship with a direct consequence for player employment?
                          What respect is there for players who enjoy and want to play in the
                          tournament? What respect is there for supporters? What respect for the
                          sponsors and media? None.”


                          Millar does not believe that every
                          club supported the French league’s withdrawal and urged those who did
                          not to speak out. Then he turned his fire on the English Premiership.
                          The clubs insist that they only want to be equal partners and
                          shareholders with the RFU in what is a club-based tournament. If the
                          RFU agreed, the dispute, they say, would be over. Millar is unconvinced.


                          “Some
                          now suggest a new ERC championship,” he said. “We don’t need a new one.
                          We have one. What next, a new Six Nations run by the Premiership clubs?”


                          Millar
                          said that the 12 club owners acted only in self-interest and not for
                          the greater good of the game. As entrepreneurs, they were not used to
                          deferring to anyone. But he hoped that the clubs would reconsider their
                          decision and have the courage to do so, with the IRB available to
                          facilitate a solution.


                          He confirmed that a meeting of Europe’s
                          leading unions would take place this week, probably on Thursday, and
                          insisted that there is time to negotiate a way through the impasse. In
                          the event of failure, however, he was unequivocal.


                          [i][i]“The rugby

                          Comment


                            #58
                            <h1 ="ing">Wray happy to discuss peace terms in Heineken Cup row</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 ="article-author"><!- Print Author name from By Line associated with the article ->@@@@SPAN ="small">@@@@/SPAN>@@@@SPAN ="byline"> David Hands, Rugby Correspondent
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                            Amid the echoing accusations of plot and counterplot to which rugby’s
                            administrators descend more frequently than they should, Nigel Wray,
                            the Saracens chairman, struck a quiet blow for common sense yesterday.
                            Having watched his club come close to victory over London Wasps on
                            Sunday, Wray was spending the rest of the Easter weekend in Biarritz
                            and reflecting on the future of European competition.

                            “There are
                            so many Reds under the bed, according to some people,” Wray said. “I
                            don’t think there are any. We [the Guinness Premiership clubs] are
                            commercial organisations, we want to get about our business in the
                            normal way, and our business includes a strong England. Do we want to
                            control the international game? God, no. We want to enjoy the
                            international game.”

                            Wray’s financial support of Saracens goes
                            back more than ten years, to the early days of professionalism when the
                            RFU was so involved with its own backbiting that the clubs were left to
                            pick up the pieces. He has been involved with Premier Rugby Ltd’s
                            negotiating team since November and believes that the deal contemplated
                            in January gave the RFU more than they dreamt of with regard to
                            player-release.

                            “I don’t think we are a million miles off doing a
                            deal,” he said after last week’s boycott of the Heineken Cup — the
                            competition to which Saracens aspire — by the leading English and
                            French clubs. “But people are getting bogged down by the detail. That
                            doesn’t matter if we get the bigger picture right.<!-#include ="m63-article-related-attachements."->

                            “All
                            we are is a series of small entrepreneurial businesses trying to ply
                            our trade. We want to support England, that sells the game, enthuses
                            the kids. But it has to be a nonsense that the English clubs do not
                            have a say in the [European] competition, that’s a basic freedom.

                            “If
                            we could stop arguing and concentrate on marketing a great game, maybe
                            we could make inroads into the fact that rugby’s TV income is 1 per
                            cent of what football’s TV income is. There’s an enormous peace
                            dividend here, which both sides must grasp, but we don’t need
                            Elastoplast, we need to sort this out once and for all.

                            “Could
                            the English and French clubs set up their own competition? I don’t see
                            anything in law that can stop you competing. Would we want to do that?
                            No, it’s a better competition with the Irish, Welsh, Scots and
                            Italians. Do we want to screw Scottish rugby? No, we want international
                            competition to be strong.”<!- End of paginati&#111;n ->

                            Comment


                              #59
                              and then............



                              <div ="line">
                              Millar attacks clubs over boycott
                              </div>












                              The chairman of the International Rugby Board, Dr Syd Millar, has
                              attacked the Anglo-French clubs' Heineken Cup boycott as "absolutely
                              disgraceful".






                              In a
                              powerfully-worded statement, Dr Millar said the clubs' "selfish"
                              attitude would not be allowed to "dictate the course of world rugby".






                              He also said French clubs chief Serge Blanco was "naive" in his own role.











                              "It is unbelievable that one man should be allowed to bring European rugby to this state," Dr Millar said.









                              <div ="bo">






                              England's Premiership clubs joined the French National League (LNR),
                              the umbrella organisation of the top two divisions in France, last
                              Thursday in pulling out of next season's Heineken and European
                              Challenge Cups.

                              Blanco, the LNR chairman, blamed the English Rugby
                              Football Union's refusal to hand 50% of its shareholding and voting
                              rights in European Rugby Cup Ltd, the tournament's organisers, to the
                              English clubs.

                              But Dr Millar insists there is still time to reach a
                              workable solution on the Heineken Cup's future, with the IRB hosting a
                              meeting of the six affected unions following an ERC council meeting on
                              Wednesday.




                              </div>





                              <div ="i">



                              <table>



                              <t><tr>



                              <td width="5">




                              </td>



                              <td ="fact">



                              <!-Smva->







                              I can only assume that Serge Blanco is being very badly advised or he is being naïve












                              <!-Emva->



                              <!-Smva->



                              <!-Smva->



                              Dr Syd Millar



                              <!-Emva->



                              <!-Emva->



                              </td>



                              </tr>



                              </t></table>









                              </div>

                              <div ="bo">
                              "The decision by the French and English clubs to withdraw from the
                              European Rugby Cup has been described as regrettable, unfortunate and
                              shameful," Millar said in his statement.

                              "It is more than that. It is absolutely disgraceful and
                              selfish to destroy a tournament which has developed into a hugely
                              successful and special annual rugby event that is vital to the well
                              being of European rugby.






                              "It will have serious consequences for world rugby.











                              "This decision is not about fixing match schedule congestion in France as was first suggested.











                              "Indeed it is difficult for the average rugby supporter to understand why Serge Blanco has withdrawn the French clubs.







                              "The IRB made the concession of allowing the French rugby Premiership
                              (LNR) to play matches during the Rugby World Cup to alleviate match
                              congestion in the 2007/08 season.






                              "He talks now for support for the English Premiership clubs, he talks of respect.







                              "What respect has he shown for those who have worked hard to develop
                              this tournament into the excellent event that it has become?




                              </div>





                              <di

                              Comment


                                #60
                                and then (even !)..............

                                <div ="line">
                                Davies rebuffs Millar 'tantrum'
                                </div>












                                Wasps chief David Davies has belittled a statement by International
                                Rugby Board chairman Dr Syd Millar, describing it as a "tantrum".






                                Millar attacked a
                                planned Anglo-French boycott of the Heineken Cup, but Davies said the
                                comments were "not becoming of somebody in Syd's position".






                                "I don't think this is the time to respond to an angry outburst. It is the time for negotiations," said Davies.











                                Davies also said he felt there would be European competition next year.









                                <div ="bo">






                                "I think it will be a competition with all six Northern Hemisphere
                                countries involved and I think it will have the backing of the IRB,"
                                Davies told BBC Five Live.




                                </div>





                                <div ="i">



                                <table>



                                <t><tr>



                                <td width="5">




                                </td>



                                <td ="fact">



                                <div ="sihf">




                                606: DEBATE




                                </div>



                                <!-Sibqlinks->


























                                <div ="i">



                                </div></td>



                                </tr>



                                </t></table>









                                </div>

                                <div ="bo">






                                England's Premiership clubs joined the French National League (LNR),
                                the umbrella organisation of the top two divisions in France, last
                                Thursday in pulling out of next season's Heineken and European
                                Challenge Cups.






                                Millar said it was a "disgraceful" decision and one that showed "no respect" to the other European rugby unions.











                                But Davies rejected Millar's claims that the English and French clubs were being selfish for boycotting the competition.







                                "We have thought of other people and there comes a point in time where
                                one has to recognise that those other people have agreed with the
                                stance that we took," he said.






                                "Had we been at loggerheads with the French, Welsh, Italian and Irish unions, I could agree with some of Syd's comments.







                                "Given that the other unions agreed with the negotiated agreement that
                                we came up with in October. It's rich for anyone to criticise us for
                                holding our own union to account.

                                "This is just a tantrum from one of the grandfathers
                                of the game and I think we all need to take a deep breath and discuss
                                this behind closed doors." </div>



                                Story from BBC SPORT:

                                http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/spo...ugby_union/653 9833.stm



                                Published: 2007/04/09 19:45:28 GMT



                                © BBC MMVII

                                Comment

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