or to join or start a new Discussion

Article Rating     Not Rated Yet

European Rugby Issue...

Gents. The die is cast. The pan european game is in serious Jeopardy. All of the Celtic unions, THe Italian and the French FIR have publicly stated their clubs/Provinces Will not be sanctioned to play in tournaments not governed by the IRB.

The new BT deal that the AP people made has also been leaked and there in states that the deal is subject to some extreme requirements. All the extra money that the AP were going to make from the deal is subject first to a new European championship being created and that 4 tier 1 nations must be part of that new competition otherwise the money is drastically reduced to LESS and i repeat less than they had in the original deal with sky.

Furthermore BT require that they actually OWN the new tournament.

The spokespeople from the AP particularly the bigmouth from Bath are shouting at the rest of Europe about how we are doomed to financial ruin if was do not immediately jump on board. This is the last gasp of a drowning animal.

So as it stands the French are saying very little simply following the lead of the English at the moment. But they must be acutely aware that is stupidity as they are expressly forbidden from playing in any International competition without the permission of their Union (FIR: have released a statement saying they will not allow it)
and even more significantly their minister for sport who is reported to be even less likely to grant permission.

So there you have it gents. The French are still playing along with the AP guys, but in reality the "NEW COMPETITION" has only one Party involved.

The Coup d'état is over.

But the fallout is huge!!!
BT still have the rights to the AP. Sky still have the rights to the HC. NO European rugby for the AP clubs for the next 3 years. And worse! Because this constitutes a failure to meet the BT requirements as per the leaked contract, that means the AP teams are in serious financial trouble. BT are certainly not going to give away free cash to keep them afloat and by the time the 3 year exile is over, there are likely to be no star English players playing in English clubs. As they can't be afforded.

Also i want to make it clear that this is disastrous for all of us. I'm not taking a cheap shot at the English lads or their teams. Just the Few suits who blatantly are trying to take control of the european club game and effectively make it private for their own gains. This is disastrous for all of us as it would turn our game into an exact replica of the football premiership.

These people are the sc*um of the earth willing and attempting to destroy our great sport to fill the pockets of a very small few. Losing the English teams means the end of a real pan european game. and thats just a bloody shame. but if the england teams end up in financial difficulties because they signed a contract they couldn't deliver on, well thats a disaster plain and simple and it will take years to recover from it not to mention doing serious damage to the national side of the host country of the next world cup.

posted on 28/9/13

Something will be sorted out in the end, I have no idea what though.

posted on 28/9/13

Hey sporty hows the injury? all good i hope.

Sky won't have any issue continuing without the English. They have done it before remember. Plus sky are in a pitched battle with BT vision and this would be a major win for them. They are being totally quiet during this process and that leads me to believe they know something. Most likely that this new break away group and there plans are a non runner.

That said. The AP boys have signed a contract with BT thats done and dusted as you know. But they are suppose to deliver a new European competition for BT and with BT having the exclusive rights to that competition. But without every other significant union on board that competition is going nowhere fast. Hence the reason the greedy gits are spouting crap in the papers every day that the rest of us will be left in financial ruin if we don't join them. The truth is that thats just smoke and mirrors. They realised its their last play. Megaphone politics. But the rest of the Unions are on to them.

Also.There is a serious and grievous onesided plan regarding the distribution of funds for the teams involved with 33% being offered to england 33% to france and the remaining being practically scraps for the welsh scots italians and irish to distribute.

The simple fact its a very small few in the AP being led by the guy in Bath are trying to take control of the European game and this is not sanctioned by the IRB either. This is the very definition of a hostile takeover. And like you say. Its just a few greedy gits.

Of course we can't lose England. It would be a disaster! Im bloody gutted! It would not be a truly pan european competition without them. But BT and Sky are not going to co operate. The French are not allowed to play in the new competition regardless of seemingly being on board with the AP. They simply have no rights to choose. Their Union is not sanctioning the change and neither is their sporting minister.

Sure a compromise is possible. but it will mean dropping BT and how is that possible? Simple answer is its not possible and we lose English teams in the HC for the duration of the BT deal. The HC will survive but will be a lesser tournament for this reason. There will be a restructure. Maybe the Amlin teams will play more of a part in the HC. I don't know. But the HC will survive for 3 years easily without the English teams. But no one wants that.

posted on 28/9/13

Hey Ding,

Much better thanks mate - physio says I can consider playing next week if it's not too sore still...fingers crossed as I'm itching to get out there!

The European issue really is worrying - I'm all for competition and it's great that two big media players are throwing cash at the game. However I do think it's brought out the ugly side of some of those involved in the upper echelons of club rugby who really should take a moment and remember the ethos of the game.

It's not football - it's not about the money first and foremost no matter how big the prizes and pay have gotten. Guys were playing their hearts out for free a little over 10 years ago so lets not forget what's important.

Is there anything the IRB or Unions can do?

posted on 28/9/13

Regarding the IRB and the unions. Well ye in some countries they can simply refuse to be part of this break away tournament. THe IRB have stated that its not being sanctioned by them so effectively will be private. Italy Ireland Wales and Scotland have all stated their clubs/provinces will not be part of it. Mind you that might have been different had the protagonists at the top not tried to screwover the teams of the celtic cup.

France as i understand it are not even legally allowed to play in this tournament without the permission of their union who have also stated they will not allow it. So regardless of the suits running the french league saying they are on board with the AP guys. Legally they haven't got a leg to stand on.

Regarding the AP guys. The problem is quite a bit more complex. As the deal is done and dusted with BT. But in order for the AP to meet the terms and conditions of the contract they need to get more tier 1 nations to join them.

Again, this could have been possible if they had not been so greedy. Along with the French they thought they had a stranglehold on the rest of Europe and thats just not the case. BT are still a business and they are looking to make money. But they know that and Anglo French tournament is not going to generate the cash moreover the French are as fickle as they come and indeed they put their own league far above the HC in terms of importance. For all but 1 or 2 clubs in France the HC has always been a pain in the backside and a disturbance to their season.

So from a business point of view i guess the Unions have their hands tied. They can't tell other guys how they should conduct their affairs and rightly so. But they can certainly move on and do their own thing for their own best interests. And as it stand the HC is in everybody's best interest but some want it all.

There is also talk of one more option which could be considered by the unions.

Any players playing for teams competing in unsanctioned tournaments could be withdrawn from international selection. It's drastic but doubt it would be effective.

Right now its all in the balance. And indeed we are waiting for the RFU on your end to weigh in with their position. All the other Unions have said no. If the RFU say yes. It is tantamount to drinking petrol and p!$$ing on a fire.

posted on 4/10/13

Bit of an update. The French Union (FFR) have stated that france will be represented in the HC next year and any HC qualified clubs in the top 14 who breakaway to an unsanctioned tournament will be replaced, But French rugby will remain represented in European rugby.

Thats the strongest stance by far from the french. It also should be said that the minister for sports in the government is reported to also be saying not. And apparently he has the final word from a legal stand point.

Its pretty simple maths at this point. Unless the celtic unions suddenly do a uturn and agree to join the new tournament. Mr mcCafferty in the EPL can kiss his takeover bid goodbye.

But it still leaves a major elephant in the room. Sky have the rights to the HC. BT have the rights to the EPL clubs. If BT or the ELP (McCafferty) don't do some sort of a deal with Sky, then there is no way the England clubs can compete in the HC for 3 years.

posted on 4/10/13

The situation as a whole seems to be:

The English clubs strongly want out and the RFU is reasonably happy

The French clubs strongly want out and the FFR wants them in - mildly

The Pro-12 clubs want in, as do their unions

So, where might it go, and where should it go?

I think an Anglo-French tournament could survive, I think a Pro-12 and Top 14 might just survive but might be of little interest in France so I think both the French and English clubs will go because the Frecnh owners are spending a fortune on salaries and need the dosh so I suspect a gallic shrug of the shoulders to the FFR and out they go.

At this point I think most of the Pro-12 clubs will have to go - the Scots and Welsh because Pro-12 attendances are so poor that they have no other choice and Leinster, Munster and Ulster because they want to play the best sides, being right up their themselves.

As to what should happen, well what is it that we shoudl aim for?

To develop the game for all, To ensure everyone can compete freely and equally, To have enjoyable and entertaining rugby would seem like laudable and simple aims, but how best to achieve?

Clearly there are pros and cons to the exisiting structure - the de-facto qualification of Pro-12 clubs, the differing league structures of the Pro-12, Aviva and Top 14, the wage cap in England, the town versus province based structures, the following in England, France, Ireland and perhaps Italy and lack of it in Scotland and Wales. But, its a functioning, exciting, set of tournaments - I think the Amlin is hugely important in the long run, that is well established and very popular.

So the solution - an Amlin type tournament has to stay, and probably should be expanded - possibly into two tournaments to bring in more clubs. I would favour a set of tournaments run by clubs not RFUs as I think they are quicker to adapt to the needs of the game and its audience. Something has to be done to address the greivances of the English and Frecnh without losing the participation of the Pro-12 clubs and equally importantly the likes of Spain, Romania, etc as that is where the game is growing.

Overall, I'm hopeful that a solution that suits all can be found - we'll see I guess

posted on 4/10/13

Well SARS I don't believe a 2 union competition can survive. In fact i'm positive it cannot. Also the EPL deal with BT was subject to a new european competition consisting on no less than 4 tier 1 nations.

Also, you are ignoring the fact that a few greedy suits in the EPL and T14 are actually trying to rest complete control of European rugby away from the Unions The IRB and the ERC. This is not only about who's right or wrong here its about the future and the values of Rugby. The values we all hold dear.

You Yourself lament the day of pontypridd. THis structure will kill off any of our old traditions and replace them with frantic monetization and bloated wages and completely dilute the home grown player pool to be replaced by SH mercenaries.

I only agree on one aspect and that is that the ERC HC must be tweaked in order to satisfy everyone. But regardless of the intention and good will being extended by the ERC in saying that a solution can be found but only if all parties meet. The EPL and T14 reps refuse to meet with the ERC. Pretty childish.

Lastly and still the elephant in the room. The T14 are not allowed to play in the breakaway tournament. It's unsanctioned by every Union. Heavily condemned by their own Union. Unsanctioned by the IRB. Ye the T14 suits are talking talking talking. But they are going nowhere and they know it.

THe whole thing is dead in the water. And the EPL remain locked in a contract with BT.

Not directed at anyone here but there is a growing trend of ignorant fools blaming the Celtic teams for all this. Only 2 of the Celtic tames have one the HC in the past ten years while for most of that period the HC has been dominated by the English and French teams. I find it utterly deplorable and frankly ugly that the Celtic teams are being blamed for a mess which was exclusively created by Mark McCafferty and his utterly greed mentality. If blame for cocking up European rugby needs to be directed, then thats your guy right there.

posted on 22/10/13

The Welsh regions have joined the English and French now it seems.

"Regional Rugby Wales (RRW) on behalf of the four Welsh regions confirms its full support for the proposed new Rugby Champions Cup Competitions.

"Whilst there remain elements of detail to be confirmed, it is now clear that there are a number of significant advantages to the new competitions in equality of governance, format, qualification and distribution across the individual participating clubs.

"Consequently, RRW looks forward to working with the WRU to support their efforts and positive engagement in striving to ensure our teams are involved in strong, valuable European clubs competitions in time for next season."

posted on 24/10/13

Things are sounding a little better and I'm hopeful that something can be done. There's a good BBC article on it I've put in below. I do like their idea of a third level tournament to bring in nations like Russia, Portugal, Georgia and Spain, though that could mean a lot of travel and I'm not sure how that would work for presumably not very cash rice clubs


posted on 25/10/13

Ye SARS i have been following this very closely. The Issue still remains that BT have the rights to the PRL while Sky have ERC games. Nothing can be done for that only and agreement between those 2. BUt financially this is going to cost someone a bag full of cash and it is looking increasingly likely that it will be PRL.

Sign in if you want to comment
Rate Breakdown
0 Votes
0 Votes
0 Votes
0 Votes
0 Votes

Average Rating: 0 from 0 votes

Article RankingNot Ranked
Article ViewsNot Available
Average Time(mins)Not Available
Total Time(mins)Not Available
Article RankingNot Ranked
Article ViewsNot Available
Average Time(mins)Not Available
Total Time(mins)Not Available