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Saturday 23 August 2014

RFU chief outlines plans to save Heineken Cup for all

Published 10/12/2013 | 21:02

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Glasgow Warriors will take on defending champions Toulon in October
The Heineken Cup

Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie is confident the Heineken Cup can be saved.

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He believes the obstacles preventing an agreement being reached are framework, voting on commercial rights and broadcasting rights.

Here he outlines his view on each.

FRAMEWORK

"This issue is still clearly a problem. The options of European Rugby Cup, the Six Nations or a new body have been discussed at various times.

"We believe the Six Nations option was a perfectly acceptable solution to the problem. Many of us felt it was a good solution, if the French felt it wasn't, we must address that.

"ERC was actually born out of the Six Nations to develop a club competition. ERC and Six Nations shareholding are exactly the same."

COMMERCIAL RIGHTS

"What had been discussed in detail was that the RaboDirect PRO12 teams would get a protected financial distribution for five years of a minimum of £16.77million per annum, rising to £20.12million if the revenue raised from the tournament climbed above £50.3million.

"If you want that protected with a guarantee that is underwritten by the English and French, you can't take that guarantee and then say you want a majority say on how the rights are controlled.

"Either you split the commercial rights three ways or you take the guarantee."

BROADCASTING RIGHTS SKY v BT SPORT

"You can't resolve the broadcasting situation until you can say here's the product.

"Let's focus on getting our act together, finalise the competition and then address the situation with the broadcaster.

"If we don't resolve the broadcast situation, (it will be) because nobody will have the perfect solution."

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