independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

English clubs decide against taking part in Heineken Cup next year

Mark McCafferty, CEO of Premiership Rugby

England's clubs will be missing from next season's Heineken Cup after confirming that they will not participate in any competition run by European Rugby Cup.

Owners and chief executives from all 12 Aviva Premiership teams met on Thursday to discuss the decision by their French counterparts to abandon the breakaway Rugby Champions Cup.

Under pressure from its union, Ligue Nationale de Rugby - representing the Top 14 - last week committed to the ERC-run format announced by the unions for the 2014-15 season.

Premiership Rugby announced tonight it is now "pursuing other options".

"ERC does not structurally recognise the role of the leagues and clubs in driving the success of club competitions, under the overall governance of Unions," a statement released by Premiership Rugby read.

"The ERC voting structure is controlled by Unions even though the majority of commercial value is created by the independent clubs which represent 75 per cent of the participants.

"Proposals put forward to address a new structure within a Rugby Champions Cup were agreed by a majority of the unions in October, alongside meritocratic competition formats and equitable financial distributions. However, these have not been accepted by all.

"The English clubs have worked exhaustively over the last 18 months to propose solutions to the issues with the current European competitions and to provide a sustainable platform to grow the game in the various countries.

"The English clubs are now pursuing other options."

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