new French Top 14 president Paul Goze is in no doubt that "all parties will be able to agree before the deadline to ensure that after 2014 the Heineken Cup will continue to be one of rugby's forces".
It's possibly the most optimistic quote of the year, but Goze is adamant, adding: "The positions are on the table. In all negotiations there can be small alterations that can unblock the situation."
Oh we of little faith. The French head honcho did acknowledge that "everybody in European rugby – the Scottish, Irish, Welsh, English, Italians and us (French) – need the European Cup".
However, rather than the "small alterations" to which Goze refers, I suggest that any compromise in this saga will come from the collective fear of killing off the golden goose.
That could, eventually, take us towards a resolution before the dreaded deadline is reached.