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ERC dispute goes on

A MEETING of ERC stakeholders brought about no agreement on the future of European club rugby tournaments.

In what was the fourth meeting of the game's powerbrokers, who are looking to find a solution to the proposed changes to the current set-up by Premiership Rugby, no solution could be found, with further talks now planned for February 6.

Premiership Rugby announced in September it had signed a TV deal with BT which could lead to a new-look European Cup, with both they and their French counterparts stating an intent to end the current contract in 2014.

That has forced the ERC to take stock, but in a statement they said: "The meeting agenda included an evaluation, conducted by ERC, of the merits and the rationale for the proposed changes to the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup, as well as the impact on all stakeholders of any changes to the format and structure of both tournaments.

"While the evaluation provided the basis for discussion, the meeting ended without agreement.

"Jean-Pierre Lux, ERC independent chairman, concluded the proceedings by calling on all parties to take time to reflect on their positions and to consider the collective objectives of the stakeholders."

The structure and format of the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup remain in place until the end of the 2013/14 season.