Heineken Cup no nearer a resolution

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Re: Heineken Cup no nearer a resolution

Post by 1966 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:59 am

"The English clubs, however, remain confident that the leading French clubs, as well as the Welsh regions, who declared their support for the Rugby Champions’ Cup last month, will participate in the new tournament, to be broadcast by BT Sport.
Premiership Rugby is also prepared to legally challenge any move to block clubs from joining the Rugby Champions’ Cup, a position it believes is likely to be strengthened if the respective unions did so while agreeing a new European accord to set up tournaments that would rival it."

I know which of the competitions I would prefer to watch, bring it on.

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Re: Heineken Cup no nearer a resolution

Post by ourla » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:42 am

My reading of all this latest shenanigans is that it looks like the French clubs may flip back into line behind their union. If this happens, maybe even if not, I can see the Welsh regions doing the same. Unless the Champions Cup is much further down the road than it seems. With the unions and the IRB fighting in unison it's going to be tough for the PL to fight. Without the French clubs there are in a corner getting a slapping. Could be a major face-saving exercise about to take place. If the French and Welsh clubs hold firm and side with the English it could still happen. Not sure I am getting those vibes though. An Irish-Scottish-Italian compy will be a non-starter.
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Re: Heineken Cup no nearer a resolution

Post by TTRITH » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:54 am

I think next year there won't be a European competition for English clubs, which could mean that we don't have to play league games during international weeks next season; which could in turn hopefully see a more structured and meaningful development league.
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Re: Heineken Cup no nearer a resolution

Post by biffer » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:05 am

I think there'll be a euro competition without the English. 16 teams split equally between the pro12 and the top14, and an Amlin with four from the pro12, 6 from the t14 plus 6 others. The welsh will go whichever way the winds blowing and at the moment it's veering towards ERC.

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Re: Heineken Cup no nearer a resolution

Post by biffer » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:15 am

Here's another interesting wrinkle. Allegedly George North's contract has a full international release clause, not just for the IRB international windows. PRL has stated that it's the policy of all clubs only to release players during the official IRB window. So what will happen for the fourth AI? Would Northampton releasing North signify a chink in this united front the English teams have been showing? There are some rumours that it's not as united as it's presented to be.

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Re: Heineken Cup no nearer a resolution

Post by snipewatson » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:48 pm

1966 wrote:"The English clubs, however, remain confident that the leading French clubs, as well as the Welsh regions, who declared their support for the Rugby Champions’ Cup last month, will participate in the new tournament, to be broadcast by BT Sport.
Premiership Rugby is also prepared to legally challenge any move to block clubs from joining the Rugby Champions’ Cup, a position it believes is likely to be strengthened if the respective unions did so while agreeing a new European accord to set up tournaments that would rival it."

I know which of the competitions I would prefer to watch, bring it on.
The Welsh regional teams are totally reliant of funding from the WRU. They are semi-autonomous, but ultimately the WRU control them. The regional teams indicated that they were interested in the RCC option (you can inflate that to a declaration of support if you wish), but the WRU quickly came back with a financial package to change their minds. My Welsh contacts tell me that it was simply an opportunist stunt; the regions took advantage of the chaos to rattle the WRU and get a bit more cash. They never had a serious interest in going with the RCC project as they were not in a position to defy their union. They received their bonus and have remained silent since.
So like the French, the Welsh will do what suits them and their agenda. They will not be involved in any breakaway championship.
As for paragraph 2, what grounds do you think there are for a legal challenge?
Clubs from France will opt for the HEC do you really think they are going to claim that their union coerced them into continuing with the ERC?
How do the PRL intend to become involved in an internal French ‘dispute’?
It will take a minimum of 4 years to go to the European Courts, but they will chuck it out as they have a record of giving sporting bodies a lot of latitude in the control of their sports. Check the legislation it’s all there. Try googling ‘Meca-Medina and Majcen’ as a starting point.

I suspect and hope that this situation can be resolved with a new ERC run HEC involving all 6 nations.

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Re: Heineken Cup no nearer a resolution

Post by mol2 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:02 pm

biffer wrote:Here's another interesting wrinkle. Allegedly George North's contract has a full international release clause, not just for the IRB international windows. PRL has stated that it's the policy of all clubs only to release players during the official IRB window. So what will happen for the fourth AI? Would Northampton releasing North signify a chink in this united front the English teams have been showing? There are some rumours that it's not as united as it's presented to be.
If it's agreed in his contract Saints will release him irrespective of the situation regarding the European competitions. Nothing to do with the League any more than if he had a release clause to for the whole of December to help Santa.

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Re: Heineken Cup no nearer a resolution

Post by Cardiff Tig » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:09 pm

mol2 wrote:Nothing to do with the League any more than if he had a release clause to for the whole of December to help Santa.
Definitely getting one of those clauses in my next job!

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Re: Heineken Cup no nearer a resolution

Post by tig1 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:24 pm

ourla wrote:My reading of all this latest shenanigans is that it looks like the French clubs may flip back into line behind their union. If this happens, maybe even if not, I can see the Welsh regions doing the same. Unless the Champions Cup is much further down the road than it seems. With the unions and the IRB fighting in unison it's going to be tough for the PL to fight. Without the French clubs there are in a corner getting a slapping. Could be a major face-saving exercise about to take place. If the French and Welsh clubs hold firm and side with the English it could still happen. Not sure I am getting those vibes though. An Irish-Scottish-Italian compy will be a non-starter.
It is very cultural. France is by the most Socialist of the main European countries. It is not in their nature to strike out privately. Negotiations are almost always about how much more subsidy you can get from government.

England is culturally very diffferent, particularly when you consider the backgrounds of those in the RFU and who run the clubs. They are very conservative.

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Re: Heineken Cup no nearer a resolution

Post by misty » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:38 pm

snipewatson wrote:
1966 wrote:"The English clubs, however, remain confident that the leading French clubs, as well as the Welsh regions, who declared their support for the Rugby Champions’ Cup last month, will participate in the new tournament, to be broadcast by BT Sport.
Premiership Rugby is also prepared to legally challenge any move to block clubs from joining the Rugby Champions’ Cup, a position it believes is likely to be strengthened if the respective unions did so while agreeing a new European accord to set up tournaments that would rival it."

I know which of the competitions I would prefer to watch, bring it on.
The Welsh regional teams are totally reliant of funding from the WRU. They are semi-autonomous, but ultimately the WRU control them. The regional teams indicated that they were interested in the RCC option (you can inflate that to a declaration of support if you wish), but the WRU quickly came back with a financial package to change their minds. My Welsh contacts tell me that it was simply an opportunist stunt; the regions took advantage of the chaos to rattle the WRU and get a bit more cash. They never had a serious interest in going with the RCC project as they were not in a position to defy their union. They received their bonus and have remained silent since.
So like the French, the Welsh will do what suits them and their agenda. They will not be involved in any breakaway championship.
As for paragraph 2, what grounds do you think there are for a legal challenge?
Clubs from France will opt for the HEC do you really think they are going to claim that their union coerced them into continuing with the ERC?
How do the PRL intend to become involved in an internal French ‘dispute’?
It will take a minimum of 4 years to go to the European Courts, but they will chuck it out as they have a record of giving sporting bodies a lot of latitude in the control of their sports. Check the legislation it’s all there. Try googling ‘Meca-Medina and Majcen’ as a starting point.

I suspect and hope that this situation can be resolved with a new ERC run HEC involving all 6 nations.
That is not totally accurate, snipewatson.
The Welsh regions have been offered £1m, split four ways, by the WRU to help secure players. The offer comes with strings attached and thus far has not been accepted by RRW.
RRW and WRU do not see eye to eye. The WRU want greater control over the regions and their international players and RRW is denying them it.
All four Welsh regions have benefactors, so they are not totally reliant on funding from the WRU, but it may be difficult for them to survive without it. They do give back to the WRU in the form of international player release.

As you say though, let's hope something is soon sorted.

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Re: Heineken Cup no nearer a resolution

Post by snipewatson » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:43 pm

tig1 wrote:
ourla wrote:My reading of all this latest shenanigans is that it looks like the French clubs may flip back into line behind their union. If this happens, maybe even if not, I can see the Welsh regions doing the same. Unless the Champions Cup is much further down the road than it seems. With the unions and the IRB fighting in unison it's going to be tough for the PL to fight. Without the French clubs there are in a corner getting a slapping. Could be a major face-saving exercise about to take place. If the French and Welsh clubs hold firm and side with the English it could still happen. Not sure I am getting those vibes though. An Irish-Scottish-Italian compy will be a non-starter.
It is very cultural. France is by the most Socialist of the main European countries. It is not in their nature to strike out privately. Negotiations are almost always about how much more subsidy you can get from government.

England is culturally very diffferent, particularly when you consider the backgrounds of those in the RFU and who run the clubs. They are very conservative.
Of all the major rugby unions, the RFU is the one with least control over their clubs. This has been viewed as RFU weakness by some and as modernising and progressive by others. This is the first time that there has been clash of cultures since 1998 when there was a bit of a skirmish.

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Re: Heineken Cup no nearer a resolution

Post by snipewatson » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:53 pm

misty wrote:
snipewatson wrote:
1966 wrote:"The English clubs, however, remain confident that the leading French clubs, as well as the Welsh regions, who declared their support for the Rugby Champions’ Cup last month, will participate in the new tournament, to be broadcast by BT Sport.
Premiership Rugby is also prepared to legally challenge any move to block clubs from joining the Rugby Champions’ Cup, a position it believes is likely to be strengthened if the respective unions did so while agreeing a new European accord to set up tournaments that would rival it."

I know which of the competitions I would prefer to watch, bring it on.
The Welsh regional teams are totally reliant of funding from the WRU. They are semi-autonomous, but ultimately the WRU control them. The regional teams indicated that they were interested in the RCC option (you can inflate that to a declaration of support if you wish), but the WRU quickly came back with a financial package to change their minds. My Welsh contacts tell me that it was simply an opportunist stunt; the regions took advantage of the chaos to rattle the WRU and get a bit more cash. They never had a serious interest in going with the RCC project as they were not in a position to defy their union. They received their bonus and have remained silent since.
So like the French, the Welsh will do what suits them and their agenda. They will not be involved in any breakaway championship.
As for paragraph 2, what grounds do you think there are for a legal challenge?
Clubs from France will opt for the HEC do you really think they are going to claim that their union coerced them into continuing with the ERC?
How do the PRL intend to become involved in an internal French ‘dispute’?
It will take a minimum of 4 years to go to the European Courts, but they will chuck it out as they have a record of giving sporting bodies a lot of latitude in the control of their sports. Check the legislation it’s all there. Try googling ‘Meca-Medina and Majcen’ as a starting point.

I suspect and hope that this situation can be resolved with a new ERC run HEC involving all 6 nations.
That is not totally accurate, snipewatson.
The Welsh regions have been offered £1m, split four ways, by the WRU to help secure players. The offer comes with strings attached and thus far has not been accepted by RRW.
RRW and WRU do not see eye to eye. The WRU want greater control over the regions and their international players and RRW is denying them it.
All four Welsh regions have benefactors, so they are not totally reliant on funding from the WRU, but it may be difficult for them to survive without it. They do give back to the WRU in the form of international player release.

As you say though, let's hope something is soon sorted.
I know the regions have benefactors, that's why they are semi-autonomous. Some say that the Irish have 'patrons' too. Ultimately the RRW silence is deafening. I’m told that it was simply a move to get £250k each and was easy money as they only had to threaten a rebellion. There is no chance that they could go it alone like the PRL clubs, they simply don’t have the wherewithal to stand alone.
The Welsh situation wasn’t my main point; it was about the PRL threat of legal action.

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Re: Heineken Cup no nearer a resolution

Post by ourla » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:56 pm

If the French clubs bail on the PRL then the English guys will be seriously pee'd of I would imagine. The French chief (can't remember his name) was so adamant. Can they really be bailing out? If they do, then I would imagine relations between the two organisations is going to go through the floor. Unless they were just cohorts in the bluster and never had any intention of going through with it. But then there's the TV deal. Makes my head hurt.
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Re: Heineken Cup no nearer a resolution

Post by jgriffin » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:55 pm

If ERC survive totally intact it will be a triumph of the corrupt flaneurs, fairly typical of these days.
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Re: Heineken Cup no nearer a resolution

Post by Starburst » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:31 pm

mol2 wrote:
biffer wrote:Here's another interesting wrinkle. Allegedly George North's contract has a full international release clause, not just for the IRB international windows. PRL has stated that it's the policy of all clubs only to release players during the official IRB window. So what will happen for the fourth AI? Would Northampton releasing North signify a chink in this united front the English teams have been showing? There are some rumours that it's not as united as it's presented to be.
If it's agreed in his contract Saints will release him irrespective of the situation regarding the European competitions. Nothing to do with the League any more than if he had a release clause to for the whole of December to help Santa.
When Dwayne Peel first signed for Sale he was picked in a Wales squad for the extra autumn international that fell outside of the official window. Sale released him and he duly turned up for duty only to be ordered back to Sale after the PRL informed Sale that they did not have the authority to release their own player for games outside of the official window. This was despite the fact that Sale wanted him to play for Wales. Admittedly he didn't have it written in to his contract but I would still be interested in the PRL's response to Northampton signing contracts that go against their own policy.

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