Feud over Heineken Cup 'some way from a resolution'
October 25, 2013
European compromise is still a way off, according to Mark McCafferty © Getty Images
Premier Rugby CEO Mark McCafferty has warned the battle of the future of European rugby is still "some way from a resolution" but what has become apparent is the Rugby Champions Cup will have some element of regulation from the Unions.
Representatives from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14 clubs snubbed this week's meeting of the various Heineken Cup stakeholders in Dublin but those who did attend, with representatives from the six Unions which make up Europe's top tournament present, agreed on compromises over the qualification structure and distribution of revenue.
These were two aspects which the English and French clubs have long held misgivings over and while McCafferty welcomed the compromise, there are still some unanswered questions - that of governance and the broadcast side of the competition.
As things stand, the proposed Rugby Champions Cup is intended to be managed by the three leagues participating - Premiership, Top 14 and RaboDirect PRO12 - in the tournament but McCafferty has revealed the Unions will also have a role to play, though European Rugby Cup Ltd - the body in charge of the Heineken Cup - seems to be redundant.
He told the Guardian: "I think we are still some way from a resolution. I was surprised that the unions issued a statement before considering the other, bigger issues that need to be addressed. The Rugby Champions Cup is a club tournament that will be run by clubs and it will be done so in a far different, leaner and more cost-effective way than ERC.
"ERC is costly to run for a nine-weekend competition. The LNR takes up more than half the year and the Premiership 26 weeks: both leagues are run by clubs under the regulatory guidance of their respective unions.
"It will be the same with the Rugby Champions Cup, where the board will be concerned with commercial issues and tournament organisation working in partnership with the unions who will be responsible for areas like referees, discipline and anti-doping."
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