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The future of European rugby
Row over non-payment of European fees rumbles on
ESPN Staff
February 20, 2014

The payment row over European tournament fees looks set to rumble on after European Rugby Cup Ltd (ERC) - the body in charge of the Heineken Cup - voted to once again delay a decision regarding the release of appearance payments.

The ERC board initially deferred a decision on the late payments clubs are owed in a Dublin meeting on February 5, and followed suit again on Wednesday. Another board meeting has been set for March 11 - but crucially a shareholders' meeting has been called for March 10.

Despite more than three hours of wrangling in Wednesday's reconvened meeting, no tangible progress could be made.

The Welsh Rugby Union has had to bail out the four Welsh regions with emergency loans to ease cash-flow problems after these delayed payments. English club body Premiership Rugby sought legal advice after ERC's first delay, and now consider this decision in breach of the current Heineken Cup agreements, which expire in the summer.

A statement from Premiership Rugby, read: "We believe this is a fundamental breach of both the current accord and the participation agreement, and we will be taking legal advice around that."

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