Euro Rugby revamp blocked by Celtic Unions - Rugby News Update
Major efforts which are being made by the French and the English unions in order to alter the foundations of how European competitions are arranged; however, the Celtic nations are strictly opposing any changes.
Two of the biggest rugby unions, Premiership Rugby, which is the head of England’s major rugby clubs and its governing body, along with the French Rugby Union, the Ligue Nationale de Rugby, have made clear statements that
they will boycott both the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup if the Celtic nations refuse to alter the way European rugby tournaments are organized in the coming two years.
On the other hand, the Rugby Paper reported ex ERC Director Martyn Thomas saying, "The Celtic Unions have made a pact that this time they will not roll over in the face of any threats."
Both the English and French rugby unions have refused to accept the propositions made, which include a reduction in the total number of clubs in the Heineken Cup. The total number of teams being reduced is 4, which means there will only be 20 teams participating
in order to qualify to advance in the tournament.
Martyn Thomas, in regards of this issue, explains that if the Celtic Unions stick to their statements in a time like this, then the French and the English clubs will not have a choice but to back away and go with the flow.
The ex ERC director continued, "It's all about brinkmanship. The top English and French clubs are power crazy. They are driven by a joint belief that they are the people who command the most money from television for live coverage. That rather flies in the
face of the fact that five of the last six teams represented in the last three finals did not come from England. Despite that, they have no regard for the revenue generated by Welsh, Irish and Scottish teams."
All in all, the structure and the formalities of both the competitions have gone under initial review under the authority of the European Rugby Cup Ltd. And at this stage it is believed by Thomas, that any changes or demands made may be disregarded.