English clubs confirm exit from Heineken Cup
December 5, 2013
England's clubs will be missing from next season's Heineken Cup after confirming that they will not participate in that or any competition run by ERC. The decision leaves them isolated clubs from France, who had been the other driving force behind the breakaway Champions Cup, decided last week to stay with the existing competition in 2014-15.
The 14 Premiership shareholder clubs, which includes Championship sides Bristol and Leeds, ,met on Thursday to discuss the decision by their French counterparts, at the end of which Premiership Rugby announced it was now "pursuing other options".
Mark McCafferty, Premiership Rugby chief executive, said: "There were no dissenting voices" adding: "The clubs in any case will be better off in 2014-2015 than they are in 2013-14 even without European competition so it is not an issue for the clubs.
"The clubs are very clear. We went over the various issues but it doesn't change their perspective at all. Hopefully all can see that our position has been consistent since June 2012."
"ERC does not structurally recognise the role of the leagues and clubs in driving the success of club competitions, under the overall governance of Unions," a statement released by Premiership Rugby read. "The ERC voting structure is controlled by Unions even though the majority of commercial value is created by the independent clubs which represent 75% of the participants.
"Proposals put forward to address a new structure within a Rugby Champions Cup were agreed by a majority of the unions in October, alongside meritocratic competition formats and equitable financial distributions. However, these have not been accepted by all.
"The English clubs have worked exhaustively over the last 18 months to propose solutions to the issues with the current European competitions and to provide a sustainable platform to grow the game in the various countries.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
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