RFU hopes to salvage Europe situation
December 14, 2013
English clubs may have been handed a lifeline for next season with discussions taking place to create a European Cup under new management, according to reports.
The proposed Heineken Cup replacement would be run by the Six Nations Committee instead of European Rugby Cup (ERC). According to BBC Sport, the new competition would involve teams from all six major European nations.
The Premiership clubs have repeatedly insisted they will not play in any ERC-run competition next season - which includes both the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup. The RFU is reportedly leading the latest discussions and only the French Rugby Federation is disputing the newly suggested plan.
The FFR is keen on installing a UEFA-style body to run European rugby but RFU CEO Ian Ritchie is wary of rushing change.
"The Heineken Cup issue is complex enough without tying it into a larger discussion about the organisation of European rugby," RFU CEO Ian Ritchie told the Observer. "I believe in the doable and I think there is the capability of resolving the future of a club tournament now and the prospect of a temporary, one-year solution seems tricky.
"We have agreed on a lot, including the financials with built-in protection for the Rabo unions, who would have a guaranteed position for five years. Given that, it is not unreasonable to think about who has control of commercial activities."
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