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2015 Rugby World Cup
Talks between RFU and Premiership 'productive'
ESPN Staff
August 28, 2014
Premiership Rugby chairman Quentin Smith, Premiership Rugby briefing, Copthorne Hotel, Auckland, October 14, 2011
Quentin Smith insists talks have been 'productive' © Getty Images

The head of Premier Rugby said he believes a solution to the row between Premiership clubs and the RFU over losses resulting from the scheduling of the 2015 Rugby World Cup is not far off.

The Premiership clubs have threatened to continue playing through the tournament if they are not compensated for lost income from ticketing sales, sponsorship, hospitality and broadcasting. The RFU is believed to have offered around £6 million while the clubs are seeking nearer £14 million.

Speaking at the launch of the 2014-15 Premiership season, Quentin Smith, the Premier Rugby chairman, said the switch of the start date for the Rugby World Cup from September 4, 2015 to September 18 had exacerbated the situation.

"There is an issue that has arisen as a consequence of the World Cup disrupting the normal season for Premiership rugby. Anybody who has a business that is prevented from trading is going to suffer a loss. There is not a penny of profit in this. It's about covering losses."

He downplayed some of the more colourful comments made by a few Premiership chairmen and insisted that talks with the RFU had been "productive".

"The dialogue has not got a timeline on it but it is at a very advanced stage," he said. "Of course, until we resolve it, our clubs are going to be upset. But this is not a hostile negotiation. There is no reason for talks to collapse. There has been a recognition that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. We are looking for a swift outcome.

"It would be really disappointing if we couldn't work through this."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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