English clubs confirm Euro exile
Fri, 06 Dec 2013 09:31
The English clubs are now pursuing other options
England's Premiership clubs confirmed on Thursday that they would not take part in next season's European Cup.
Representatives of all 12 Premiership clubs met in London following last week's dramatic decision by France's Top 14 sides to pull out of the proposed Anglo-French breakaway Rugby Champions Cup following pressure from the French Rugby Federation (FFR).
Premiership Rugby, the umbrella group for England's leading clubs, has long insisted it will no longer have anything to do with tournaments run by current organisers European Rugby Cup (ERC), who also oversees the second-tier European Challenge Cup, and after Thursday's meeting it said it was 'pursuing other options'.
"ERC does not structurally recognise the role of the leagues and clubs in driving the success of club competitions, under the overall governance of (national) Unions," a statement released by Premiership Rugby said.
"The ERC voting structure is controlled by Unions even though the majority of commercial value is created by the independent clubs which represent 75 percent 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.
"The English clubs are now pursuing other options."
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