Club and country stand-off
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:05
Bad old days of serfdom
English Premiership clubs are threatening to play through the World Cup next year unless are compensated over 140 million Pounds.
The Premiership rugby competition is set to be shut down during the two months the World Cup will be on for.
However, the clubs, under the banner of their governing body Premiership Rugby, are putting pressure on the Rugby Football Union to come to the party with cash to cover September and October next year.
Otherwise they are threatening to play while the global showpiece is held.
The RFU and the IRB have formed an agreement to halt any elite rugby being played during the World Cup so that there is no distraction from the CUp
But the clubs believe they could be out of pocket for as much as 10 million Pounds each during the forced break and have tried to work the situation as if it was a restraint of trade situation - requiring compensation.
The Rugby Paper in Britain suggested the RFU are willing to pay 60m Pounds compensation and look to provide more benefits for the 2016 season but that isn't winning favour with the clubs.
Leicester chief executive Simon Cohen spoke to the Rugby Paper as the issue continues to hot up.
"Until suitable compensation is agreed we should look to play through the World Cup," Cohen told the Rugby Paper.
"There are ongoing talks between Premiership Rugby and the RFU, but the World Cup was an agreement between the IRB and RFU to which weren't a party, so to simply expect us to close down our businesses is simply not acceptable.
"It's like going back to the bad old days of serfdom and everybody is extremely angry that this agreement was entered into with an expectation that we would shut down.
"So if there isn't going to be adequate compensation, we should play through."
Cohen has little sympathy towards the deal struck by the RFU and IRB preventing other rugby being held in England during the tournament.
"That's not our problem because both of them entered into an agreement without consulting us in any way, shape or form," added Cohen.
"Why should Leicester as a club be concerned about that?
"Presumably the Premiership playing through the World Cup would be a breach of the IRB regulations, but those regulations are almost certainly a restraint of trade and therefore probably unenforceable."
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