The first European Champions Cup will not have all its major sponsors when it begins next month according to Mark McCafferty.
The first edition of the European Champions Cup will not have all its major sponsors when it begins next month according to Mark McCafferty.
The chief executive of Premiership Rugby played a leading role in setting up the new competition, which will replace the Heineken Cup.
However he explained that the primary focus of the new governing body, European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), was to sort out the television revenue which is expected to rise by 60 percent from last season.
Due to the lengthy dispute EPCR has not been able to complete all five main partner deals as yet, and McCafferty has revealed that they will not all be in place by October 17 when the competition kicks off.
However the governing body are not worried about the sponsorship issues, with the television deal the most important factor for them.
“The highest value priority for the new tournaments has been the TV deals,” McCafferty told Press Association Sport.
“These will now generate more than â‚¬220 million over the next four years which will be about â‚¬55 million per annum and a 60 percent increase.
“This now gives EPCR a very strong platform from which to bring in the partner sponsors.
“Not all will be on board by this season's tournament launch, but it is essential to the vision for EPCR that it partners with multinational brands which share its long-term vision for the success of European club rugby.”
Having been known as the Heineken Cup for 19 years, the new competition will have no title sponsor, instead working with five official partners.
While these partnerships have not yet been ratified, the television deal with BT and Sky Sports is expected to cover the costs of the competition this season, with a French television deal with BeIN Sports also close to being signed.
Harlequins and Castres will kick off the new competition at the Stoop on October 17.