IRFU boss blasts English clubs

Date published: July 20 2013

IRFU CEO Philip Browne believes English clubs are to blame for the 'misinformation' circulating around the future of European rugby.

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne believes English clubs are largely to blame for the 'misinformation' in circulation regarding the negotiations around the future structure of European competitions.

Browne's comments come in the wake of the news that the Irish Rugby Football Union is facing a deficit of €26 million on projected revenue figures and will now have to borrow money to fund the professional game over the next six years.

Irish rugby's income is also likely to drop in the new era of European club rugby.

“I think there is a fair degree of misinformation floating around in the media in relation to this,” Browne told the Irish Times.”

“I think there is some pretty errant nonsense in the media – I presume it comes from the English clubs – suggesting ERC aren't entitled to centrally sell the rights for future competitions.

“That's nonsense as it has been done in the past. How else do you secure your future but by selling your rights?

“It is also strange that they take that view when they also have a shareholder on the board and were present when that decision was rightly taken.

“It is also bizarre that Premier Rugby Ltd (English) castigated ERC for selling the rights centrally then went off and sold the rights to all matches involving English teams in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland to BT Vision without any reference to the Irish union, Scottish union, Welsh union or, I think, to the English union.”