Unions agree new European format

Date published: October 24 2013

A two-day meeting between the six European Rugby Unions, but not with Premiership Rugby or the LNR, has ended in two key agreements.

A two-day meeting between the six European Rugby Unions, but not with Premiership Rugby or the LNR, has ended in two key agreements.

The new 20-team premier competition proposed by the ERC fits with the original demands of the Anglo-French breakaway tournament regarding format and revenue.

Where the problem now lies is regarding governance, with the leagues wanting full control of any new European competition rather than it being run by the Unions.

“Progress has been made on a number of issues relating to the future of European club rugby competition,” read a statement from independent mediators Graeme Mew and Stephen Drymer.

“The meeting concluded with consensus among those present on two key principles of competition format and distribution of revenues, and with agreement to meet again very shortly.

Competitions Format

“There is consensus that there should continue to be two professional European club rugby tournaments, with each tournament consisting of 20 clubs. A third tier European tournament should also be considered.

“The Primary Competition would be made up of 20 clubs, with six each from PRL and the LNR, and seven from the Pro12 tournament.

“The clubs would come through meritocratic qualification from their respective leagues. In the case of the Pro12, there will be at least one club guaranteed from each country.

“In year one, the 20th place would be allocated through a play-off match between the 7th placed PRL and LNR clubs.

“For the following years, the 20th club would qualify through play-offs between the 7th placed PRL and LNR clubs and the two next non-qualified Pro12 clubs.

“The winner of the secondary competition would qualify to participate in the play-offs, if not already qualified by right.

“The English and French clubs would have home advantage in the play-offs against the Pro12 clubs.

“The Secondary Competition would consist of up to 20 clubs made up of the remaining 18 PRL, LNR and Pro12 clubs. Two places could be allocated to clubs qualifying from a third competition.

Distribution of Revenues

“There is also consensus that distributable revenues generated through the competitions would be divided one third, one third, one third per league with the stipulation that monies to be received by the Pro12 countries would not be less than the current levels.”

“All parties have now agreed to meet with us again within the next 10 days to discuss the implementation of these principles together with important operational and management issues.”

In attendance were:

Graeme Mew (Mediator), Stephen Drymer (Mediator), Ian Ritchie (RFU), Rob Andrew (RFU), Bill Beaumont (RFU), Pierre Camou (FFR), Michel Palmié (FFR), Olivier Keraudren (FFR), Philip Browne (IRFU), Peter Boyle (IRFU), Fabrizio Gaetaniello (FIR), Andrea Rinaldo (FIR), Nino Sacca (FIR), Mark Dodson (SRU), Ian McLauchlan (SRU), Roger Lewis (WRU), Jean-Pierre Lux (ERC), Derek McGrath (ERC)