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English clubs "pursuing other options"

05th December 2013 18:48

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HEINEKEN CUP TROPHY TWICKENHAM 2011

Minus England: Heineken Cup

Representatives from the twelve Aviva Premiership clubs have on Thursday confirmed they won't take part in next season's Heineken Cup.

The dozen representatives met in London after last week's dramatic decision by the Top 14 sides to pull out of the proposed Anglo-French breakaway Rugby Champions Cup following pressure from the French Rugby Federation.

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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