Planet Rugby

ERC boss slams 'disrespectful' English

23rd September 2013 16:54

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Jean Pierre Lux Chairman of ERC poses with the Heineken Cup

Hitting hard: Jean-Pierre Lux

European Rugby Cup Ltd (ERC) chairman Jean-Pierre Lux has questioned the real motives behind Premiership Rugby's push for a new European club tournament.

In the latest salvo in the public mudslinging match between the ERC, Premiership Rugby, the LNR et al. Lux has accused the leading English and French clubs of a lack of respect in their quest to change the face of European competition.

On Sunday, the Fédération Française de Rugby (FFR) sent out a strongly-worded press release reminding the LNR that no new competition would be legally possible without the backing of the national union, and Lux used the launch of this season's Heineken Cup in Paris on Monday to drive home the message.

"The FFR has now officially reminded the LNR that no international game involving French clubs can take place without the advance permission of the FFR. And the RFU has a similar position regarding Premiership Rugby," said Lux.

"The recent media releases from the LNR and Premiership Rugby lacked respect. In June, the LNR committed to the principle of central marketing for ERC's tournaments which has been the at the heart of European club rugby's commercial success.

"While this process began in 2012, ERC met with the parties during the summer with the exception of Premiership Rugby who refused to engage. They have never entered into negotiations. This impasse is essentially because Premiership Rugby want to renege on a binding commercial deal in favour of their questionable (£152m broadcast rights )TV contract with BT.

"I sincerely hope that people reflect on the current problems. We have another opportunity for everyone to finally engage with the process with the meeting on 23 and 24 October with the IRB-recommended mediator, Graeme Mew. I hope we will be able to reach an agreement .

"It would be disastrous to deprive so many players and fans of the opportunity of participating in such an outstanding tournament."

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