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From a purely English point of view, as far as i'm concerned this day and age clubs should be in a purely English leauge ( like the current Guiness Premiership - no European Rugby ) or else each country should bit the bullitt and go for something like a European Top 40 Championship with no domestic competitions for those involved. Run it along the lines of 4 tables of 10 teams, play each other home and away, plays offs and finals to decide winners.
Posted 17:20 25th August 2012
One of the big problems in all this debate, at least from the French establishment POV (not neccassarily fans, me included) is that a genuine Eur cup needs French participation more than France needs the HC.
Financially and in terms of feeding a national set up, France would always be served just fine with an increase of the t14 to a t16 with the already agreed player qoutas coming in next year onwards too. Domestic attendances are strong, revenue generation also.
This would probably also be the case for the English prem too. Both domestic products are more than strong enough to be with out a Eur level competition and the TV revenue this accumulates.
If both did decide to go, they will survive and if neccassary restructure their respective league formats if required to ensure national sides remain strong. Basically, club competition is very strong and established in these two respective countries in their own right and will not dissapear.
What would happen to the 4 participating Unions in the Pro12? If the extra revenue went?, if players were then offerred lucrative contacts in Eng and Fra as may happen, how would the provinces/clubs survive with a huge loss of earnings and the potential player drain, and continuing poor domestic attendences? (Ire aside of course). Would the Italians be obliged to leave? would the Scots fold? etc etc, I couldn't see the pro12 continuing as is.
I am not posting this as a prophet of doom I love the HC and would be gutted if we and the Eng walked away from it and did something different. But from the Celtic point of view what would be the long term permatations?? I would be greatful for the Celtic thoughts, seriously how would the dissolution of Eur rugby as we know it affect provincial/club and the national Union set ups for you gents?
Posted 16:22 25th August 2012
7ton - I wouldn't want a world cup with just 4 teams in it no, but I also wouldn't want a world cup where teams who didn't qualify are given a place!! The Anglo-French point on competition stems from the competition to qualify for the HC in their respective leagues not from the quantity of competition! Personally I'd like to see a compromise on this, perhaps with a merit qualification in Pro12 plus one place rotated between Pro12 nations each season on an alternate basis guaranteeing each country a place at least once every 4 years.
Posted 13:11 25th August 2012
7ton - I see your point but I'm assuming (if everyone's toys can't be put back in respective cots) that the Celtic nations and Italy wouldn't proceed with a European tournament without England and France because it would duplicate the Pro12, it would seem silly to play each other again wouldn't it? Therefore the meeting of the best teams from England/France would be the sole "European" competition unless anyone wishes to argue the winers of Pro12 also be crowned European Champions?
Of course the crown would be cheap without representation from other European nations but that was my logic ...
Posted 12:13 25th August 2012
As the French and English clubs have more players and teams they will always have more competition amongst themselves.
In theory this should be a good thing as it should breed better and more competitive players.
However if they do have a problem with player burn-out then that is something they have to deal with themselves. They could possibly reduce the teams in their top leagues and split them up. However as the English premiership guy Mark McCafferty says in the previous article he wouldn't want to damage the Aviva comp. as it generates so much money. That's fair enough but the simple fact is you can't have your cake and eat it. It's an issue for them to solve and not to try and impose burn-out on other teams.
The Welsh clubs have financial problems which is something they have to deal with and they couldn't start demanding other teams have to have less money.
The French and English teams have the advantage of more players/teams and more money. They already get to have more teams in the HC.
The European cup is what it says a European competition and it has to have a good representation from all the 6n countries to give it validity. Decreasing the proportion of teams from certain countries would de-value it.
Would we want a World cup with just the 4 top teams in it?
Posted 11:44 25th August 2012
How could you crown a team "European champions from a Anglo French Cup???"
Posted 11:10 25th August 2012
@ liam2me - hopefully your bigoted attitude is not reflected in the negotiation strategy of the Celtic nations otherwise the HC will be doomed and future european chapions will be crowned in an Anglo-French cup!!!! Diplomatic or not the English stance has been clear for sometime, mirrored by the French both of whom believe they are handicapped because the majority of Celtic league sides appear to use their league as a preparation for the HC whilst Anglo/French sides have to slog it out every week to try and qualify (further compounded by the rather stupid ranking system which last season put three former winners in the same group whilst lowly ranked Pro12 sides had easier groups). How much better would it be if the Pro12 sides had to compete for their places instead of being gifted?
Hopefully a compromise can be found, it normally does following these soap opera affairs lets hope anyway! And if you wan to look at bullying look no further than the Celtic countries stance over 6ns TV revenue split - they threatened to boot England out of the competition if they didn't get their "unfair" share whilst remarkably NOT taking the same stance with either France or Italy, funny that ....
Posted 04:28 25th August 2012
Well let the English and French leave I have no problem with it. Look they start running when teams get tougher than them. I respect a lot of French and English teams but there giving us a choice. That four teams are going to loose out on Heineken cup rugby and they are sour because they have to qualify. I understand so as a compromise. They should cut their leagues to em six teams each! That means auto qualification for them.( I know they wont I am just been sarcastic). Why should each Celtic country's have to qualify since England and France agree guaranteed six places? Why don't they worry about their own leagues and keep their nose out of the Rabo. Because last I checked the Celtic league has the title five out of the last seven years. I know that if I was at the negotiations table. I would humbly inform them both to F**K OFF. Why should the Celtic teams and the Italians have to suffer because of the Anglo-French club teams have no idea how to rotate their squads?
Posted 00:11 25th August 2012
I hope the ERC hold's out, they'll back down once they realise they wont be in a competition in 2015. Those teams cannot afford to lose those fixtures, especially the English clubs.
Posted 22:37 24th August 2012
They do need to sort this out as a European Cup without any of the current participating countries would be a disaster. It's a good step above the national leagues and needs to be continued. An Anglo French Cup doesn't have the same ring to it and lets face it, there's nothing the other countries like more than beating an English side. Reminds me of a comment when I was leaving Murrayfield after France had beaten Scotland. One Scot said to another "Pity that, but in the big match the Welsh beat the English!!" I wouldn't bother going to Anglo French or a Celtic Cup match, where's the interest.
Posted 16:50 24th August 2012
He seems a bit more diplomatic than the English who just throw their toys out of the pram until everyone gives them what they want, ie a guaranteed English team, of premier rugby's choosing, in the final and that should an Irish team make it through on the other side, they must play their development XV and start with a 20 point handicap. Should the English side still be losing (a real possibility) at the end of 66 mins, the Irish side must then lose a player a minute for the next 14 minutes until at 80 mins, they only have 1 player on the field, he must be wheelchair bound and over the age of 65.
Posted 15:33 24th August 2012
Bring on the Anglo - French cup.
Posted 15:31 24th August 2012
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