Premiership Rugby are threatening to continue with their league programme throughout the World Cup in 2015, despite rugby’s showpiece event taking place at Premiership grounds across the country, according to a report in The Rugby Paper.
Premiership Rugby are reportedly upset with the RFU after they weren’t consulted over the bid for the World Cup. The Premiership will have to take a break in September and October, and coming straight after the off season, it means clubs would face a five month period without any match day income.
Each club is set to lose £1.2 million, it is claimed, and a compensation package of £14 million from the RFU has been sought. The union has yet to agree to their demands, however, instead offering £6 million on the condition that players are released for further home Tests. More money will then follow as part of the agreement, which is up for renewal in 2016.
Leicester Tigers chief executive Simon Cohen was outspoken when quizzed on the matter.
“Until suitable compensation is agreed we should look to play through the World Cup,” said Cohen. “There are ongoing talks between Premiership Rugby and the RFU, but the World Cup was an agreement between the IRB and RFU to which we weren’t a party, so to simply expect us to close down our businesses is simply not acceptable.
“It’s like going back to the bad old days of serfdom and everybody is extremely angry that this agreement was entered into with an expectation that we would shut down. So if there isn’t going to be adequate compensation, we should play through.”
An agreement between the RFU and IRB states that no elite club rugby will be played during the World Cup, however.
“That’s not our problem because both of them entered into an agreement without consulting us in any way, shape or form,” added Cohen. “Why should Leicester as a club be concerned about that?
“Presumably the Premiership playing through the World Cup would be a breach of the IRB regulations, but those regulations are almost certainly a restraint of trade and therefore probably unenforceable.”
What do you think? Do you think a compromise will be reached?
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