The International Rugby Board have had their say on the ongoing Heineken Cup saga, declaring their support for a European competition encompassing all nations.
The English and French are threatening a breakaway tournament if their demands are not met, which other nations could join, but CEO of the IRB Brett Gosper has said all European countries must be part of it.
“Our clear position is we support a full European competition and our desire is it’s a bona fide European competition,” Gosper told RTE Rugby.
“We are urging all parties to get together and find a resolution because we obviously believe it is in the interests of rugby to have a strong European competition. It’s good for the clubs and good for the unions.
“Hopefully they are in a negotiation, some say they are, some say they aren’t, but certainly we believe in a European competition and will support that outcome as much as we can.”
Yesterday’s developments saw the ERC announce the next meeting would take place on October 23rd – over a month away – confusingly contradicting their claims that this is something that must be dealt with as soon as possible.
Today’s meeting of the 12 Premiership clubs will have been dominated by Europe, and they will undoubtedly have discussed why the ERC have delayed the meeting. It is further proof of a frustrating lack of progress in negotiations to save many rugby fans’ favourite tournament.
In the middle of all this are the RFU, who obviously have close relationships with both Premier Rugby and the ERC. How they must be hoping a suitable conclusion is reached and they don’t have to pick a side.
Video courtesy of @RugbyMedia
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images