Rebel clubs aim to buy peace

 

England’s Premiership clubs will attempt to buy the
favour of their Celtic and continental counterparts in Dublin on Tuesday in a
bid to settle the row over control of European competitions.

Premiership Rugby (PRL) want more money from, and influence in, European club affairs and have long argued they are better placed to negotiate commercial contracts than the national unions who have a majority on the European Rugby Cup Ltd (ERC) Board running the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup.

Chief executive Mark McCafferty and chairman Peter Wheeler of Leicester intend to make PRL’s point at Tuesday’s meeting of ERC stakeholders by offering to throw a big part of the £152m from their new deal with BT into the European pot. A PRL source promised the offer would be a “significant uplift” on ERC’s current TV deal with Sky in the UK and Ireland believed to be worth £62m over the four years until 2014.

PRL announced last Wednesday they had sold BT the UK broadcast rights to English clubs’ matches in the Aviva Premiership for four years from next season and in “any future European competitions” for three years from 2014 when the current ERC accord ends.

BT would want to broadcast the whole European tournament, not just English clubs’ matches.

The extra money might interest the hard-up Welsh regions but it would require ERC – the unions and clubs of England, France, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy – to abandon the collective bargaining that has underpinned the Heineken Cup since it began in 1995.

ERC insist PRL was party to the agreement also announced on Wednesday for Sky to renew their European coverage for four years from 2014, at an increased fee of around £72m, but that was denied by one leading English club source yesterday.

Had PRL’s proposed 20-team format for the top-tier European competition been in operation this season the two Italian teams, Edinburgh and Connacht would have missed out on playing in the Heineken Cup.

PRL also propose a new third-tier competition for developing nations to qualify for the tier above. Former Premiership chief executive Howard Thomas, now working for the Rugby Union of Russia, has paved the way for the Russian champions to take part.

News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
News
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn