Sports letter: Bubbles have burst
Wednesday 07 October 1998
What a shame that self-interest has ruined an incredibly exciting and potential mass appeal sporting event - I refer, of course, to the European rugby cup.
Last year the battle between the best of England and France - Bath versus Brive - produced drama, exposure and patriotic fervour in equal measure. Surely, it was just what the money men behind the top English clubs wanted.
Rugby has never been, and will never be, as high-profile as soccer, but this competition certainly raised awareness of the sport and was promising to bring crowds flooding through the turnstiles.
Unfortunately, the intransigent club bosses have killed the goose that was capable of incubating the golden egg - and, whatever else follows, I wonder whether it will have the same impact or recover the same impetus.
What we, the rugby-loving public, are left with is a shadow competition and a few domestic squabbles in the Allied Dunbar League. To be honest, having tasted champagne, who wants to go back to plain old fizzy plonk?
Latest in Sport
Leicester City 5 Manchester United 3: Mario Balotelli and Gary Lineker lead the trolling of United
Police probe Mario Balotelli racist abuse as Kick It Out voice their displeasure
Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
Manchester City vs Chelsea match report: Frank Lampard shows no joy after denying Chelsea victory
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...
£45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...
£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Education are cur...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Infrastructure Ana...