Wednesday 9 May 2007

Saving the Heineken Cup

As you may or may not know, the future of the Heineken cup has been in the balance for the last couple of weeks as the shareholders have battled to keep both the French and English teams involved in the competition. From what I understand the French wanted out of the tournament because they felt playing so many more games was hurting not only their domestic league but their national team as well. The French league is hilariously gruelling as it is, to add more matches is just sadistic, especially in a world cup year. The English pulled out because.... well I dunno why, some dispute about the potential of establishing franchise teams. Anyway this all is on the verge of reconciliation which is sweet because without the Heineken Cup Irish rugby would be fucked. The competition is a huge source of revenue and continued success for the IRFU. Leinster and Munster have performed consistently on the European stage and the effect of playing against such word class opposition as obviously had an impact on the national team never mind the young players coming up. Without this competition Irish, Welsh and... Italian rugby would forever flounder in the depths of mediocrity, simply unable to compete with the wealth and power of the English and French teams.

From the Leinster site:
'An ERC Shareholders meeting took place in Dublin on Tuesday with IRB Chairman Dr. Syd Millar, which included representatives from the six Shareholder Unions and representatives from the Club bodies from England (PRL), France (LNR), Italy (LIRE) and Wales (Welsh Regions). All parties reaffirmed their commitment to the long term future of the Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup and to providing a stable future for both ERC tournaments. The parties reached a conditional agreement, which, on completion of discussions between RFU and PRL over the next two weeks, will ensure the long term future of both European tournaments and the participation of the leading teams from all six competing nations. All parties are working towards a final agreement by the weekend of the Heineken Cup Final at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday, 20 May.It was confirmed that the participant teams will be Club / Provincial / Regional teams from Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and in the case of England, France and Italy, Club teams from the top professional leagues in each country.'

1 comment:

Barra said...

i think ive heard that speach b4.....haha jk