ERC hoping for a brighter future

Heineken Cup chiefs hope a “positive solution” can be found following the decision by French clubs to boycott next season’s tournament, but the prospects look pretty grim after both French and English league representatives failed to turn up for an ERC meeting yesterday.

The current agreement regarding organisation and structures of the Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup expires in July this year.

French clubs have withdrawn next season because of fixture congestion caused by the World Cup and a desire not to devalue their domestic competition, the Top 14, as well as their anger over the refusal of the RFU to honour an agreement over shareholding and voting rights made with the English clubs.

“All parties at the meeting expressed a commitment to the future of the ERC tournaments for season 2007/2008 and beyond, and disappointment with regard to the current impasse involving LNR (Ligue Nationale de Rugby) and PRL (Premier Rugby Limited) and hope that a positive solution can be found,” said ERC in a statement on Wednesday after the meeting.

“It was agreed to prepare for the future of the tournaments, and the parties at the meeting will now review a draft document internally over the next four weeks.

“The draft document includes points agreed by all parties to the process to date, including LNR and PRL.”

The next meeting is scheduled for March 14, at which it is hoped that French and Englsh clubs will take part again.

365 Digital

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