RFU hits out on PRL

Twickenham top brass have expressed surprise and concern after Premier Rugby Ltd (PRL) broke a “confidentiality agreement” over negotiations on the way forward for the English professional game.

Premier Rugby, which oversees the 12 Guinness Premiership clubs, released proposals on Tuesday covering a variety of issues affecting the sport at its elite level in England.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) accused PRL of “cherry picking” the information made public.

“It is particularly disappointing that PRL have chosen to break the confidentiality agreement on the negotiations,” said management board chairman, Martyn Thomas.

“We had made progress on a number of the more difficult and sensitive issues, because both negotiating teams were able to talk about these issues and potential solutions in private and in confidence.

“While we will continue to seek agreement through dialogue with PRL, we remain confident that the in-depth and comprehensive approach represented by the ‘Way Forward’ process is the best way to come to the right conclusions for the future of our game.

Management board members though, have agreed to include latest PRL proposals in the ‘Way Forward’ consultation document, which is currently being produced for detailed discussion on the future of elite rugby in England.

The document is due to be published next month.

In a statement, the RFU added: “The RFU and PRL had agreed to follow a private and confidential process in the recent negotiations so that all the difficult and complex issues could be raised and discussed in private, as it was felt this was the best way to secure material progress.

“The RFU remains of this view, and will not conduct these complex and difficult negotiations in public.

“PRL’s unilateral and unexpected termination of this confidential process is not helpful to resolving the issues before us.

“The PRL proposals are a ‘cherry picking’ of those items in the draft heads of agreement of March 6 that they find attractive to them.

“They differ in a number of material aspects from the proposals made by the PRL negotiating team in recent meetings, in particular on the management control of the elite player squads.”


365 Digital

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