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Thursday Sep 19, 2013

Heineken Cup debate with Conor O'Shea, Shane Horgan and Donal Lenihan

Heineken Cup debate with Conor O'Shea, Shane Horgan and Donal Lenihan
11
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The future of European club rugby competitions is unknown at this stage. The Heineken Cup is in serious doubt, but where to from here? Conor O’Shea, Shane Horgan and Donal Lenihan discuss the crisis and look at ways that is can be resolved.

Negotiations and discussions will take place in Dublin on 23 October, with all signatories of the current European club rugby Accord to attend. ERC will facilitate the process across a range of points of difference, such as the share of central revenues, qualification criteria and format.

The involvement of all parties in ERC’s make-up is as vital now as it was in the early days of the organisation. The only forum which can provide the platform for all-party negotiation under the Accord is the ERC forum and any attempt to ambush or denigrate the discussions is clearly not in the best interest of these great European tournaments.
 
“More than one year has passed since notice was served on the Accord and no proposal to date has received sufficient support to provide the basis for progress,” said ERC Chief Executive Derek McGrath.

“This should not be seen as insurmountable, as agreement on European tournaments has always required compromise with an acceptance that no party will secure everything on their wish-list.
 
“The only way we ever made progress in previous Accord negotiations was by serious engagement on the part of all ERC decision-makers. The same positive approach is required now and it is hoped that all signatories to the Accord will dedicate their energy to the renewed process.”

The Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup tournaments are owned and run by ERC,  a company set up by the six main European unions which is recognised by the IRB as the organiser of  the pre-eminent cross-border club competitions in northern hemisphere rugby.

11 Comments

  • wolonel
    2:54 AM 09/10/2013

    The only two rugby union leagues in the world should feck off and join rugby league. Sluts...

    Reply
  • babareilly
    9:54 PM 21/09/2013

    I don't really get your point,what are the Celtic teams whining about?....seeing as Irish teams have won the competition 5 times of the last 7 is because they hold onto their stars and home grown talent that came through their academies.

    Reply
  • mb80
    6:09 PM 21/09/2013

    I was disappointed with Donal Lenihan's mudding of the issue on rte's coverage of the Leinster game on Saturday. Bringing the borders issue into the mix as an example of Scottish Rugby badly managing rugby in their country was a really poor choice. The facts are that Scottish rugby had to reduce their pro teams from four to two in order to be competitive and to remain sustainable. The Caledonian Reds and The Borders were hemorrhaging money and would have required a huge subsidy. Take Donal's example of comparing shutting down the Borders with Munster, the population of Galasheils is 12K and the Scottish Borders as a region is 112K. Limerick city and environs alone is 90K and Munster is 1.2m. Hell, Connacht is 500K. Scottish rugby did the right thing organising their professional set up into two teams. Now they are being punished by the nay sayers for getting it right off the pitch.

    Reply
  • sharkie
    3:04 PM 20/09/2013

    ...All I have to say are they are just whining. If the Scottish or Italian or Irish teams want to win the heineken. They have to keep their stars and develop them and build their team to be better

    Reply
  • totesmcgoates
    1:11 AM 20/09/2013

    I personally think Lenihan nailed it; 7 French and English teams, and one from each Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales and the four best of the rest in the Pro-12 plus the Amlin and Heineken winners from the previous year. Qualifiers are another great idea, it works for the Champions League pretty well. Looking at this year's draw, there are 11 of the Pro 12 teams in the draw, the ten seeded teams plus Leinster as the Amlin champs. This is in contrast with 7 French (Toulon as Heineken winners) and 6 English. It seems to be a bit askew. As the guys said, it's going to take some big men to negotiate and compromise for a fair deal that benefits the game.

    Reply
  • totesmcgoates
    12:51 AM 20/09/2013

    Good point. Never thought of it that way.

    Reply
  • reality
    8:07 PM 19/09/2013

    I think O'Shea's point about developing teams in the Amlin is absolute nonsense. Until the rules were changed to allow the best-placed Heineken teams to go straight to the Amlin quarter-finals, nobody gave a damn about that competition. Sending the weakest teams in the Heineken Cup to the Amlin, and not sending any more Heineken teams, will mean that we'll all go back to not caring about the Amlin Cup. So not only will people lose their reasons to support the teams, and not only will the teams obviously lose money for their development, but they'll go from challenging themselves against the best to playing against teams even weaker than themselves - hardly a good way to develop. For example, Italy are allowed to join the Six Nations, then they're allowed to join the Celtic League, where they play against teams much better than them, and now they're showing real progress and actually beating the previously superior teams. Argentina are allowed to join the Tri-Nations and they've gone from being nobodies that get the occasional surprise win to being a really good team that can regularly challenge the very best. Would relegating Argentina and Italy to the B-competitions help them now? Obviously not.

    Reply
  • reality
    7:55 PM 19/09/2013

    I'm glad that someone French/English is at least being reasonable about this whole thing, but I have to say, I don't understand why French and English people look down on the Pro 12 so much. The fact of that matter is that the Pro 12 has much better teams in it than the Top 14 and the Premiership. Most teams in those two leagues are absolutely terrible, Zebre-standard, so to claim it's a weaker league just doesn't make sense. Yeah, the Pro 12 teams treat the Heineken Cup as being more important and therefore if they need to rest players they use the domestic league, but I don't see why that's a bad thing. They're being punished for treating the Heineken Cup as being important, whereas most French teams use it as a way to rest their players so they can concentrate on the Top 14. The teams that actually care about the Heineken Cup are going to suffer. As well, Scottish teams have done quite well in the H-Cup in the last few years, and so has Treviso, so I don't see why they're seen as the clubs holding the H-Cup back. In any case, I think the statistics speak for themselves (this isn't to you Colombes, but to anyone who's reading). Two countries currently occupy 58% of the spaces available in the competition, while four countries occupy 42%. If the English and French teams get their way then two countries will have 66% of the spaces and four countries will have 33%. That doesn't seem at all fair to me.

    Reply
  • fastmongrel
    7:40 PM 19/09/2013

    I havent heard anyone mention Wales yet. Welsh Rugby is struggling in the regions which were set up to play in Europe. No HEC and I can see Newport both Scottish teams and Connaught disappear quite quickly

    Reply
  • colombes
    7:00 PM 19/09/2013

    as a french fan, i'm far opposed to the creation anglo-french competition. ERC is facing an hard decision: reinforce the traditional rugby forces or develop rugby to others countries like italy, belgium, spain, romania, even russia. I fear the ERC will turn in a soccer model made by and for the richs... It doesn't also mean that all anglo-french conditions are bad, but it shouldn't just be based on tv rights. In a certain way, in a 18/20 teams hcup, i don't think france and english would be annoyed to just have 6 (even 5) clubs involved with a correct tv rights renegociation. In fact, the key will come from the rabobank league. If this league can become more competitive and credible, and not just be a training camp before hcup weekends, things would be maybe easier to discuss.

    Reply
  • danknapp
    12:15 PM 19/09/2013

    I love stuff like this. Thanks RD, this sort of clip isn't something I'd find on my own. Cheers.

    Reply


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Heineken Cup debate with Conor O'Shea, Shane Horgan and Donal Lenihan | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos