Paris -There are more than a few small details to work but the protagonists of European rugby are formal: the European cup rugby are ready, after months of uncertainty and blocking reforms.
“There are more major obstacles now. Champions cup will replace the Heineken Cup” told AFP one of the English negotiators, within five days of the kickoff the quarterfinals current competitions.
But the agreement is not forthcoming. The project should be formalized last Wednesday and Thursday and later. Meanwhile, two federations have pressed the brake pedal.
The French (FFR) are eager to prevent any risk of future litigation with Sky, historical diffuser tournaments and committed until 2017. For the problem of television rights has long been a stumbling block debate.
In June 2012, English clubs have unilaterally signed a contract with another operator, British Telecom (BT) for their domestic and European matches. Creating a legal dispute between two broadcasters who are waging a fierce war on British territory. However, corroborating sources, they finally found a common ground to share meetings.
However, the judge chose FFR itself by requesting the documents. “The FFR has no reason not to sign because they have a duplicate contract Sky BT /” provides the same English negotiator.
Before signing off, the French president Pierre Camou however intends to take the time to review all the details, including a letter and expects Sky renouncing prosecution for early termination of his current contract.
Another source of blocking, the Italian Federation (FIR) challenged at the last minute the proposed financial breakdown, complaining of the worse off. But this position has caused annoyance and backstage, they threaten to organize tournaments without new Italian franchise.
For the rest, the six federations and representatives of the three championships (Top 14, Premiership, Celtic League) finally found a balance.
The Foundations Laid
For the occasion, a new structure should be established, based in Neuchatel, Switzerland, signing the death warrant of the ERC, organizer of the competition since 1995.
The main tournament will be reduced from 24 to 20 clubs, as claimed by the fiery French and English clubs, who had threatened to secede and create their own competition, lua Rugby champions cup.
French and English each send six or seven clubs, as the result of a playoff organized from May next year between the 7th of England Championships and France.
Celtic League sees his side to reduce its quota from November to July places, which could revive interest of an accused Championships serve as a simple drive to the European Cup. But each country (Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy) will be guaranteed to have at least one representative.
Twenty other clubs will participate in a second European competition, tighter and composed by the 18 teams remaining three major championships and two guests. A third tournament, held in September by the European Federation (Fira-AER) between ten teams of the continent, could give access to both tickets.
The repayment of the proceeds will also be modified: one third for each championship, instead of 25% for French, 25% for English and 50% for the Celts and Italians.
This should represent a first step a little more than 25 million per season for each league or 75-80 million donated in total, for a long-term objective of € 100 million.
The clubs will manage the commercial rights, television or partnerships. Thus, the French, Italians and Celts will work in the summer to sell the diffusion of their European matches.
This will be done under the aegis of federations, made by a French negotiator as “real regulators.” One point that was non-negotiable for the approval of the IRB, the supreme body of the game