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SBD Global/April 3, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Rugby Football Union Is Facing Pressure To Broker New Heineken Cup Deal

Pressure is mounting on the Rugby Football Union "to play a more proactive role in attempts to broker a new deal to save the Heineken Cup," according to Mark Souster of the LONDON TIMES. It comes amid concerns that "continuing uncertainty over its future is only undermining its value." With the quarterfinals of this season's competition looming this weekend, "a settlement appears as elusive as ever." The most recent meeting between the English Premiership clubs, France and the Celtic and Italian unions "ended in deadlock." The RFU "has issues on the home front" with Premier Rugby Ltd. These include negotiations on a new long-term agreement over the running of the domestic game, "of which access to England players will form an integral part." The clubs "are unhappy at the impact the World Cup will have on their domestic season" in the autumn of '15. Also, "it would be embarrassing for England if its clubs were not involved in the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup" in '15. A source said, "That would do little for the RFU's reputation" (LONDON TIMES, 4/2).
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