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Proposed Int'l Rugby Competition Could Move Premiership Final To February
Published September 18, 2013
EUROPEAN CLUBS NEEDED: In London, Mark Souster wrote RFU CEO Ian Ritchie said he "backed the desire" of Premiership clubs to overhaul the Heineken Cup, but added that "any new format must be pan-European." He did not say whether he "would be happy to cede control of the tournament to clubs who have championed" the breakaway Anglo-French competition. Ritchie: “We want to see a meritocratic competition in Europe that is right, not only in terms of the competitive element, but it also applies in terms of the financial distrIbution element. The definition of a European competition means that you have got to have most of Europe participating in it. We would seek to achieve a European competition that involves clubs from the six nations" (LONDON TIMES, 9/18). Also in London, Chris Hewett wrote the dispute over the Heineken Cup has laid the foundation "for a boardroom row that could turn the next 24 months into a diplomatic morass." Ritchie and his counterpart at England 2015 talked up "the positive aspects of their World Cup Planning" but they were "aware of the landslide that will engulf them if the two sides in the European dispute remain at loggerheads" (INDEPENDENT, 9/17).