RFU Chair Bill Beaumont Says Rugby Clubs Could Be In Breach Of Contract
Rugby Football Union Chair Bill Beaumont said that English Premiership rugby clubs "could be in breach of contract" with the RFU by agreeing to a TV deal with BT, according to the BBC. Premier Rugby has signed a £152M ($246M) deal with BT Vision to show live European matches from '14, "raising doubts over the future of the Heineken Cup." Premier Rugby said that it "did not need the RFU's consent to make the deal." Beaumont said, "I am advised there could well have been a breach in the contract [with the RFU]. We have got to try and get on and reach an amicable settlement which suits all parties. Let's keep the door open, let's not take sides" (BBC, 9/20).
MAN IN THE MIDDLE: In London, Gavin Mairs reported that Beaumont has "emerged as a potential mediator in the row between the English clubs and their RaboDirect Pro 12 counterparts over the future of the Heineken Cup." Beaumont is set to meet with owners of the 12 Premiership clubs next Wednesday and said he is "prepared to use his influence to help broker a deal ahead of the European Rugby Cup stakeholders’ next meeting" in Rome on Oct 8. Beaumont said, "I would like to think with the contacts that I have got and the relationships I have built up amongst our neighbours, I will try and use my best endeavours. That is what the RFU wants. We are keen to resolve this situation. We don’t want to be at loggerheads with our neighbours all the time or the clubs. Why would we?" (TELEGRAPH, 9/20).