Premiership Rugby Deputy Chair Bruce Craig Says Pro12 Clubs Could Face 'Financial Oblivion'
Premiership Rugby Deputy Chair Bruce Craig "has warned that Pro12 clubs face 'financial oblivion' if administrators try to thwart the Rugby Champions Cup," according to Tom Bradshaw of the BBC. Craig "has been central to setting up an event intended to replace the Heineken Cup, which he claims is 'finished.'" Craig: "If the competition is not approved then that would have absolutely catastrophic implications for Celtic rugby. Celtic teams would be without significant revenues." Craig, who is chairman of Bath, "believes every Pro12 team is prepared to sign up to the new competition, but that they are being held back by their national governing bodies." He "has warned the national unions from interfering," and also indicated that they and the Int'l Rugby Board "could face court action if they attempt to stop the Rugby Champions Cup" (BBC, 9/25). In London, Gavin Mairs reported "any hopes of Premiership Rugby attending final negotiations with European Rugby Cup next month to salvage the Heineken Cup appear to have been dashed." It is understood that Premiership Rugby CEO Mark McCafferty "wrote to his ERC counterpart Derek McGrath to confirm officially that representatives of the English clubs would not be attending the stakeholder meeting in Dublin on Oct. 23." Premiership Rugby confirmed on Sunday that "its new Anglo-French tournament, which is open to other European clubs to join, would be called the Rugby Champions’ Cup" (TELEGRAPH, 9/23).