Rugby: ERC to hold meetings on boycott

11th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

DUBLIN, April 11, 2007 (AFP) - Meetings by the European Rugby Cup directors and shareholders will be held here on Wednesday following the decision by French and English clubs to boycott next year's competition.

DUBLIN, April 11, 2007 (AFP) - Meetings by the European Rugby Cup directors and shareholders will be held here on Wednesday following the decision by French and English clubs to boycott next year's competition.

The clubs said because demands to earn the same shareholding and voting rights as their respective national federations were not met, they decided not to compete in the 2007/08 season.

The matter will be top of the agenda in Dublin with the six unions - England, France, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Italy - determined to find a solution.

They also have the support of the International Rugby Board, whose chairman Syd Millar launched an astonishing attack on the Anglo-French clubs. Unless an agreement can be reached, the cost to the game will be huge and, in the case of professional rugby in cash-strapped Scotland, potentially fatal.

If European Cup and European Challenge Cup have to be abandoned for one season, the Celtic unions will lose in the region of two million pounds each.

Scottish rugby is already 20 million pounds (29 million euros) in debt and doubts whether it could survive without the ERC cash.

The Anglo-French clubs claim the RFU have reneged on an agreement struck last autumn, something the Twickenham top brass flatly deny.

The language has grown increasingly emotive over the last week as the two sides grew further entrenched.

But on Tuesday night there appeared to be fresh impetus from the clubs to reach a solution as both Premier Rugby and their counterparts in France responded to the IRB rebuke with positive action.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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