27 September 2013

Megaphone diplomacy never works

There isn’t a day that goes bye when some person, on one side of the rift between the ERC and Anglo/French clubs, bloviates from on high as to the future of European club rugby. It is even getting to saturation point in the media, to the extent that rugby supporters are confused as to what is actually going on. People are also becoming sick and tired of how the dispute is dragging on and on, with no solution is sight.

At …..

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25 September 2013

There will be more Wild Geese

From our history lessons in school we remember the departure of the “Wild Geese” as soldiers of fortune who left Ireland to fight European wars in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. It is very likely we will witness the rugby equivalent of Wild Geese over the next few years.

No sooner had Jonathan Sexton departed to France and the spectre of more players leaving at the end of the season began to loom large. The latest players reported to be …..

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18 September 2013

Would a European NFL solve the Heineken problem?

Over the weekend I received a very comprehensive email outlining what, on the face of it, seems like a perfect solution to the Heineken impasse. It suggested a new competition, starting with a blank page, a European competition modelled on the NFL.

It outlined different structures involving conferences from different parts of Europe, possible competitive formations and play-off options. The potential financials are impressive. It even outlined the possibility, in time, of expanding the league as the NFL expanded in the …..

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10 September 2013

Is the Heineken keg nearly empty?

The first signs of real trouble appeared almost a year ago to the day, when Premiership Rugby announced they had signed a deal with BT Sport for €178 million (£152m). A deal between BT Sport and Premiership Rugby is in itself not an extraordinary development. But it includes the transmission rights of cross-border matches from 2014. Cross-border matches are what the Heineken Cup is all about.

This dispute, like any other dispute in sport, is about money. The English in particular …..

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