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Nice so now we will get a Heineken/euro cup with the celtic teams and an another Eurocup with the French and English teams.
I think I will be watching the last one over a carbon copy of an already not interesting Rabocup.
Posted 22:04 09th July 2012
If England and France did pull out, the following year there would be a European Competition with the Celtic Nations, Italy and France.
Bye Bye England!
Posted 21:48 09th July 2012
@WheelsSaintsFan: how is the pro12 2nd rate?
three pro12 teams where in the Hcup semi final this year not a single English team so its more like the aviva premier ship is second rate.
Posted 21:19 09th July 2012
The fundamental question here is - What is the Heineken Cup for?
When it was originally started the idea was not to create a "Champions League" for Rugby , but to create a tournament that would help develop Rugby in all of the European nations - Hence each country got an allocation of places , to be distributed as they saw fit .
England & France chose League positions as they had large leagues up & running already..
Ireland & Scotland did not have a league in place at the time & chose to use their provincial teams as their qualifiers .Wales & Italy had leagues & again chose to use league positions.
When the Celtic league was formed , the countries respective Unions retained their allocation of Heineken Cup places..
It is disingenuous to say that the Pro 12 has 10 H-Cup places , it does not , it has NONE , each of the constituent unions own the places & could chose to allocate them in any way they see fit.
So - Do we want a Champions league or do we want to continue with the underlying purpose of the Heineken cup as it exists today??
In terms of the Anglo/French request - The reduction in teams has more to do with freeing up week-ends for other fixtures than anything else (certainly in the case of France - They are looking to add 2 teams to the Top 14 (Top 16 then?)) & of course the distribution of money...
My preference would be for the number of teams to remain the same & for the Celtic/Pro12 teams to work qualification such that each country has at least 1 team in the Heineken Cup & the remaining places being allocated on league position. If that was in place for next year , that would mean that Connacht & the Dragons would qualify ahead of Aironi & Edinburgh - Although with the winning country getting an extra spot , for next year , in reality only Aironi would miss out as Edinburgh would move up based on Connachts automatic qualification
Posted 21:03 09th July 2012
@wheelsaints: So what success has your top flight premiership brought England? A draw with South Africa? Is that what we call success now? Irelands 2nd string hammered by the best team in the world. It was embarrassing. I don't see England up to much either though. The premiership ain't exactly making England world beaters.
Posted 20:41 09th July 2012
Meh, I wouldn't be heartbroken if we moved to an English and French club competition. To be fair we wouldn't lose much. We could offer Leinster and Ulster a place too if they wanted, then we'd have a competition equally as strong. I mean, the Pro 12 is a bit pointless as half the teams don't both to compete. The amount of game time for an average player in the premiership must be so much higher than for those in Pro 12.
Posted 18:45 09th July 2012
Good luck to the Celtic nations in trying to secure a lucrative television deal without the English and French clubs.
I'd happily watch an Anglo French "club" comptetion without the cotton wool wrapped meal ticket grabbing provincial sides from Ireland.
Oh and judging by the recent performance of the current Irish National team, I take great delight in recalling New Zealand 60 Ireland 0, Ireland is reeping all the benefits of the 2nd rate Pro12 league.
Posted 17:41 09th July 2012
English and French clubs just don't get the results from the money poured into their clubs for foreign players and so its a poor return on investment and they want to change the game to suit their poor performances both on the rugby field and in the owners bank accounts. French and English arrogance is about to raise its ugly head again.....
Posted 16:45 09th July 2012
I think that everybody is missing the point here. This is all about the money. The majority of the TV revenue comes from the fact that English & French clubs are involved. Remove them and you won't have the Heineken Cup any more you will have the RaboDirect Cup - that is if even they are willing to sponsor it. The English & French would get more sponsorship and money from an Anglo-French cup than the RaboDirect Cup would earn.
I'm not saying that it is right, I'm just saying that it is all about the money.
Posted 16:24 09th July 2012
Its obvious the English and French don't like the way the Celtic nations don't have to qualify for the H-Cup, this is what this is all about: 4 less teams = 4 less Celtic teams, which makes sense for the competition. Structural wise we would have 5 groups of death every season, making it tougher to qualify for the finals.
The C-Cup would also have more quality teams in it. The teams would be made up of 6 clubs from each League plus the winner of the AC and an extra place granted to the Winner of the Heineken for a team in their league (So a maximum of 8 clubs from any one league).
The Celtic qualifying structure would have to be the best team from each nation (Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy) plus the best two runners up; which is why they don't like the new deal.
@APV1 "just look at the team's relative successes in their league, versus the Cups..." do you want to elaborate on that please?! I don't get your point, are you trying to say that because Leinster didn't win the League/H-cup double two years in a row, they didn't compete at both levels? or are you unknowingly saying the Celtic League is the best competition in Europe because Edinburgh made the Semi-Final... either way, man up and stop whining.
Posted 15:31 09th July 2012
"They are driven by a joint belief that they are the people who command the most money from television for live coverage. That rather flies in the face of the fact that five of the last six teams represented in the last three finals did not come from England".
Surely this argument is flawed - regardless of where the succesful teams come from, I would imagine that the bulk of the revenue generated by the event is from TV rights, and I would guess that the greatest part of that is coming from England & France.
Which means that if the English and French teams do carry out their threat, and walk away, the Celtic teams might not have a financially viable competition left to play in.
Posted 15:03 09th July 2012
@AVP: Out of the 12 years the Celtic league has been running Munster Leinster and Uster have won it 6 times. An Irish team has been in the last 5 finals and won 3 of them. Irish teams have won more league titles than H Cups so your argument doesn't hold up.
Posted 14:04 09th July 2012
@lawynd: I totally agree with you.
@everyone: I wouldn't mind having an Anglo-French Cup (at least we would have the same rules, and therefore the same fairness) and letting the HEC to the Celts (with an Irish club garanteed to win every year).
We don't need them for our clubs to survive. I am not so sure they don't need us ;)
Posted 13:56 09th July 2012
Martyn who??? As an Englishman myself I get dreadfully embarassed by ex-players and ex-officials airing their petty bitterness so publicly.
It seems odd that there is such a big issue over this, the English contributors to these thread have, for a long time, complained at the presence of the weaker Celtic sides (and Italians) clogging up HC groups ad offering byes to whoever is lucky enought o get drawn against them, conversely if the new system were to be effective this year there would be no Cardiff, Edinburgh, Dragons or any Italian side in the HC draw. Feels a bit like turkeys voting for Christmas.
The fact that there is a dispute would suggest that there is also going to be a re-distribution of money which is most likely to be the issue.
There is also a side issue of the disparity between a club, competing with a region/province, especially as the Scots have promised funding to their regions on the basis that they have a World Cup to win.
Posted 13:26 09th July 2012
Why would any of the changes favour the English and French? Nobody who has come in here swinging their handbag has actually given a reason for that, and most of you seem to suggest it won't make a difference to the current situation; if that's the case, why are the Pro12 sides kicking up a fuss?
What it will do though is encourage greater competition in the Pro12 from the Welsh regions, the two Scottish clubs and the two Italian clubs. If it's top 6 or Amlin, then more teams will be trying to contest the top 6 rather than being happy to settle for a position between 7th and 10th. It also means that the HEC won't have any pools where teams are gifted wins by the inclusion of teams realistically unable to compete (I'm looking at you, Aironi), which raises the standard of the competition for everyone and will hopefully also increase the number of people attending and watching games; not many neutrals are interested in watching a foregone conclusion.
@rockman - the reason there were no complaints previously is because there wasn't the ridiculous situation that unless you're the wooden spooners in the Pro12, you get into the HEC. Your point is stupid and moot.
@qkram79 your argument about more HEC places for England and France is flawed. 50% of the teams from those two countries are guaranteed to compete, versus 75% of Irish and Welsh teams and 100% of Scottish and Italian teams. Doesn't seem particularly fair, especially given all the points I made above. The HEC should be contested by the best, regardless of nationality.
Posted 13:04 09th July 2012
Lets be honest,the English teams struggle to get ouf of their groups these days,and the French aren't as dominant as they once were either,so adding more of their teams would only dilute the quality of teams competing. This is the EUROPEAN cup,not the English and French cup. The southern hemisphere giants must be chuckling to themselves.
Posted 13:02 09th July 2012
As welsh rugby is now financially unviable it's not surprising the Celtic brotherhood are making a stand. I'm not sure who will back down in this one but certainly France/England could form an alternative competition that would be financially viable, I doubt the Celtic nations could. Let's just home common sense abounds on both sides .....
Posted 12:54 09th July 2012
@qkram79 and all the celts: the problem is not about relegation (as I agree big clubs from Ireland, France or England rarely face relegations). But however having virtually averyone qualified in the Pro12 for the next year HCup whether French and English clubs need to fight week in week out makes a MASSIVE difference. Just face it. That is where the problem lies.
Pro12 is a training field for the Hcup games. This explains why the Irish clubs succeed (and please don't tell me it's because Irish players are better, I would take it as a joke). All I am prepared to admit is some French and English clubs could/should take the HCup more seriously than they actually do (Castres, Racing Metro, etc...)
Posted 12:05 09th July 2012
And so the debate rumbles on and the usual haters will probably spout their nonsense.
The English and French Unions are saying they don't want the changes and want a fairer system of qualification, that's all.
With so few teams the Celts have no threat of relegation and can, therefore, concentrate their efforts on the HC and AC - just look at the team's relative successes in their league, versus the Cups...
Posted 11:16 09th July 2012
And I don't want to hear anymore crying about how it favors the Irish teams because there's no relegation. When was the last time Munster, Leinster or Ulster were anywhere near a relegation spot. The only time this has been a factor was during Edinburghs run last year ... and they still wouldn't have been relegated. Sour grapes from teams that simply aren't competing at the level they should be. England and France have more H cup spots than anyone else.
Posted 11:14 09th July 2012
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