ERC to hold cup competition talks

PA Sport
English and French rugby clubs have applied to renegotiate their shareholder agreement with ERC
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English and French rugby clubs have applied to renegotiate their shareholder agreement with ERC

Talks over the format of the Heineken and Amlin Challenge Cups will begin before the start of the 2012/13 European season.

European Rugby Cup (ERC) have made the pledge in response to the application from English and French clubs to renegotiate the shareholder agreement.

While the participation of both nations' sides in the tournament for the next two seasons is guaranteed, their ongoing involvement has been placed in doubt.

Earlier this week Premier Rugby confirmed their intention to withdraw from European competition after giving notice, effective from June 1, under the terms of the ERC Accord.

The notice period expires at the end of the 2013/2014 tournament at which time the accord terminates.

The English and French clubs are unsatisfied with the competition's structure and qualification process.

"During the summer ERC chairman Jean-Pierre Lux and chief executive Derek McGrath will make the necessary contacts in preparation for a series of meetings with representatives of all stakeholders from the six participant countries which will begin in September," read an ERC statement.

"This consultation process is a natural progression following applications from the Federation Francaise de Rugby, the Ligue Nationale de Rugby and Premiership Rugby for a renegotiation of the ERC Shareholder Agreement.

"The current agreement includes a provision for parties to seek a renegotiation, while the structure and format of both the Heineken Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup remain in place for a further two years until the end of the 2013/14 season."

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