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blaggard
26-05-06, 10:40 AM
As an Irish man i am a little bit concerned. I have been reading various articles, on rugby websites, about the future of the Heineken Cup.
The impression I am getting is that France and England feel they should be in control of the competition and have a bigger share of the monies generated by the competition.
Serge Blanco feels that since the French and English clubs are the more successful in the competition that they should get a bigger cut of the cake. This seems crazy to me, really if anything, more money should go to nations who's clubs are not doing so well to make them more competitive.
In the UK, the PRL are proposing the 'Weston Plan' to the RFU, which, among other domestic things, proposes taking ownership of the HC and the B&I Lions as well as the Barbarians and Anglo-Welsh Cup.
The Celtic nations and Italy are unlikely to be happy giving up any control or ownership or revenue (as samll as it may be) from any of these competitions.

France are proposing creating a World Club competition, which sounds great, but which I dont think will happen unless all teams involved get a fair share of the money and have some input into the running of the competition. Also France would want fewer celtic nations involved, which i can see going down like a lead balloon.

Is this the end of the Heineken Cup?
Will there just be 2 crap competitions, Celtic-Italian Cup and Anglo-French Cup?
Will there be a diluted World Club Cup?
Is this just the tip of the iceberg, will the Rugby Would Cup be affected?
Or am I talking absolute rubbish and worrying over nothing?

stevemagoo
26-05-06, 03:05 PM
Not going to happen - Blanco is a blowhard!

DonBilly
26-05-06, 03:22 PM
I think Blanco's concern was really on the money rather than any thing else. From a pure financial point of view the French clubs involved in the H-cup make more money with a match of the Top14 than with a match of the H-cup. There are several reasons for that, but on a pure financial point of view it would be more beneficial for the French clubs to get back to Top16 and to stop playing the H-cup.

I don't like this way of thinking. It's important in my view to keep this competition in such a way that the smaller Unions can get more funds to finance the development of Rugby in their nations.

I think there's going to be a compromise. The for๙at of the competition should be more or less the same for the rime being. The LNR and the English Rugby premiership will be represented in the ERC committee and should be more involved in the management of this competition.

If there's real desire for a world club competition they will need to rearange the global schedule first.

PeeJay
26-05-06, 05:54 PM
You just have to look at the semi-finalists of this years competition to realise he's talking complete and utter ********.

An Tarbh
26-05-06, 06:08 PM
Take the Irish teams out of the competition and it's drastically devalued, won't be allowed to happen. Surely if it was devalued the French and English would lose out financially in turn.

Black-Monday
27-05-06, 01:08 AM
I think the HEC is the one thing that is really worth watching. Look at the Final, what a game. However an anglo-franco cup wouldn't be too bad if it replaced the AW cup.

BM

SaintsFan_Webby
27-05-06, 09:42 AM
Originally posted by Black-Monday@May 27 2006, 01:08 AM
I think the HEC is the one thing that is really worth watching. Look at the Final, what a game. However an anglo-franco cup wouldn't be too bad if it replaced the AW cup.

BM
We should go back to exactly how it was last season, the Heineken Cup with the usual domestic format.

Sod the Anglo-Welsh Cup, what a pile of ****...

:%#%#: at the RFU

Bullitt
27-05-06, 09:53 AM
If you want to be technical, the mickey mouse cup is about because the RFU have dumped all of their ties with the domestic game onto the PRL, effectively saying they dont care about the clubs, to concentrate with England. (Being as their doing such a wonderful job there... <_< )

Back on topic though, the way the reform should reall occour is for trams to qualify through the celtic league rather than Ireland, Scotland and Wales being garanteed 2/3 spots each.

Give the top 4/5 of the cl places, thaan increase the numbers for Italy and maybe give a Spanish side a chance.

SmokeyMonkey
27-05-06, 10:04 AM
How exactly is it fair that England and France get 6/7 teams each and the Celtic nations get only 2/3/4? Surely if anything we should take some French/English teams out and replace them with some Spanish/Italian teams!

Bullitt
27-05-06, 10:46 AM
Because England and France have bigger leagues.

The current system of giving Wales 3 spots isn&#39;t fair when there&#39;s only 4 teams.

SmokeyMonkey
27-05-06, 11:01 AM
Yes but the Celtic League isn&#39;t a proper league, it&#39;s kinda like the Super 14 or the NFl because there&#39;s no relegation or promotion.

Anyway I think it should be:

6 English
6 French
3 Irish
3 Welsh
3 Scottish
1 Italian
1 Spanish (or maybe 2nd Italian)
And 1 from the playoff (Best placed Celtic team not already qualified vs 2nd/3rd placed Italian team)

Which is basically what it is now, perhaps it should be expanded to have 8 groups and only top team goes through.

SmokeyMonkey
27-05-06, 11:17 AM
This is a simple diagram of things as it stands, which I think is fair:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/59/European_Rugby.PNG/800px-European_Rugby.PNG

Bullitt
27-05-06, 11:36 AM
So, it&#39;s 6 English, 6 French and 9 Celtic sides?

Yeah, really bloody fair.

SmokeyMonkey
27-05-06, 11:48 AM
What!? That reasoning is just stupid! It would be like New Zealand saying "We only get 5 teams in the Super 14 but S.A. + Australia get 9!!" Doesn&#39;t make any sense.

Bullitt
27-05-06, 11:56 AM
No, c&#39;mon, it means that 9 teams from 1 league are in the worlds elite competition...

Why do Boarders and Glasgow, who finished 9th and last, qualify yet Newport, who finished 8th and therefore were a better and more deserving team, don&#39;t?

It&#39;s a bull**** qualification system based on the pre celtic league days when it wasn&#39;t garanteed each year that (deep breath), Leinster, Munster, Ulster, Scarlets, Blues, Ofspreys, Edinborough, Boarders and Glasgow get in.

Hell, it&#39;s total bull**** that all the scottish sides get in even nomatter what.

It devalues the tournament.

SmokeyMonkey
27-05-06, 12:09 PM
No, c&#39;mon, it means that 9 teams from 1 league are in the worlds elite competition...[/b]

Ok, first of all it&#39;s 8 guaranteed, not 9. Second, you&#39;re implying that if they didn&#39;t happen to play in the same league it would be fine? Third, it&#39;s (roghly) 3 per country, half of England and France get! I don&#39;t think you&#39;re in a position to complain.


Why do Boarders and Glasgow, who finished 9th and last, qualify yet Newport, who finished 8th and therefore were a better and more deserving team, don&#39;t?[/b]

Again I should point out that Glasgow haven&#39;t qualified, and the Dragons will (hopefully) beat Italia 3 with ease and might even get an easy group this time (like the Blues last year) .


Hell, it&#39;s total bull**** that the scottish sides get in even nomatter what.[/b]

I&#39;d like to hear gunner&#39;s response to that! It&#39;s supposed to be an European cup, and I&#39;m sure you think that Edinburgh at least had a good impact in it this year!


It devalues the tournament[/b]

Come off it! The Heineken is and has always been of a high standard and I doubt replacing a couple of weaker (celtic) teams with Worester or Agen or whatever would revalue it.

Bullitt
27-05-06, 12:34 PM
3 per country? When each country only has 3 or 4 teams? That&#39;s 75-100% dumbass, so don&#39;t start on the "England gets 50%" tripe. As for the Dragons getting in through the back door, will that mean 100 of the welsh sides qualifing?

The point about the Scottish sides isn&#39;t a dig at anything Scottish, its stating why the f*** should they always get 3 spots, for their 3 teams, then the teams havn&#39;t earned their spot. Edinborough may have done well, but Glasgos and Boarders havn&#39;t earned the privalage to play in the HEC this year. Look at their season.

And when the f*** did I ever say there should be more French or English sides? Where the f*** did Worcester come into this arguement?

SmokeyMonkey
27-05-06, 12:53 PM
3 per country? When each country only has 3 or 4 teams? That&#39;s 75-100% dumbass, so don&#39;t start on the "England gets 50%" tripe. As for the Dragons getting in through the back door, will that mean 100 of the welsh sides qualifing?[/b]

The point is that they are regions/provinces rather than clubs. Also if for instance the WRU, IRFU and SRU just added another 3/4 &#39;filler&#39; teams it&#39;s suddenly fair that we get 3/4 teams is it? As for the England gets 50% thing, they get the other 50% into the ECC so you can&#39;t use that as an excuse. And I don&#39;t understand your point about the 100 Welsh teams qualifying?



The point about the Scottish sides isn&#39;t a dig at anything Scottish, its stating why the f*** should they always get 3 spots, for their 3 teams, then the teams havn&#39;t earned their spot. Edinborough may have done well, but Glasgos and Boarders havn&#39;t earned the privalage to play in the HEC this year. Look at their season.[/b]

They only get 2 guaranteed (which could be 1 next year) and Borders have had good results this year.

Borders 43 - 5 Newport-Gwent Dragons
Llanelli Scarlets 30 - 26 Borders
Glasgow 8 - 20 Borders
Borders 26 - 23 Cardiff Blues
Borders 24 - 13 Glasgow
Edinburgh 30 - 25 Borders
Borders 23 - 11 Edinburgh
Connacht 15 - 17 Borders
Borders 16 - 6 Ospreys


And when the f*** did I ever say there should be more French or English sides? Where the f*** did Worcester come into this arguement?[/b]

OK, jeez calm down! So I assume you would have more Italian/Spamish/Romanian teams in the comp then? Which would completely go against your own argument that teams have to deserve it to get in. Worcester was just an example.

Bullitt
27-05-06, 12:57 PM
Boarders mat have got a couple of results this year, but they still finished 9th. As ion 3rd from bottom. And don&#39;t start with the ECC, that tournament is as much of a joke as the mickey mouse cup.

Anyway, the idea of getting more Italian and Spanish sides involved is to develop the game across europe and raise it&#39;s profile, not to give the ringfenced celtics a distinct advantage.

SmokeyMonkey
27-05-06, 01:03 PM
So to increase the number of Italian/Spanish/Romanian teams you want them to decrease the number of Celtic teams and leave the English and French teams as they are? Talk about giving a distinct advantage! :rolleyes:

The fairer way of doing it would be:

5 English
5 French
3/4 Irish
3/4 Welsh
2/3 Scottish
2/3 Italian
2 Spanish
2 Romanian

Bullitt
27-05-06, 01:16 PM
f*** the countries, you qualify should from the league.

Therefore,

5 - England
5- France
5-CL (insteal of potentially all 11 like you say)
5 - italy
2 - Spain
2 - Other

el_tk
27-05-06, 02:40 PM
Originally posted by Teh Mite@May 27 2006, 01:16 PM
f*** the countries, you qualify should from the league.

Therefore,

5 - England
5- France
5-CL (insteal of potentially all 11 like you say)
5 - italy
2 - Spain
2 - Other
You&#39;d put in 5 teams from Italy and 2 (amateur) teams from Spain ahead of Celtic teams and one each from England and France? That really would devalue the tournament.

SmokeyMonkey
27-05-06, 05:46 PM
f*** the countries, you qualify should from the league.[/b]

So you&#39;re saying that if the Celtic teams didn&#39;t happen to play in the same league they should have more?

An Tarbh
27-05-06, 07:38 PM
I think we&#39;re still a way off having a Spanish team in the HEC just yet but I see no reason why there couldn&#39;t be 7 teams from the French, English and Celtic leagues along with 3 Italian teams. Qualification from the CL would purely be based on league standings, no places for countries or no playoffs for the 8th/9th teams.

Or if the ERC want to improve the standards then it might be an option to reduce the HEC to 16 teams, where the group winner gets a home quarter final which the second place team hosts a third place team in a one off quarter final play-off. 5 teams from England and France, 4 from the Celtic League and 2 from the Super 10.

blaggard
30-05-06, 10:03 AM
One option maybe to include the spanish or romanian national sides in the tournament.
A similar situation is happening in cricket, where Ireland are taking part in the C & G Trophy which is an English Counties tournament.
Might work?

Boy
30-05-06, 11:37 AM
Originally posted by blaggard@May 30 2006, 09:03 PM
One option maybe to include the spanish or romanian national sides in the tournament.
A similar situation is happening in cricket, where Ireland are taking part in the C & G Trophy which is an English Counties tournament.
Might work?
That did happen in some of the earlier seasons of the competition. I remember Spain playing Gloucester at Kingsholm.

I also remember some Bucharest players going AWOL after playing Saracens at Vicrage Road because they didn&#39;t want to go back home. I think they found most of them, but a couple are probably cleaning hotel rooms around the Watford area.

DonBilly
30-05-06, 02:13 PM
Originally posted by An Tarbh@May 27 2006, 07:38 PM
I think we&#39;re still a way off having a Spanish team in the HEC just yet but I see no reason why there couldn&#39;t be 7 teams from the French, English and Celtic leagues along with 3 Italian teams. Qualification from the CL would purely be based on league standings, no places for countries or no playoffs for the 8th/9th teams.

Or if the ERC want to improve the standards then it might be an option to reduce the HEC to 16 teams, where the group winner gets a home quarter final which the second place team hosts a third place team in a one off quarter final play-off. 5 teams from England and France, 4 from the Celtic League and 2 from the Super 10.
A 16 team format with direct elimination like the FA cup would be wonderul, very exciting matches and many dates saved to consolidate a more sensible global schedule.