Originally posted by scrum.com
Moffett calls for major overhaul
13 Jul 2005Â
Welsh Rugby Union Chief Executive David Moffett believes that Northern Hemisphere rugby is ripe for a major overhaul.
With the Lions defeat in new Zealand as a backdrop Moffett believes a radical rethink for the structure of the game is necessary. Speaking to the Western Mail the WRU boss said â€œThere's absolutely no doubt that the biggest issue in the northern hemisphere is the structure of the season. It's just too long and we have to work out how to look after our players better.â€
Moffett believes that top players should also play a maximum of 32 games a season, with a pan â€“ European league set up to replace all the existing club competitions.
"Everyone is skirting around the issue, but we have to look at it. Until we get serious about that, we are going to see the sort of results that we have seen over the past month. France looked jaded in losing out in South Africa and Australia, while we have all seen what has happened with the Lions.
"Hopefully, those defeats will act as a catalyst to accelerate the move to change up here. If we don't change, then we will end up in the same boat in four years' time with the Lions. And, more importantly, if we don't change, we are going to kill the players."
"We are all strapped for cash in the northern hemisphere and the idea people have come up for getting more money is play more competitions," he said. â€œSo, we have our domestic leagues - the Guinness Premiership, French championship and Celtic League -we have the Powergen Cup and the Heineken Cup, plus the autumn internationals and the Six Nations. Then, on top of all that, we have to go down south at the end of the season.
"It is with this in mind that Moffett is proposing a streamlined season with a European league replacing both domestic tournaments and the Heineken Cup.
"I think the Heineken Cup is a fantastic competition and we should look to expand on that," he said. "You could have a European league with three conferences of 14 teams, with the top sides going through to a play-off and the whole thing rounding off with a Superbowl-style final. You could gear the fixture list to give you whatever number of games you wanted, with cross-conference matches.
"I have put it up as an idea, but nobody wants to debate it. I don't know why - perhaps it's because of parochial issues.
The WRU has buggered up enough over the last 6 months - This idiot should just keep his mouth shut.