- Dec 17, 2015
- Club or Nation
Bill Sweeney said: ‘I think everything is on the table to be discussed’ in relation to central contracts and has thrown the Rugby Football Union’s support behind a 10-team Premiership
"I think everything is on the table to be discussed," Sweeney said. "There are certain phrases which are like nuclear buttons, and the phrase 'central contracts' tends to have that nuclear effect.
"In terms of the higher salaries for the elite players, the time they spend playing for England and the time they spend playing for their club – is there a different way we can work with PRL and work with the clubs in order to mitigate the expense they are facing on that side of things and have a better structure in place so we achieve greater financial stability for the clubs and we also achieve better quality of players coming into the national team? I would say that all of these possibilities are on the table because of what's happened.
"I don't like using the phrase but this has created an opportunity, but it is an opportunity to look at everything that has been knocking around for quite some time. This is the time to address that.
"I don't think there has ever been a bigger opportunity since the game went professional for us to come around the table in an active, open and transparent manner."
Sweeney also acknowledged the RFU regulation which dictates players based outside England are ineligible for the national team would be looked at as part of wider discussions with allowances already made for Worcester players as well as those at Wasps, assuming the club enter administration on Monday. "I've heard of a number of players saying they have intentions or would look at going abroad after the World Cup so we'll have to address that."