European rugby competitions 5 years on

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 11:29 am

So here we are 2019, going back 5 years the PRL and the LNR  planned to form an alternative Rugby Champions Cup. Promises were made, rules were changed, the amount of teams from the respective leagues were altered.

More money would come from it we were told, we need to make the second tier more competitive we were told, there would be sponsors lining up to be a part of it we were told.

So, now we are half a decade into this new world order of the European competitions, does anybody think it is a success ? Does anybody think that the clubs are making a better fist of it than the unions were ?

Do people think that all the promises have been fulfilled ?

Personally, I think that the European competitions are a shadow of what they were when they were controlled by the unions and we all knew it as the Heineken Cup, and the Amlin cup. The magic has gone.

Also, where is the third tier competition we were promised ?

Here is a beginner guide to the new world order that was published 5 years ago:-

What is different about the new European Cup?

There will be three tournaments rather than two, with developing unions having a competition that will involve up to 12 sides. The European Rugby Champions Cup will involve 20 teams, rather than the Heineken Cup's 24, and so will the Challenge Cup, which will contain five teams from the RaboDirect Pro12 next season compared to this campaign's one. The governing body will be based in Switzerland rather than Dublin.

Is that all?

No. The proceeds will be split equally between the three leagues – the Premiership, France's Top 14 and the RaboDirect Pro12 – with a portion reserved for teams who make the latter stages: the current system sees the Pro12 unions (Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy) receive 48%. Safeguards have been put in place to ensure the Rabo does not suffer a drop in income, but the England and French clubs will be significantly better off. The qualification process will largely be based on merit: the top six in the English and French leagues will take part and there will be seven from the Rabo, with at least one team from each of the four countries that take part in it. There will be a play-off for the final place which, from next season, will involve four sides, one from England and France and two from the Rabo. The winners of the European Cup and the Challenge Cup will not automatically qualify.


Who will run the competitions?

European Rugby Cup Ltd, which has been organised the Heineken Cup since its inception in 1995, will be wound up: its chief executive, Derek McGrath, will remain in position until October to ensure a smooth handover. European Professional Club Rugby will take over: the nine stakeholders – the six unions together with the club organisations in England and France and Regional Rugby Wales – will be represented on the board of directors but commercial decisions will be made by a five-strong executive committee, which will be made up of representatives of the three leagues, who will hold the voting power, together with an independent chairman and EPCR's director-general. Advertisements are being drawn up for the two posts.

What happens to Heineken and Amlin?

The idea is that there will be no title sponsor of the competitions and that it makes more sense financially to have an array of commercial partners, like the Uefa Champions League in football. When the English and French clubs launched their plans for a Rugby Champions Cup last autumn, they talked about being able to achieve turnover of some £100m within five years, more than double what it is now.

Will the same trophies be used?

No. The Heineken and Challenge Cups will be presented for the final time next month; whether the winners retain them is up to ERC. Commissions have already been issued for two new trophies, which will be the property of EPCR.

Will the format change?

Yes. There will be five, rather than six, groups of four teams, who will continue to play each other home and away. The five group winners and the three best runners-up will qualify for the last eight, with home advantage enjoyed by the four pool winners with the best records. The pool phase will continue to be played in three blocks of two weekends, completed in January, but the final will be moved to the beginning of May rather than a week before the domestic finals at the end of the month. The Challenge Cup will be made up of 18 teams from the three main leagues and, from next year, two sides from the third tournament, currently called the Qualifying Competition.


How long does the agreement last for? And will there be another dispute when it nears its end?

Previous agreements had a specified shelf-life. This one is different in that it is evergreen. It will carry on unless someone serves two years' notice to pull out, something no one can do for six years. If no one does, it will carry on. It means that if there are issues – and it may be that in time there is pressure for the Champions Cup winners to automatically qualify – they can be dealt with on the hoof. The aim is for the governing body to be reactive rather than regarding everything as set in stone.


Television was a big sticking point. Has it been resolved?

The biggest obstacle for the unions and the clubs to clear was the conflicting television deals agreed by ERC and Premiership Rugby in 2012 with Sky and BT Sport respectively. The two companies, brought together by the RFU chief executive, Ian Ritchie, have reached agreement in principle about arrangements to televise the competitions for the next four years, sharing the rights equally with both showing matches involving English clubs. France is currently negotiating its television deal.

What will happen to those who work for ERC?

Derek McGrath has said he will not apply for a position in the new governing body. EPCR said in its statement that the stakeholders took their obligation to the staff of ERC seriously and would ensure an orderly and proper transition to the new association. ERC has enough money in reserves to meet its legal obligations, and while it is envisaged some staff will be asked to stay on, it would mean moving from Ireland to Switzerland.

So there we are, how do you all see the European competitions now ? Better or worse ?


Last edited by LondonTiger on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 9:04 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : To make things clearer)

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 11:49 am

Part of the benefit and sorry if I didn't see it in that list is the change to qualification as well. That's a clear benefit for me.

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Post by Tramptastic on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 11:57 am

Yeh in the pro 14 it's been a good incentive for the lower to mid-tier teams to keep pushing competitively for the cup qualification. End of season has ended up being more meaningful

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 12:11 pm

Why has my thread been reported ?

Seriously, this place is a nightmare. All I want is some debate, this place is like a morgue.

I am really struggling with this place at the minute, I seriously am.

Get a grip. steam

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 12:35 pm

The Celtic league had the 'qualification' before this competition, but also had more teams permitted to join the top tier of European rugby.

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Post by Welly on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 12:45 pm

I think the quality of rugby is better now in Europe.

I think the one thing I could change would be to make the final the last club game in europe but the Top 14 would never let that happen.

On qualification the Pro 12 had a token qualification that was nothing like the current one.

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 12:54 pm

There are still a lot of unfulfilled promises as well though. Also, I think the interest has regressed since the changes.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 12:54 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Why has my thread been reported ?

Seriously, this place  is a nightmare. All I want is some debate, this place is like a morgue.

I am really struggling with this place at the minute, I seriously am.

Get a grip. steam

Perhaps because you copied and pasted stuff without the source listed, making it difficult for anyone to 7nderstand what was your section and what belonged to someone else.

Me however, I am confused as to how the competition can be unchanged yet has lost it's former magic?

For me the competition is better. The main one has more competitive matches for deeper into the tournament and every team has had to earn their place. The secondary competition is stronger but needs more TV.

Switching to a Finals Weekend has been a massive success, as has taking the Finals to new places. Havi g seen too many games at Murrayfield, Principality and Twickenham seeing games in Bilbao, Newcastle and Marseilles is great. Looking forward to a visit to New White Hart Lane in 2021 and hoping for finals in Italy soon.

New competitions have not delivered on all the promises, but bearing in mind we have seen sports sponsorship drop everywhere (especially 6Ns) the small increase in revenues is admirable. The 3rd tier competition, which at the moment is just playoffs, does need more focus.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 12:55 pm

How do you gauge that though. Last couple of years at least in england rugby seems much more prevalent on sports news etc.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 12:56 pm

LordDowlais wrote:There are still a lot of unfulfilled promises as well though. Also, I think the interest has regressed since the changes.

Crowds up.

TV numbers up.

Will get the details when back at a computer. Interest may be down in your neck of the woods, but there are reasons for that which no competition could change.

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 12:59 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Perhaps because you copied and pasted stuff without the source listed, making it difficult for anyone to 7nderstand what was your section and what belonged to someone else.

The only bits I copied were the beginners guide which I took from the PRL website. I have not taken any credit for it, and I said it was published 5 years ago.

Every time I post a link I get accused of promoting sites, you cannot win with this place, all I wanted to do was create a debate, yet certain members are just pathetic. They are ruining this forum.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 1:03 pm

I'm not complaining but is it more competitive? Doesn't seem like anyone outside of Saracens, Leinster, Toulouse, Racing, (when they're up) Clermont can win it. It's been this way for years.

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 1:03 pm

Also, LT, I take you to this thread:-

http://www.606v2.com/t69231-agen-v-edinburgh

Strange how this was not reported for the same offence. Yet again we have members going after the other members rather than just trying to enjoy this place.

Can you please ask whoever reported me, and perhaps yourself for bringing it up to inform the member of the forum who created that article, that what he has done is wrong ?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 1:10 pm

I'd normally be the one complaining. Wasnt me as I cant report I'd have just mentioned you passing off comments as your own again.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 1:13 pm

Theresa always going to be the same couple of sides on top mikey before sliding back down, albeit with saracens being artificially there (you could say).

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Post by Welly on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 1:18 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:I'm not complaining but is it more competitive? Doesn't seem like anyone outside of Saracens, Leinster, Toulouse, Racing, (when they're up) Clermont can win it. It's been this way for years.

As opposed to
Munster, Tigers, Wasps, Stade, Toulouse?


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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 1:20 pm

Well for arguments sake we can say that Saracens without the one or two players that tipped them over the cap would probably still be on top. It's why they provide the spine of one the best England teams we've seen. They won't be around next season though, so somebody like Exeter could rise up. If anything it's the French teams who are artificial - whoever has the most money is on top, until their artificial players have an average season and they go back to the bottom 6.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 1:20 pm

Welly wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I'm not complaining but is it more competitive? Doesn't seem like anyone outside of Saracens, Leinster, Toulouse, Racing, (when they're up) Clermont can win it. It's been this way for years.

As opposed to
Munster, Tigers, Wasps, Stade, Toulouse?


Are you referring to the old guard?

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Post by Welly on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 1:25 pm

I am.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 1:31 pm

Well back then we at least had some different finalists, so it seemed more competitive.

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Post by Welly on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 1:42 pm

1 could argue that the pool stages is more level.

But I don't think you could blame the changes from European rugby for the lack of different finalists.
In all honesty would the finalist be any different if it was still the same format? Not really.
Why? Because a number of clubs that used to make that Play off spot and push the finalist have dropped due to mostly bad managment.

But at least the pool stages actually seem a lot more tighter and closer.


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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 5:15 pm

Overall, I think the new Heineken is better than the old Heineken - still give me gas though.

Good
Top 7 qualification from PRO14 is better than allowing poor-performing clubs into the comp.  It’s good to see Connacht & Benetton involved by merit as they have demonstrably improved since 2013.  

Some of the match-ups are better.

TV programme quality and presentation is better overall.


Not so good.

Then PRL chief executive, Mark McCafferty, said that the new Champions Cup would deliver “anything between 75-100 per cent” more in revenues than under the old regime, saying that television monies alone would generate “€55 million [£43 million] a year, €220 million over the four-year period”. This was apparently as an upturn of some 60 per cent on previous deals.  When the TV deal moved to BT only after four years, there was no headline publicity boasting of a new, increased TV deal for the current period.    

In addition, Heineken was meant to be one of five title sponsor partners, at a reduced rate of around €3.5 million per annum rather than the €11 million it was contributing as title sponsor.   Instead, EPCR failed to get extra sponsors, and re-signed with Heineken who are now only paying €8m a year.

In short, the hype about the loadsamoney was just that - hype.   TV deals were going to increase one way or another at the renewal stage and new media platforms adopted.   Claiming that overall European revenues would increase by 75-100 percent was always going to look far-fetched once the tinted glasses had been taken off.   The sponsorship boost was a debacle.  As pretty much admitted in recent weeks by the Chairman, Simon Halliday.  Going from 44 million to 32 million was not the greatest look for a comp's administrators that had said once it had settled on a single TV partner, monies would flow again.

The move to Switzerland took two moves before it settled. I’m not sure what benefit if any flowed from that decision.

The third tier competition - Continental Shield - could well be happening - but nothing has crossed my radar.    The Challenge Cup in itself has been largely off our screens, and one wonders what will happen to it, when the current 7-year agreement runs out.

Scheduling and attendances also need to be looked at.  Should the final be held in early May or should it be the crowning point of the season?   Certainly seeking out new locations for the final such as Bilbao to host the final was well received.   Newcastle?  Maybe not so much.  

Future
It’s what happens in the next agreement - from 2022 IIRC - that will be most interesting.  SARU will be looking to be involved in EPCR assuming they continue their Participation Agreement with Celtic Rugby DAC. They may add in one or two more teams once the new SR comp/Sanzaar agreement is hammered out.   This puts more teams in the pot for the two comps and also adds another market with additional TV and sponsorship revenues.  

If PRO16 is created, will this change the balance of the equal division of monies as agreed last time round?
Will PRL/LNR want to reduce the number of teams in the Heineken and increase those in the Challenge?

Any clubs/unions wishing to leave/change the current agreement must give notice by June 2020 - two years advance notice of the end of the current agreement.

There’s lots more to be debated.
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Post by The Oracle on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 9:51 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Perhaps because you copied and pasted stuff without the source listed, making it difficult for anyone to 7nderstand what was your section and what belonged to someone else.

The only bits I copied were the beginners guide which I took from the PRL website. I have not taken any credit for it, and I said it was published 5 years ago.

Every time I post a link I get accused of promoting sites, you cannot win with this place, all I wanted to do was create a debate, yet certain members are just pathetic. They are ruining this forum.

The only bits?! It is the majority of your OP! You also copied every single word of this webpage:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2014/apr/11/beginners-guide-european-rugby-champions-cup

People don’t get annoyed with you promoting sites. It’s more that you write a post by stealing the work of others and trying to pass it off as your own. That’s the opposite of promoting sites as you’re not acknowledging them at all. And you should be careful that you are not charged with copyright infringement. Maybe that’s what the mods are worried about too.
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Post by SecretFly on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 10:01 pm

"Here is a beginner guide to the new world order that was published 5 years ago:-"

Now he might mss the odd quotation marks to more readily delineate his stuff from other published stuff, but I don't really think Lord pretends the words of others are his.

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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 11:01 pm

The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Perhaps because you copied and pasted stuff without the source listed, making it difficult for anyone to 7nderstand what was your section and what belonged to someone else.

The only bits I copied were the beginners guide which I took from the PRL website. I have not taken any credit for it, and I said it was published 5 years ago.

Every time I post a link I get accused of promoting sites, you cannot win with this place, all I wanted to do was create a debate, yet certain members are just pathetic. They are ruining this forum.

The only bits?! It is the majority of your OP!  You also copied every single word of this webpage:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2014/apr/11/beginners-guide-european-rugby-champions-cup

People don’t get annoyed with you promoting sites. It’s more that you write a post by stealing the work of others and trying to pass it off as your own. That’s the opposite of promoting sites as you’re not acknowledging them at all. And you should be careful that you are not charged with copyright infringement.  Maybe that’s what the mods are worried about too.

I think you're over the top here, Oracle - and wrong, for the most part. LD very faithfully included this line in his OP:

"Here is a beginner guide to the new world order that was published 5 years ago:-"


Of course, he could have mentioned the publishing newspaper, but it was clearly evident from the style of writing, its tenses, dates, names, etc that it was all part of a published piece from five years ago. I didn't think for one moment that it was LD's writing, nor that he was attempting to pass it off as such, either.
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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 12:39 am

Apart from the changes to the structure of the competition, one of the reasons the new competition feels different is because the sport itself has changed. A lot of the charm of the old Heineken was in the old rivalries which had developed. In England and France, however, there's been a changing of the guard, as stalwarts like Leicester have not really been serious contenders at the Champions Cup. Meanwhile, Saracens established themselves, while England's next best club, Exeter, have yet to make their mark in Europe.

If the Heineken Cup had continued in it's old format, it would have inevitably changed too. We perhaps notice it more, because there was a clean break to measure against.

The French and English club owners can be held to account for over-egging the financial attraction to sponsors of the new competition. There was definitely more money available from broadcasters, and the failure of the unions to explore those options was a straw which broke the camel's back. However, the ructions over establishing a new structure, along with the broadcasting changes, meant most sponsors preferred to wait and see how the new Cup worked out, rather than signing up.

In retrospect, they might have been advised to keep Heineken onboard for the sake of branding continuity. While it's hard to put a number on it, it does feel a little as if the Champions Cup lost some of the goodwill attached to the old Heineken, and it has taken time to recover it. On the other hand, you'd have to say European rugby has weathered change better than Super Rugby has so far managed in the southern hemisphere.

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Post by Cyril on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 12:54 am

The main difference is not having a guaranteed place for the poor sides by nation in the Pro-14 (or however many). That is a huge step up in quality for the tournament.

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 8:11 am

The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Perhaps because you copied and pasted stuff without the source listed, making it difficult for anyone to 7nderstand what was your section and what belonged to someone else.

The only bits I copied were the beginners guide which I took from the PRL website. I have not taken any credit for it, and I said it was published 5 years ago.

Every time I post a link I get accused of promoting sites, you cannot win with this place, all I wanted to do was create a debate, yet certain members are just pathetic. They are ruining this forum.

The only bits?! It is the majority of your OP!  You also copied every single word of this webpage:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2014/apr/11/beginners-guide-european-rugby-champions-cup

People don’t get annoyed with you promoting sites. It’s more that you write a post by stealing the work of others and trying to pass it off as your own. That’s the opposite of promoting sites as you’re not acknowledging them at all. And you should be careful that you are not charged with copyright infringement.  Maybe that’s what the mods are worried about too.

Then why aren't people venting their anger at this thread:-

http://www.606v2.com/t69231-agen-v-edinburgh

Because it does not suit your agenda does it ? Rolling Eyes

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 8:22 am

LordDowlais wrote:why aren't people venting their anger at this thread:-

http://www.606v2.com/t69231-agen-v-edinburgh

Because it does not suit your agenda does it ? Rolling Eyes
Why spend your time replying to those posts, rather than replying to the people who have addressed the questions you raised in the thread you started?

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 8:49 am

Fair enough.

This place just annoys me at times. No wonder there is no decent debate on here these days. Rolling Eyes

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 8:56 am

Back to the topic.

I agree, having less cannon fodder in the main competition is a lot better, but lets all be honest here, the second tier comp is a joke, nobody really takes it seriously.

It could be argued as well, that the European competition has taken two steps back, and one forward. I do not think it's as good as it was when the unions were in charge.

For me it has lost it's pzazz.

I remember a time where you could not walk into ASDA,Tesco, Sainsbury without the competition being smattered all over the booze isle, there would be adverts all over SKY about it. Now, there is nothing, BT do not really advertise it until the weekend they are showing it.

There seems to be a distinct lack of exposure with it these days. I remember these fixtures being built up as mini internationals.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 8:58 am

Is that a wales thing? You say similar about the league dont you? From an english pov theres more exposure on TV now.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 9:14 am

I think that some people see this as ‘going downhill’ as fewer Welsh teams are involved and those Welsh teams are not as competitive in it. People then feel that the competition is not as good. And then they blame the competition for that. Which is nonsense. The blame for any poor showing in Europe lays squarely at the door of the Welsh regions and the WRU. It’s the same argument as we see in the Pro14. And everyone is bored of that argument now.
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Post by The Oracle on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 9:16 am

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Perhaps because you copied and pasted stuff without the source listed, making it difficult for anyone to 7nderstand what was your section and what belonged to someone else.

The only bits I copied were the beginners guide which I took from the PRL website. I have not taken any credit for it, and I said it was published 5 years ago.

Every time I post a link I get accused of promoting sites, you cannot win with this place, all I wanted to do was create a debate, yet certain members are just pathetic. They are ruining this forum.

The only bits?! It is the majority of your OP!  You also copied every single word of this webpage:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2014/apr/11/beginners-guide-european-rugby-champions-cup

People don’t get annoyed with you promoting sites. It’s more that you write a post by stealing the work of others and trying to pass it off as your own. That’s the opposite of promoting sites as you’re not acknowledging them at all. And you should be careful that you are not charged with copyright infringement.  Maybe that’s what the mods are worried about too.

Then why aren't people venting their anger at this thread:-

http://www.606v2.com/t69231-agen-v-edinburgh

Because it does not suit your agenda does it ? Rolling Eyes


Because I’ve never seen that thread before in my life. Why on earth would I go on an Edinburgh v Agen thread?!
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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 9:26 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Is that a wales thing? You say similar about the league dont you? From an english pov theres more exposure on TV now.

Or it could just be a me thing. Very Happy

It's just how I feel about it, that's all.

Look, I get it. A lot of the English rugby fans on here are going to back their own, and the PRL is your club thing. So you are going to defend it. But, I just think they jumped in, thinking they new better than the unions who have been running rugby for over 100 years. Yes, the unions needed updating, the old farts thing mentioned by Will Carling a few years back was spot on. But I just think the PRL over shot their bolt.

They should not have promised all the trappings of Shangri-La. In my opinion, they now need to be a little humble, and just come out and admit that they have got things wrong. Not everything, but a lot of things.

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 9:27 am

The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Perhaps because you copied and pasted stuff without the source listed, making it difficult for anyone to 7nderstand what was your section and what belonged to someone else.

The only bits I copied were the beginners guide which I took from the PRL website. I have not taken any credit for it, and I said it was published 5 years ago.

Every time I post a link I get accused of promoting sites, you cannot win with this place, all I wanted to do was create a debate, yet certain members are just pathetic. They are ruining this forum.

The only bits?! It is the majority of your OP!  You also copied every single word of this webpage:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2014/apr/11/beginners-guide-european-rugby-champions-cup

People don’t get annoyed with you promoting sites. It’s more that you write a post by stealing the work of others and trying to pass it off as your own. That’s the opposite of promoting sites as you’re not acknowledging them at all. And you should be careful that you are not charged with copyright infringement.  Maybe that’s what the mods are worried about too.

Then why aren't people venting their anger at this thread:-

http://www.606v2.com/t69231-agen-v-edinburgh

Because it does not suit your agenda does it ? Rolling Eyes


Because I’ve never seen that thread before in my life. Why on earth would I go on an Edinburgh v Agen thread?!

Well, now that you have, are you going to complain about that one as well ? I won't hold my breath. Rolling Eyes

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 9:31 am

The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Perhaps because you copied and pasted stuff without the source listed, making it difficult for anyone to 7nderstand what was your section and what belonged to someone else.

The only bits I copied were the beginners guide which I took from the PRL website. I have not taken any credit for it, and I said it was published 5 years ago.

Every time I post a link I get accused of promoting sites, you cannot win with this place, all I wanted to do was create a debate, yet certain members are just pathetic. They are ruining this forum.

The only bits?! It is the majority of your OP!  You also copied every single word of this webpage:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2014/apr/11/beginners-guide-european-rugby-champions-cup

People don’t get annoyed with you promoting sites. It’s more that you write a post by stealing the work of others and trying to pass it off as your own. That’s the opposite of promoting sites as you’re not acknowledging them at all. And you should be careful that you are not charged with copyright infringement.  Maybe that’s what the mods are worried about too.

Then why aren't people venting their anger at this thread:-

http://www.606v2.com/t69231-agen-v-edinburgh

Because it does not suit your agenda does it ? Rolling Eyes


Because I’ve never seen that thread before in my life. Why on earth would I go on an Edinburgh v Agen thread?!

You really should pop over! We're a friendly bunch and theres slightly less Glasgow fans there too which is always a bonus.

We do tend to go wildly off topic though, so be warned!
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Post by SecretFly on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 9:53 am

tigertattie wrote:

You really should pop over! We're a friendly bunch and theres slightly less Glasgow fans there too which is always a bonus.

We do tend to go wildly off topic though, so be warned!

But do tell us thus. Why woulds't this thread be linked to yonder thread in a fashion of negativity, sir? That is what we ponder. What is the link, man!

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 9:55 am

One thing that griped me on the weekend, was no TMO in the Dragons v Castres game. Particularly when there was potential serious foul play that needed checking and left JP Doyle (I think) having to apologise to Richard Hibbard, that there was nothing he could do.

Even the heavily criticised Pro 14 manages TMOs at every game Wink

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Post by Brendan on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 9:56 am

The third teir has happened which is how the Russian teams got in. Going forward from next season is just to invite 2 teams of their choice.

Some parts were a joke.
The teams that qualified the first year were in the challange cup so couldn't qualify the next year.  The compromise was that the two Challange teams would have a playoff for one spot.  Effectively if you got to the Challange there was a 50% chance of being there the second year meaning better team missed out.
A German team qualified but couldn't take part in the Challange which was a joke.  Put them in a different group to the other team the owners have.
There was no WR support

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 10:04 am

Brendan wrote:There was no WR support

Would WR rugby support a competition that is not run by the unions ?

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Post by Irish Londoner on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 10:13 am

LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Is that a wales thing? You say similar about the league dont you? From an english pov theres more exposure on TV now.

Or it could just be a me thing. Very Happy

It's just how I feel about it, that's all.

Look, I get it. A lot of the English rugby fans on here are going to back their own, and the PRL is your club thing. So you are going to defend it. But, I just think they jumped in, thinking they new better than the unions who have been running rugby for over 100 years. Yes, the unions needed updating, the old farts thing mentioned by Will Carling a few years back was spot on. But I just think the PRL over shot their bolt.

They should not have promised all the trappings of Shangri-La. In my opinion, they now need to be a little humble, and just come out and admit that they have got things wrong. Not everything, but a lot of things.

A lot of posters on here pointed out the possible issues with the new cup regime, in particular relating to sponsorship and the unlikelihood of getting all the additional funding they talked about - and that was correct.
In the present the thing that worries me is that BT are quite blatantly ignoring the Challenge Cup even with some prestigious English teams playing in it and no one is calling that out from ERC/the PRL.

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 10:15 am

Brendan wrote:
There was no WR support

Have to agree with Lord here. Sounds like European Rugby OverLords wanting WR 'financial backing' for the non-commercially viable bits of the European Rugby Biz, whilst the controlling Clubs take care of the lucrative bits?

Well, if that was the allusion then I guess if WR fell for it there'd be finally a real buyer for the Brooklyn Bridge too.

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Post by Brendan on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 11:09 am

SecretFly wrote:
Brendan wrote:
There was no WR support

Have to agree with Lord here.  Sounds like European Rugby OverLords wanting WR 'financial backing' for the non-commercially viable bits of the European Rugby Biz, whilst the controlling Clubs take care of the lucrative bits?

Well, if that was the allusion then I guess if WR fell for it there'd be finally a real buyer for the Brooklyn Bridge too.

They could of given the B6N unions money to fund one team from each union (in part)
It was for the development of European Rugby not money to the 3 big leagues

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 11:31 am

It was for the development of European rugby that when developed would be taken in to the lucrative Private Club market.  Others asked to do the financial groundwork so that eventually Privateers for Profit might eventually see a profit investment ready and waiting to be exploited.

Nope.  Private Club Rugby promised they were in it for the good of all, and it was inevitably all just a gimmick to get their controlling hands on the big money sponsorship and broadcasting rights for their own 'exclusive' show.

I'm not against exclusivity in any sport.  When something becomes too broad spectrum and diluted... well...it becomes too broad spectrum and diluted.  The intensity goes.  
Three levels of a fully functioning, fully funded, full interest, fully covered European competition by one organisation was never a goer.  But I guess some of us take delight in highlighting the publicity lies that were told to pretend a version of Utopia was arriving for all of Europe.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 12:29 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:I'm not complaining but is it more competitive? Doesn't seem like anyone outside of Saracens, Leinster, Toulouse, Racing, (when they're up) Clermont can win it. It's been this way for years.

Is it any different to when it was only won by Tigers Wasps and Toulouse, or when  the period when it was only won by Munster or Toulouse or Wasps, or the period when it was only won by Toloun and Leinster?

Pretty sure we've seen the end of the period of Saracens dominating it.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 12:46 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I'm not complaining but is it more competitive? Doesn't seem like anyone outside of Saracens, Leinster, Toulouse, Racing, (when they're up) Clermont can win it. It's been this way for years.

Is it any different to when it was only won by Tigers Wasps and Toulouse, or when  the period when it was only won by Munster or Toulouse or Wasps, or the period when it was only won by Toloun and Leinster?

Pretty sure we've seen the end of the period of Saracens dominating it.

True. Now it'll probably go back to Leinster, Toulouse or Clermont.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 1:36 pm

As someone who doesnt support an english club and being pretty critical on the prl for a few years regarding salary caps not sure I fit into the category of I'll defend them to the hilt. Serious question is the coverage of rugby in wales diminishing rather than the tournaments? Has there been a a high profile change in sports editors etc

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 1:41 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:As someone who doesnt support an english club and being pretty critical on the prl for a few years regarding salary caps not sure I fit into the category of I'll defend them to the hilt. Serious question is the coverage of rugby in wales diminishing rather than the tournaments? Has there been a a high profile change in sports editors etc

You have been on the threads, you have debated it to death. For people in Wales to watch all their regions games, they have to pay for two channels, or travel the length and breadth of Europe.


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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 1:58 pm

It's more a question of the core coverage. I say it's more prominent in england and for me in the north of england as the beeb local and national are giving sports updates that seemingly just went to football previously. Theres more coverage on the radio and indeed with the local clubs being linked in with health campaigns. More write ups in the paper. Has that changed? If it is simply down to it's not all on free to air tv...its not really down to the tournament.

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