Premiership Rugby Reportedly Wants To Completely Revamp The Champions Cup AGAIN
The 12 Premiership Rugby clubs are set to meet today to discuss a £275m offer from CVC Capital Partners for a controlling stake in the competition, but it appears that is not the only thing on their agenda.
While the initial takeover offer is set to be rejected, it appears the club owners are set to use today’s meeting to raise some other issues that could change the landscape of professional rugby in the northern hemisphere – again.
According to Rob Kitson in the Guardian, Premiership Rugby may once again look to revamp European competition by reducing the amount of teams in the Champions Cup from 20 club to just 16.
“The Guardian understands there is a desire in certain influential quarters to reduce the number of competing sides in the Champions Cup from 20 to 16.” Kitson writes.
“Only the top five sides each year from the respective three European-based leagues, plus the winners of the previous season’s Challenge Cup, would earn entry. The idea is to make the competition more cut-throat and, theoretically, attractive by ensuring more big matches rather than as opposed to flooding European weekends with wall-to-wall, occasionally mediocre fixtures.”
A Ryder Cup-style competition between the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere clubs is also set to be on the agenda according to Kitson.
“Another suggestion is for a Ryder Cup-style weekend showdown in mid-June between the best club or provincial teams in Europe and their southern hemisphere counterparts.” Kitson adds
“Imagine the five leading New Zealand Super Rugby provinces coming over to play the top five clubs in England. On the same weekend the three top Australian sides might play in Ireland while the five best South African sides are split between Wales and Scotland. The 13 fixtures would be spread from Friday to Sunday, all of them counting for one point apiece. The first hemisphere to register seven wins would officially be declared the stronger.”