PRO14 Boss On The Possibility Of A ‘British & Irish’ League

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Reports last month surfaced stating that the PRO14 and the English Premiership could be no more in a couple of seasons time with plans to create a ‘British and Irish’ league already in motion.

A leading English club chairman said that that he expects the move to happen within two years, suggesting talks are all ready well underway to combine the two leagues.

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The proposal was said to be linked to the plans by private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for a deal worth a reported £100million for a 27 per cent stake in the PRO14. CVC already own a similar stake in the Premiership and are in talks to invest in the Six Nations also.

But it appears that report is completely false, with PRO14 boss Martin Anayi pouring cold water over the speculation.

“That is all news to us,” said Anayi at the official launch of Cardiff hosting the 2019-20 PRO14 final.

“I sometimes laugh because there is sometimes some ignorance around there being a European Cup.

“That is the platform where we play the great games against the English and French sides.

“We love the Champions and Challenge Cup and our part in it. We think we can do more to help those two tournaments as well as the Pro14.

“So the definite answer for us is our future is with the Pro14 and EPCR which represents the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.

“We are focusing on that. We have a good product which we love and fans that are loving it more and more by the day.”

But what about the potential CVC Capital Partners investment? Well it seems that indeed is very much on the table.

“Investment is the key word.” Anayi said when asked about CVC

“It is important we have a strong competition and business for our clubs but in doing that we have made ourselves attractive to third party investors.

“It is a strange cycle. One we are not unhappy about but it needs to be approached in the right way.

“There are some positive things about private equity if you have a strong direction and vision for what you want to achieve and strong shareholders who they would be partners with.”