Talks fail to break deadlock in dispute over Euro rugby future

EUROPEAN rugby’s future remains in the balance after talks in Dublin yesterday failed to avert the threat of a breakaway from English and French top-flight clubs.

Stakeholders in European Rugby Cup [ERC], organisers of the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup, agreed to reconvene in Rome next month to continue dialogue.

It comes after Premiership Rugby, which represents England’s 12 top-flight teams, last week negotiated a controversial £152m broadcast deal with BT.

The four-year contract includes rights to show English clubs in European competition from 2014-15 and is the latest indication they intend to exit the two ERC competitions and form a new tournament after next season.

Premiership and Top14 chiefs want a larger slice of revenue and more places for their clubs in relation to Celtic and Italian sides.