sport

English clubs reject ERC plan

Premiership rugby clubs have confirmed they will not compete in the revamped Heineken Cup from next season.

English sides are unhappy with how they are dealt with by European Rugby Cup, the body that organises the tournament.

Owners and chief executives from all 12 Premiership teams met to discuss the decision made last week by France's Top 14 sides to commit to the ERC-run format for the 2014-15 season.

Premiership Rugby have announced they are now "pursuing other options".

"ERC does not structurally recognise the role of the leagues and clubs in driving the success of club competitions, under the overall governance of Unions," read a statement from Premiership Rugby.

"The ERC voting structure is controlled by Unions even though the majority of commercial value is created by the independent clubs which represent 75 per cent of the participants.

"Proposals put forward to address a new structure within a Rugby Champions Cup were agreed by a majority of the unions in October, alongside meritocratic competition formats and equitable financial distributions.

"However, these have not been accepted by all.

"The English clubs have worked exhaustively over the last 18 months to propose solutions to the issues with the current European competitions and to provide a sustainable platform to grow the game in the various countries.

"The English clubs are now pursuing other options."