A leading club chairman is predicting that a 24-team British League could be “up and running in two years”.
With PRO14 going down the English Premiership route and negotiating a sale of a 27 per cent share worth £120million to CVC Capital Partners, the former owners of Formula One and Moto GP will seek to quickly combine the two tournaments they will have bought into.
A deal to buy into the Premiership was completed last season, with each of the 13 clubs who own Premier Rugby Ltd harvesting a reputed £13.5m each following a deal worth £275m.
“A British League will happen in two years’ time,” claimed one anonymous club chairman to The Rugby Paper. “It will happen because it is the best outcome for the game in the four home countries and for CVC.
“It will appeal to the Welsh regions in particular and the Premiership clubs. Not one is profitable with the exception of Exeter and a British League will go along way towards providing stability.
FRONT: New British League ‘coming to rugby in two years’
Sunday’s TRP ?? pic.twitter.com/ywITPVAFRP
— TheRugbyPaper (@TheRugbyPaper) July 20, 2019
“In Wales, it will be seen as the only opportunity to be sustainable Their regions lost between £5m-£6m last year.
“They have been kept going by the generosity of a few backers and the danger is they will get even fewer unless something radical is done,” continued the chairman 21 years after Cardiff and Swansea last joined the English Premiership for a single season.
News broke tonight that CVC have become a minority stakeholder in Premiership Rugby…
So what exactly does that mean?
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) December 19, 2018
“Commercially, they could be as much as 50 per cent better off. It will be important to have all four Irish provinces on board but, if necessary, we will go ahead and do it without them.”
A British League, though, would effectively be a European tournament without the French and would raise questions about the viability of the European Champions and Challenge Cup tournaments in their current guise.
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