Premiership Rugby say they intend to ‘formally’ investigate the leaking of minutes.
The RFU’s Premiership ringfencing has clubs considering a future away from the influence of the national body, according to a report overnight by The Mail on Sunday.
The report suggests that Premiership Rugby discussed a break away from the RFU and potentially forming their own rebel league if the promotion-relegation rules are not scrapped.
Premiership Rugby’s board meeting minutes detail discussions by club chairmen exploring the idea of an ‘unregulated competition’.
A statement from the Premiership in light of leak says they will investigate it fully.
“As anyone would expect the Premiership Rugby Board will discuss a number of issues at each meeting, with only some of those ever coming off the drawing board and into reality,” said a Premiership Rugby spokesperson.
“Our Board Meetings are a forum for ideas to be discussed but until there is an agreed policy on any issue, these are just ideas.
“The topic of promotion and relegation from Gallagher Premiership Rugby has been discussed since the game turned professional and is of course a topic raised at many of our Board Meetings.
“If a proposal on promotion and relegation is agreed by our Board it will be presented to the RFU. We are in a partnership with the RFU under the Professional Game Agreement.
“Any leak of minutes which are clearly a private record of Board discussions does however represent a serious breach of internal confidentiality which we shall need to formally investigate.”
After private equity firm CVC purchasing a minority stake for £200m, clubs are set for a windfall injection of funds. With the financial disparity of Premiership versus Championship inclusion growing, the clubs are keen to protect their financial security.
Relegation to the Championship is viewed as a financial ‘disaster’.
If the clubs were to break away and form a rebel competition outside the jurisdiction of the RFU, it could prove catastrophic for the national team. The Professional Game Agreement that provides Premiership Rugby with £30million a year for access to players for the RFU could be put in jeopardy.
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