European Cup - ERC to be quizzed over payments

Europe's top clubs will seek assurances from Heineken Cup organisers European Rugby Cup over tournament participation payments.

PA Sport
European Cup - ERC to be quizzed over payments

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The uncertain future of the Heineken Cup comes under scrutiny again in Dublin on Wednesday

The agenda at an ERC board meeting in Dublin is likely to be dominated by the issue of a late payment of scheduled tournament fees.

Press Association Sport understands fears have been raised that ERC has withheld a participation fee payment due to the continued European uncertainty.

ERC could be wound up at the end of the season if the Six Nations committee assumes governance of a top-flight European club competition, as championed by English and Welsh clubs.

Representatives from club bodies will quiz ERC on whether payment has been deferred to offset any potential liabilities should the organisation become defunct at the end of the season, it is understood.

Premiership Rugby's ERC board member Peter Wheeler will attend, but it remains unclear whether the Welsh regions will send a representative.

The Welsh Rugby Union has urged Regional Rugby Wales to have a presence at the meeting.

Regional Rugby Wales relinquished their seat on the board of ERC at the height of the European rugby impasse.

Now the WRU want RRW to appoint a replacement for Stuart Gallacher, who stepped down from the ERC board last month, in time for that nominee to attend Wednesday's meeting.

Welsh union bosses confirmed in a statement they had written to RRW on Tuesday, urging for the Welsh regions conglomerate to send a representative to the ERC summit.

"RRW are urged to appoint a Director of ERC in advance of tomorrow's meeting, and attend in that capacity, in order to effect change and/or exert an influence in any way," read part of the statement.

"This action would enable the RRW director to re-join the debate and participate and contribute fully to the important discussions that will take place.

"The WRU believes that the regional organisations are best served by being represented on the board of directors of ERC and working with the WRU so that the interests of Welsh rugby can be met."

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