French offer money to support Heineken Cup
November 11, 2013
Pierre Camou - throwing his weight behind the Heineken Cup? © Getty Images
Less than 24 hours after it was reported that French Rugby Federation president Pierre Camou was putting pressure on clubs to remain within the existing European competition structure, rugby newspaper Midi Olympique claims that the board has offered the French clubs €2 million each to commit to playing in the Heineken Cup next season.
The newspaper claims the offer was made at a secret meeting last week held at Charles-de-Gaulle airport which included representatives of the Top 14 clubs as well as some from England.
At the heart of Camou's move is his unhappiness with the governance of the proposed new Champions Cup which organisers say will be run by the clubs with little involvement of the boards.
After remaining cautiously quiet in the aftermath of the announcement of the split. Camou has become more vocal in recent weeks. He now claims that clubs' plans to join the Champions Cup are in breach of the French rugby rules, although this is disputed by the Ligue National de Rugby.
It is claimed Camou has won the support of several French clubs with the newspaper naming Toulon and Biarritz as being among them.
The news will be a blow to Premier Rugby who have seemed to have all the momentum since they broke cover with their plans.
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