The Heineken cup is one of the most thrilling sporting events in the entire world, pulsating, high tension matches culminating in the largest Rugby Club Final on the Earth’s surface. Cherished by all avid Rugby supporters, no fan wants to see it go, but this is exactly what’s happening. High-up business men are trying to squeeze every inch of money they can out of the cup, and because of this, and the ‘unfair’ qualification system, the cup has been ruined. However no solutions have been put forward by the major committees. Silent companies such as Premier Rugby, French Top 14 and the Rabo-Direct Pro12 aren’t fixing anything, just causing endless, very complex problems. Television coverage is so good for the game, so good in fact that it’s suffocating it’s very self, the money pumped in is so large that is has so much power.
The solution? A very clever chap called Terry Burwell. This solution created by Mr Burwell, although fairly complicated, combines the three European leagues together, cumulating in a Grande European finale.
- Each league is split in half (see below) into two conferences
- These two conferences play home and away in their conference
- Then the top two of each conference play each other. The separate conference winners play each other to from the domestic League winner
- The League winners enter the ‘play-offs’ and compete for the final.
- 3rd and 4th of the separate conferences play each other for the second European cup division (challenge cup) in the same format.
- The winners of the separ leagues compete in the European semi-finals/s, along with a wild card or the Challenge cup winner.
- Then after the Heineken cup winner is found, they can compete against last year’s Super 15 winners (Chiefs v Toulon).
What a Tournament! This European cup would re-invigorate the Rabodirect Pro12, increasing money invested into it, and would increase its salary cap, and thus the Welsh Regions could keep their star players. The nearly worthless LV=CUP would be scraped, providing more spaces for internationals which could keep the game fresh, and move away from the current attritional nature of European rugby. This could provide a fast paced game of rugby only seen in the southern hemisphere.
The tournament would be capped off by the biggest game of club rugby ever, the Heineken cup winner vs the Super 15 winner, the World Club Cup.