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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 March 2007, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Premier clubs make offer to RFU
Premier Rugby/RFU graphic
England's top clubs have revealed their plans for the game's future.

Premier Rugby (PRL), which represents the 12 top-flight clubs, has sent its offer to the Rugby Football Union.

It is asking for 12.4m-a-year funding and in return proposes that no player in the England team will have to play for their clubs during the Six Nations.

Premier Rugby also proposes a "Professional Board" to run the pro game in England and repeats its demands for a direct stake in the Heineken Cup.

The main points contained in the offer are:

  • A new Elite Player Management (EPS) system:

    Premier Rugby says the new deal offers "significantly increased player access".

    The main difference is that EPS players selected for the autumn internationals and Six Nations would not have to play for their clubs, starting from the weekend before the first match.

  • Increased funding from the RFU:

    At the moment Premier Rugby receives 5m-a-year from the RFU (6m in a World Cup year) which it distributes to its member clubs.

    Premier Rugby is demanding 12.4m-a-year under the new deal, which it wants to run for a minimum of eight years from the start of the 2008-09 season.

  • A greater say in the running of the game:

    This comes in two ways.

    The first is the formation of a "Professional Board", which would "only focus on playing-related matters", to govern the elite game in England.

    The board would comprise four RFU members, four from Premier Rugby, two from the Professional Rugby Players' Association (PRA) and one from the Division One clubs (FDR).

    The second is Premier Rugby's repeated demand for a direct stake in the Heineken Cup, which the RFU has consistently refused to agree to.

    Premier Rugby wants the "shareholding and votes to be equally divided between PRL and the RFU".

    Premier Rugby's offer is the latest shot in the long-running disagreement with the RFU, who recently launched its "Way Forward" document setting out its view for the future of the game in England.

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