- "Engalnd to blame for split"

- "Engalnd to blame for split"

Post by John Willia » Tue, 16 Jul 1996 04:00:00

Forwarded from the Electronic Telegraph:

Kiernan says England are to blame for split
By Barrie Fairall

WITH Ireland, Wales, Scotland and France prepared to go their own
way, Tom Kiernan, chairman of the Five Nations committee, laid the
blame squarely on England for going it alone and negotiating their own
television deal.
 "This is a very sad day for rugby," the former British Lions and Ireland
full-back said. "We have made great efforts over the last few months to
persuade the RFU of the implications of their actions in proceeding
unilaterally. I regret that all our efforts have been without success.
 Kiernan added: "If England think there's plenty of time to sort this out
they're mistaken. We're organising our own tournament at
comparatively short notice and stadiums, hotels, supporters' flights all
have to be arranged at shorter than normal notice.
 "We also need to give notice that matches against England are off. But
if England's new president, John Richardson, and any other officials
want to talk at any time we'll be there." The reaction of Will Carling,
England's captain last season, was that something had to be done. "It
can't be allowed to happen," he said.
 "The England representatives must sit down with the other unions and
renegotiate. They must realise the consequences for the game. I've sat
back and watched with amazement as this situation has unfolded. But it
has gone far enough now. A Four Nations would not be doing anyone
any favours.
 Meanwhile, Tony Hallett, in his secretary's report which was presented

thank Dudley Wood, my predecessor, for all his great contribution to
the game and for the finest hospital pass ever thrown!"</h4> "The
consequences of restricting England rugby matches to satellite
television worries me. By taking away England internationals from the
BBC, and audiences of seven to eight million, and placing them on Sky,
where one million might watch, the short-term rush for cash could
signal the collapse in the growing appeal in the game."
 Martin Bayfield, Carling's colleague in so many battles, said that his
country's exclusion "would be a tragedy for England and the Five
Nations because it is such an established and historic event".
 Gareth Davies, the former Wales outside-half and now Cardiff's chief
executive, said he believed the agreement between Scotland, Ireland,
Wales and France will force England to rip up their 87.5 million deal
with Sky.
 Even though the RFU have signed a binding document with BSkyB,
Davies said: "This proves it isn't a game of brinkmanship. The other
countries have shown England they mean business. I think England will
now come back to the negotiating table and even pull out of their deal
with Sky. I think the BBC will support the other countries in what they
are trying to do."
 The national coach, Jean-Claude Skrela, spoke for the French when he
said: "It's a shame. We were half expecting something of this sort but
never thought it would really go this far."
 Meanwhile, Tony Hallett, in his secretary's report which was presented

thank Dudley Wood, my predecessor, for all his great contribution to
the game and for the finest hospital pass ever thrown!"
 And the last words rest with Machiavelli: "There is nothing more
difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous
to handle, than to initiate a new order of things.

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