Pro14 Chief Executive denies talks over British and Irish league

Pro14 Chief Executive denies talks over British and Irish league

Pro14 chief executive Martin Anayi has stated that there has been no talks over a British and Irish League.

There has been speculation throughout the year of such a tournament being formed in the coming seasons but Anayi says no discussions have taken place and his focus is on consolidating the Pro14 competition alongside the two European tournaments.

"That is all news to us," said Anayi at the official launch of Cardiff hosting the 2019-20 Pro14 final.

"I sometimes laugh because there is sometimes some ignorance around there being a European Cup.

"That is the platform where we play the great games against the English and French sides.

"We love the Champions and Challenge Cup and our part in it. We think we can do more to help those two tournaments as well as the Pro14.

"So the definite answer for us is our future is with the Pro14 and EPCR which represents the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.

"We are focusing on that. We have a good product which we love and fans that are loving it more and more by the day."

Premiership Rugby has moved into a "new era" after a deal was concluded for private equity firm CVC Capital Partners to invest more than £200m. CVC has bought a minority shareholding, understood to be about 27% and has been linked with a similar deal with Pro14.

When asked about private investment coming into the league, Anayi said: "Investment is the key word."

"It is important we have a strong competition and business for our clubs but in doing that we have made ourselves attractive to third party investors.

"It is a strange cycle. One we are not unhappy about but it needs to be approached in the right way.

"There are some positive things about private equity if you have a strong direction and vision for what you want to achieve and strong shareholders who they would be partners with."

Anayi also said there were no plans for future expansion into North America or increase the number of sides in the competition from 14.

"I want the 14 to be strong," said Anayi.

"When you don't have promotion and relegation, the bottom half of the table needs to really push the top half.

"We are probably getting one to eight being strong and we need nine to 14 being able to beat one to eight on any day.


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