Crash in ster­ling has hit rev­enue ad­mits Hal­l­i­day

The Rugby Paper - - News - ■ By NEALE HAR­VEY

THE fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions of Brexit are hin­der­ing ef­forts by Cham­pi­ons Cup bosses to add to their sta­ble of main spon­sors, ac­cord­ing to EPCR chair­man Si­mon Hal­l­i­day.

Hal­l­i­day has mounted a ro­bust de­fence of his or­gan­i­sa­tion amid mount­ing crit­i­cism from clubs over EPCR’s in­abil­ity to at­tract five front-line part­ners – a pledge made in 2014 when the Heineken Cup was aban­doned in favour of a new 20-team Cham­pi­ons Cup.

Only Heineken and Turk­ish Air­lines have so far signed up, leav­ing Premier­ship clubs fac­ing a £300,000-plus black hole in bud­gets set against ex­pected rev­enues. Hal­l­i­day told The Rugby

Pa­per: “EPCR is to­tally aware that we need to build our brand and com­mer­cial strat­egy, but Brexit hasn’t helped be­cause of its im­pact on cur­rency – and there’s ab­so­lutely noth­ing we can do about that.

“Talk to any­one who trades across Euro­pean mar­kets and if you have big move­ments in cur­rency it cre­ates huge un­cer­tainty.

“We’ve got stake­hold­ers in 11 coun­tries across Europe who trade in euro and ster­ling as well as other cur­ren­cies.

“There’s been no ben­e­fit to us in ster­ling col­laps­ing by 20 per cent and, while it could also go the other way, lots of com­pa­nies face this prob­lem. Also, there are spon­sor­ships avail­able at all sorts of lev­els at the mo­ment, whether it’s the RBS Six Na­tions or Aviva Premier­ship, so it be­comes quite dif­fi­cult be­cause we have three com­pe­ti­tions across all those dif­fer­ent coun­tries.

“It’s not easy to marry up who’s right for you but I’m pretty con­fi­dent that over the next year or two we will build our spon­sor­ship rev­enue.”

Hal­l­i­day claims clubs are al­ready ben­e­fit­ting from in­creased tele­vi­sion money as the bat­tle for new TV rights from 2018 gets un­der­way.

He added: “Un­der the TV deal that was ne­go­ti­ated in 2014 there was a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the fi­nan­cial dis­tri­bu­tion to stake­hold­ers. We’re in­volved in TV renewals again now be­cause it’s time for us to talk about the next cy­cle.

Prob­lem: Si­mon Hal­l­i­day

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