Cup bid un­der threat

Daily Express - - DAILY EXPRESSSPO­RT - By Sam Peters

ENG­LAND could be forced to with­draw their bid to stage the 2015 rugby World Cup be­cause of the de­mands be­ing im­posed by the world’s gov­ern­ing body.

The IRB are un­der­stood to have in­stalled a clause that any bid­ding na­tion must guar­an­tee a profit re­turn to them of more than £70mil­lion.

With the world’s econ­omy in fi­nan­cial melt­down, RFU chief ex­ec­u­tive Fran­cis Baron be­lieves the IRB need to com­pletely re­think the bid­ding pro­ce­dure, which he says places a “mas­sive risk” on the bid­ding union.

He said: “Home unions now have to com­mit to pay­ing a very large tour­na­ment fee to the IRB that has to be guar­an­teed and un­der­writ­ten.

“This has changed the fi­nan­cial dy­nam­ics of bid­ding sub­stan­tially and puts an ab­so­lutely mas­sive fi­nan­cial risk on the bid­ding union.

“Our ini­tial pre­dic­tions make it un­likely that Eng­land could ac­tu­ally make a profit out of host­ing a World Cup in 2015.”

Eng­land’s re­luc­tance to go it alone would raise the ugly prospect of an­other mix-and-match tour­na­ment, where games are shared be­tween the four home unions. It is a model that has been proved to fail, but Baron be­lieves it could be the only so­lu­tion.

He said: “We have had dis­cus­sions with Wales and Ire­land sep­a­rately, so we are talk­ing to our fel­low home unions.”

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