What would sale mean?
Q What is CVC Capital Partners? A
A Luxembourg-based private equity company that was involved with Formula One between 2006 and 2017, turning a profit of £2.1billion.
Q When did it start to take an interest in rugby union?
Last year it secured a 27 per cent stake in Premiership Rugby in a £230million deal, enabling the 13 stakeholders to look at a £17-18million payout that would help clear debts. CVC is also close to finalising a £114million deal with the Pro14.
Q What could it bring to the table and how would the game change?
It brings that muchneeded commodity of money. Rugby has struggled to break even since the game went professional in 1995. Most of the 12 Premiership clubs run at a loss. In return for cash comes influence and there are fears that new competitions will put a great strain on players.
Q What is in it for CVC? A
Money. It is a private equity firm whose sole objective is to turn a profit for its backers. The potential return for any sport lies in the sale of its TV rights and that is why CVC has moved to gain influence with the Six Nations Championship. International rugby has far more cachet.
Q What are the downsides? A
A loss of influence. Governing bodies have the best interests of the sport at heart. CVC may lay claim to a similar outlook but its principal focus has to be in seeking profit.
Q Why is World Rugby so concerned? A
The ruling body is fearful of its authority being eroded and any tinkering with its competitive structures. It is also worried about the imbalance in finances between the northern and southern hemisphere.
Q What does it all mean for the average fan? A
It is unlikely to make much difference unless there is a plan to reduce or increase player numbers. A north v south club play-off is a possibility, and also a European League.