What would sale mean?

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Rugby | World Cup - By Mick Cleary

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?

A

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?

A

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.

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