Nations League handed a lifeline
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Five of their six member unions are believed to not be in favour of the proposed Nations League, but the Six Nations has collectively decided to tease out the World Rugby proposal some more by opting for a period of due diligence.
World Rugby have claimed that their new tournament idea will be worth £5-billion over 12 years and the Six Nations has decided to stress-test this plan by asking for access to documents that are commercially sensitive so that they can gauge for themselves whether the Nations League is viable or not.
Six Nations has a number of other financial options available to it, including the selling of a stake in their tournament to capital venture companies, a sell-off that would be similar to what Premiership Rugby did earlier this season in giving up a 27 percent shareholding to CVC in return for its clubs sharing a buy-in dividend of more than £200-million.
According to a report in The Guardian, the Six Nations will have a number of weeks to exam the Nations League’s financial plans before deciding whether or not to support the proposal.
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With the major southern hemisphere unions already in support of the newly proposed tournament which is slated to start in 2022 if given the go-ahead, a World Rugby council meeting is planned for Dublin on May 22 to decide if the Nations League will receive the green light.
In a statement released to The Guardian, the Six Nations said on Wednesday evening: “The council met today and discussed the various options available, which involve the future structure and delivery of the championship,” it read.
“We will continue our due diligence in relation to the World Rugby Nations Championship proposal.
“This will be done under a non-disclosure agreement, so we will not be providing any further comment at this stage. We will continue to look at all the other options available.”
The Six Nations reportedly has received four proposals from private equity companies and a sports management company. While all those propositions offer a lump sum up front, they require the six member unions to give up a share of the annual profits generated by the tournament.