Club World Cup is the new cash cow
NEWS: French Rugby Federation President Bernard Laporte wants to introduce a new Club World Cup tournament as part of the ticket he is running on for the upcoming World Rugby elections.
Laporte wants his new tournament to replace the Champions Cup, claiming the European showpiece is not generating enough income.
Laporte, who is hoping to be elected World Rugby vice-chairman next month, says he has already held discussions about the proposed new tournament with World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont.
His Club World Cup idea would see 20 teams from the northern and southern hemispheres compete in a new six-week tournament.
The tournament, which would include teams from the English Premiership, the French Top 14, the Pro14 and Super Rugby, would run every year except World Cup years, and would also include one team each from the United States and Japan.
Laporte told French newspaper Midi Olympique that the introduction of a Club World Cup would help recover some of the losses incurred by the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought the global rugby calendar to a standstill.
“This crisis must push us to be innovative,” Laporte said.
“Let’s make this new competition, I’m sure that the public, partners and televisions will follow,” he added.
“I’ve been working with Bill Beaumont on the restructuring of the international calendar in order to standardise the windows reserved for national teams.
“And, in fact, create a new window dedicated to clubs, which would allow the creation of a new international competition: the Club World Cup.”
The structure of the tournament would see the 20 teams divided into four groups of five, before qualifying for quarterfinals, semifinals and a grand Final.
The make-up of the Club World Cup would include four teams from the Top 14, four from the Premiership, four from the Pro14, six from Super Rugby, as well as the league champions from the United States and Japan.
The Club World Cup would take place across June and July, allowing the remaining Northern and Southern Hemisphere fixtures to be played out as normal later in the year.
“The European competition is magnificent,” Laporte said.
“With Toulon, I was able to lift the trophy three times [as head coach] and I know what it can represent. But let’s be frank, it doesn’t generate enough income. If we want to develop this Club World Cup, we have to find dates. Without the Champions Cup, nine weekends are available.”
Sources: Midi Olympique & RugbyPass