Welsh Rugby: Regions are waiting for European Cup money

Heineken Cup

Wales's rugby regions have not received their latest instalment of cash for playing in the Heineken Cup.

The Ospreys, Scarlets, Dragons and Blues expected to be paid £800,000 on Wednesday by European Rugby Cup (ERC), the company which runs the tournament.

But the money has not arrived and the regions have had to make alternative arrangements to pay wages.

However, ERC say the money was not due to be paid until after a board meeting on 5 February.

ERC claims the decision was made at a board meeting in September, when the regions - Ospreys, Scarlets, Cardiff Blues and Newport Gwent Dragons - were represented by Regional Rugby Wales (RRW) Chief Executive Stuart Gallacher.

The ERC statement says: "At the start of the season (September 2013) the board of ERC decided that each instalment of the ERC distribution payments should be approved by the board before they would be released to the shareholder countries.

"The first instalment was issued to the six shareholder countries in October with board approval.

"The next board meeting is on Wednesday, 5 February, when the release of the second instalment will be considered."

The board of ERC is made up of club and union representatives from England, France, Ireland, Italy, Wales and Scotland.

Gallacher, who was at the September board meeting, has since resigned from the ERC board.

The money from European competitions is actually paid to the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), who then distribute it in full to the regions.

The WRU supports the ERC version of events.

The WRU and the regions are embroiled in a bitter dispute over how the game is run in Wales; competitions and the exodus of players for higher salaries in England and France.

A proposed legal agreement between both parties remains unsigned.

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