Updated: 29/06/2012 20:26 | By pa.press.net

London Welsh on the up after appeal



London Welsh have won their appeal to the RFU and will play in the Aviva Premiership next season

London Welsh have won their appeal to the RFU and will play in the Aviva Premiership next season

London Welsh will play in the Aviva Premiership next season after winning their appeal against a Rugby Football Union decision to block their promotion.

The Championship winners were originally denied the right to go up after being told they had failed to meet the minimum standards required of a Premiership club.

London Welsh's appeal was heard on Thursday by an independent panel, who spent all of Friday deliberating over the evidence before finding in favour of the Richmond-based club. The verdict condemns Newcastle to relegation after they finished bottom of the Premiership.

London Welsh were initially told they had failed the minimum standards audit on a number of factors but primarily because they did not meet the requirement for primacy of tenure.

In effect, that meant London Welsh were not allowed to share the Kassam Stadium with Oxford United even though three existing Premiership teams co-habit with football clubs.

London Welsh argued the primacy of tenure rule breached UK and European competition law and was therefore void and unenforceable. The independent panel, which was comprised of QCs James Dingemans, Ian Mill and Tim Ward, agreed.

"We upheld London Welsh's complaint and concluded that the Primacy of Tenure rule gave rise to an unjustified distortion of competition, contrary to UK and EU competition law," the panel said in a statement.

"While the rule included exemptions for three particular Premiership clubs ('the three club exemption'), there was insufficient justification for the narrowness of that exemption and its restrictive effect on aspirant Championship clubs.

"London Welsh argued and the RFU accepted that the consequence of such a finding was that the provisions that contain the Primacy of Tenure rule in the MSC (minimum standards criteria) are void."

This is the second time the Premiership's minimum standards criteria have failed to stand up to a challenge. Rotherham complained to the Office of Fair Trading after their promotion was blocked in 2002, leading to a change in the definition of primacy of tenure.

2Comments
30/06/2012 15:14
avatar
So LONDON Welsh playing in OXFORD??
30/06/2012 16:02
avatar

Absolutely brilliant news for the Welsh in London and a victory for common sense. The RFU should abide by their own rules and not 'cherry pick' the Premiership teams.

Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
10 reasons to make MSN UK your homepage (© Microsoft)

latest rugby news

  • Mark McCall wants no repeat of Saracens' last meeting with Clermont

    Given their remarkable progress in recent years, it may seem odd this Saracens side's defining moment is perhaps one of their heaviest and most humbling defeats.

  • James Hanks has been advised by doctors to end his playing days due to a neck injury

    Exeter Chiefs lock James Hanks has been forced to retire at the age of 29 due to a neck injury.

  • Lorenzo Cittadini will play for Wasps next season

    London Wasps have announced the signing of Italian tight head Lorenzo Cittadini, who will join ahead of next season.

  • Tom Biggs is leaving Bath for Worcester

    Bath winger Tom Biggs has agreed to join Worcester in the summer, the Warriors have announced.

  • Benjamin Kayser believes Clermont coach Vern Cotter, pictured, has become increasingly ruthless in his approach over time

    Vern Cotter's "ruthless" management has "evolved drastically", leaving the Kiwi coach refusing to discuss his summer Scotland switch as Clermont chase Heineken Cup redemption, according to hooker Benjamin Kayser.

  • Toulon's Bryan Habana, pictured with the ball, admits CJ Stander decision to chase residency in Ireland is a loss to South Africa

    Munster's South Africa-born flanker CJ Stander qualifying for Ireland through residency is a "loss" to the Springboks, admits World Cup winner Bryan Habana.

  • Declan Fitzpatrick has undergone a procedure to correct an irregular heart rhythm

    Ulster prop Declan Fitzpatrick will face further precautionary tests in Belfast after treatment in Glasgow for an irregular heartbeat.

  • Glasgow Warriors' Ryan Wilson has signed a two-year contract extension

    Glasgow Warriors have tied down two more players on extended deals after persuading back-row pair Ryan Wilson and James Eddie to commit themselves to the Scotstoun outfit.

  • Benji Marshall is set for a return to rugby league

    Former New Zealand captain Benji Marshall is seeking a return to rugby league after struggling to adapt to his switch of codes.

  • Ben Ransom scored the vital try for Saracens

    Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens claimed a 23-18 victory over Newcastle at Kingston Park with the home side snatching a vital bonus point in their battle against relegation.

  • Jamie Elliott, pictured right, scored two tries as Northampton beat London Irish

    Northampton pulled seven points clear of third-placed Bath in the Aviva Premiership table after securing an edgy 36-21 win over London Irish at Franklin's Gardens.

  • Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall was pleased his decision to rest several players paid off

    Saracens' decision to rest some of their star names ahead of next week's Heineken Cup semi-final paid off when the Aviva Premiership leaders edged Newcastle 23-18 at Kingston Park.