QUALIFYING for next season’s inaugural European Rugby Champions Cup is not about the money.
This is the verdict of Wasps director of rugby Dai Young, who believes the rewards of reaching the top rung of club rugby on the continent go far beyond the bottom line.
The Champions Cup has come about after English and French clubs, unhappy about revenue distribution within the Heineken, announced they were leaving to form their own competition two years ago.
Since then protracted negotiations have been ongoing before the new Champions Cup was finally ratified last month – and Wasps are desperate to be a part of it.
Young said: “Financially, people make too much of it. We all get the same whether we’re in Europe or not. The only difference is the gates and there’s not guarantees of big gates in Europe anyway.
“Financially it’s not as significant as people think it is, but it certainly is when it comes to standing and attracting sponsors and bigger audiences.
“It’s a huge step forward for any club.”
Wasps got a taste of it last weekend, when the atmosphere inside Adams Park was electric for the visit of Stade Francais.
More of the same next season would go down very nicely.
Young said: “If you get the likes of Stade Francias and Toulon and all these big French teams coming to Adams Park it would be a big pick me up and a big thing for the crowd to get excited about.
“It’s exciting to see some of the stars they brought across, and everybody wants to be measured in the best competitions. We’re no different.”