The RFU had denied the club the right to be promoted based on missed Minimum Standards Criteria but as the details of the panel’s verdict were published, it was clear that London Welsh’s instincts that double standards were at play were confirmed.
Here are the details of the decision:
On Primacy of Tenure:
“We upheld London Welsh’s complaint and concluded that the Primacy of Tenure rule gave rise to an unjustified distortion of competition, contrary to EU and UK competition law. While the rule included exemptions for three particular Premiership clubs, 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.”
On the Kassam Stadium:
“Newcastle also argued that London Welsh was, in any event, not entitled to succeed because of its delays in making arrangements to secure the Kassam Stadium as its home stadium. We reject that argument.”
Where London Welsh have been successful, Newcastle Falcons are facing relegation for the first time since 1996/7. An emotional statement read:
“We are extremely disappointed and we will leave our options open as to where we go from here. We do not underestimate the challenges we face in the Championship but under Dean Richards we will have one, and only one goal – to win. Join the journey now and have the pride in being able to say “I was there at the new beginning.”
The fixtures for the 2012/13 Aviva Premiership season will be announced on July 4th.