Champions Cup failure would cost Munster €500,000

Champions Cup failure would cost Munster €500,000

FAILING to qualify for next season’s European Champions Cup would cost Munster upwards of €500,000 in gate receipts.

Struggling Munster have just two games remaining to secure their place in Europe’s elite club rugby competition.

As it stands Munster sit outside the qualification places for next season’s Champions Cup. Seventh-placed Munster face sixth-placed Edinburgh in a crucial Guinness Pro12 clash at Musgrave Park on Friday, 7.35pm.

Munster CEO Garrett Fitzgerald said: “It’s a difficult one to measure. If you asked me four or five years ago I’d say it could mean up to €1 million possibly, but that’s basing it on what you’d lose out on gates.

“You don’t get any money just to qualify, you’re not guaranteed any income. The way you get your income is through gate income. But it’s quite interesting to see what’s happening with gate income everywhere when we even look at what happened at the two (Champions Cup) semi-finals last weekend.

“Someone told me that the two together were less than what were at the Leinster-Munster game in the Aviva. And the way gates generally have gone. But it could cost you in gate money in excess of €500,000; you have to be looking at that. 

“That’s just being practical and just taking it from experience. But you could be lucky, if you didn’t make the Champions Cup, with the draw as well.”

Following Friday night’s Pro12 clash with Edinburgh in Cork, Munster complete their regular season fixtures against the Scarlets at Thomond Park on Saturday, May 7.

Munster head coach Anthony Foley says his side has a ‘lot on their plate’ dealing with Edinburgh’s challenge.

"Since the Connacht game we have been chewing over the fat around Edinburgh, making sure that we are properly prepared. Alan Solomans has a very good side, very strong physical side.

”They will come straight at us. You have (Damien) Hoyland, (Tom) Brown and (Blair) Kinghorn, these guys are elusive. We have a lot on our plate this week.”