Friday 18 January 2019

Dawson tight-lipped on contract negotiations

Leinster Chief Executive Mick Dawson was not prepared to be drawn out on the knock-on effect of the speculation that private money has been commandeered to underwrite the return of Jonathan Sexton to Ireland.

"We understand that Johnny looks like the prodigal son coming home again," said Dawson.

It has raised questions over whether it will lead to increased demands from Ireland's marquee players as contract negotiations begin for, say, a world-class asset like Rob Kearney.

"We value the fellas who stay here just as much and we'll be working just as hard to keep them on board.

"But I really wouldn't go down the road of discussing contracts because I don't think it's right."

Dawson is "not worried" that the Rugby Champions Cup does not have a headline sponsor.

"The change over from the ERC was always going to be a slow burner," he said.

"I think this time next year all the sponsors will be on board.

"The television deals are all on board now and they have increased the revenues there.

"These issues take time to sort through and the ugly, drawn-out nature of the creation of a new European Cup meant the Champions Cup came late to the process of securing partnerships.

"The time lines were so tight and it's probably difficult to get people to sign up for big ticket items," issued Dawson.

"You want them to start in the first of September and really most people have spent their budget, so I think it will be next year before we get the full benefit".

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