European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) is pleased to announce that it will relocate its headquarters to the Swiss city of Lausanne where it will join a renowned sports administration community.
The move will take place on 1 July next with all EPCR staff transferring permanently to new offices on Boulevard de Grancy in the heart of the city.
From its current base in Neuchatel, EPCR has overseen the impressive growth of the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup, and has also created the European Rugby Continental Shield, while building on the traditions of the European professional club game which was established in 1995.
With its elite clubs and global stars, the Champions Cup is widely regarded as The One to Win and EPCR’s blue riband competition and the Challenge Cup both registered record average attendances in 2016/17.
This season’s groundbreaking finals will be staged outside of the traditional six nations for the first time when Bilbao plays host in May to what is now the world’s most compelling weekend of top-class club rugby.
With matches taking place in 13 different countries, and with the Continental Shield offering valuable opportunities for newer markets, EPCR will continue to enlarge the footprint of the game in Europe from its new base in Lausanne.
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As well as the obvious administrative benefits of relocating to a city which already has 57 other sporting organisations, the move will provide EPCR staff with easier access to an international airport.
Furthermore, EPCR will also accelerate its development through strategic relationships and partnerships in a dynamic city renowned for business, science and academia.
To mark this development, EPCR will stage the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup Pool Draws for the 2018/19 season in Lausanne’s iconic Olympic Museum on 20 June.
EPCR Chief Executive, Vincent Gaillard, said: “We are proud that EPCR will join such an illustrious list of sporting organisations in Lausanne and across the Canton of Vaud which is the latest step in our continued and exciting evolution.
“We have established firm foundations in Neuchatel with valued support from the local authorities, for which we warmly thank all involved.
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“We are now looking forward to being part of a dynamic sporting community which logistically provides us with a great base from which to create outstanding rugby experiences across Europe.”
Oscar Tosato, Municipal Councillor for Sport and Social Cohesion of the City of Lausanne, said: “We are delighted that EPCR has chosen the Olympic capital to set up its headquarters.
“We are looking forward to welcoming them within our growing international sport community. The City of Lausanne is proud to be the home of international sport and the addition of EPCR, who continuously work to develop rugby, is proof that our efforts to provide an environment that is conducive to the development of sports organisations are effective.”
Phillippe Leuba, State Councillor in charge of the Department of Economy, Innovation and Sport (DEIS) of the Canton of Vaud, added: “The network of international sports federations, commercial companies and research institutes in the Canton of Vaud continues to develop, creating new opportunities for all.
“I am sure that EPCR will both benefit from and contribute towards this network in a valuable way. It’s a pleasure to welcome them to the Olympic Capital, and we look forward to supporting their development in every way we can.”