The draw for the semi-final pairings of both the 2011/12 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup tournaments will take place on Sunday, 22 January, at Cardiff City Stadium following the conclusion of the Round 6 matches.

The Heineken Cup semi-final draw will take place at approximately 17.25 (UK / Irish time) and will be followed by the draw for the Amlin Challenge Cup with both being streamed lived onwww.ercrugby.comand broadcast live on Sky Sports and on Canal Groupe’s infosport + channel.

The draws will decide who the winners of each quarter-final will meet in the semi-finals. In the case of the Heineken Cup, where semi-finals are played at venues designated by ERC, the draw will also decide which clubs will have ‘home country’ advantage, where the semi-finalists are from different countries.

In the Amlin Challenge Cup, the semi-finals are played as home matches and the draw will decide which clubs will have a home semi-final, should they win their respective quarter-final.

With only a three week window between the quarter-finals and the semi-finals – the early staging of the draw allows ERC to select potential semi-final venues in advance of the quarter-finals and for the Clubs and ERC to begin preparations and planning to maximise the semi-final fixtures.

  • The average attendance for a Heineken Cup quarter-final in 2010/11 was 39,500
  • €1m (euro) net profit per quarter-final was shared by two clubs in each match
  • €3.5m (euro) in meritocracy payments was also distributed by ERC for the four quarter-final matches with each quarter-final earning €438,000 (euro) for the country of the club which has qualified.
  • A club which moves its quarter-final to a larger venue receives 65% of the net receipts from the game
  • As an example of the potential economic impact of a Heineken Cup quarter-final, research showed that the 2009 match between Munster Rugby and Ospreys at Thomond Park generated €10.5m (euro) for the local economy

“Commercially, the tournaments have stepped up significantly and the clubs are seeing significant commercial progress from their participation in our competitions,” said ERC Chief Executive, Derek McGrath.

“A look at last season’s Heineken Cup quarter-finals shows that two quarter-finalist clubs on average shared €1m (euro) profit for each match from the net receipts alone. So the prize is big, and if you add on top of that, the meritocracy payments which come from ERC’s central funds, just over €400,000 (euro) goes to each country of each of the qualifiers for the quarter-finals.

“You’re talking about a shared fund of almost €2m (euro) from each of the quarter-finals. And clearly, this is just one of the reasons why clubs are so ambitious to reach the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup.”


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