Mr Tom outlined the Guinness Premiership clubs' stance with regard to the RFU's Way Forward document and the main principles on which the clubs' proposals stand. They are:
�#� no central contracts for players
�#� the creation of a professional board to be formed with the Professional Rugby Players' Association, Premier Rugby Ltd, Rugby Football Union & First Division Rugby to manage the professional playing issues
�#� a committed future for the Premiership clubs in the European Cup competitions.
"The professional game is enjoying sustained success and growth. At Leicester we have been at the forefront of this over the years," Tom said. "The clubs have invested a lot of time, energy and financial resource in the game since professionalism and we want to remain in charge of our own destiny."
Tom reaffirmed, on behalf of the shareholders, the members and supporters that Leicester Tigers will be an integral part of English rugby going forward.
The professional club game is enjoying sustained success and growth. Attendances continue to rise each season and averaged more than 11,000 per game in the Guinness Premiership this season for the first time. Many clubs, Leicester included, are now looking at development of their stadiums to accommodate this consistently increased interest.
"From the emails, letters and conversations I have had with supporters, there has been a concern that there has been a lack of progress on ground development," said Tom. "But the club has been involved in serious negotiations with the City Council and other parties, and have put together a first-class team of advisors to enable us to take the stadium project on further.
"We have appointed Rothschild investment bank, Knight Frank property experts and Deloittes to help with the financial modelling and AFL as architects. We are still working on the detail, but we are putting an exceptionally strong team together to work with us on the development of our home at Welford Road to make it the finest dedicated club rugby ground in Europe."
The target is for work on the new Next Stand to begin at the end of next season as phase one of the stadium project.