As a consequence, they declared they are setting up a new tournament with French clubs as of 2014/15 and would consider inviting other teams, such as, presumably, those from the Irish provinces, Welsh regions and - if they are lucky enough to be graciously considered - Italy and Scotland, to take part.
This is a familiar story to fans of the Heineken Cup, the contest which has become the best annual competition in rugby since its introduction in the mid-1990s. The statement's apocalyptic language seems to again be a pre-emptive attempt to improve the English clubs' public bargaining position ahead of a major gathering.
Little more than an hour later, a statement was issued by European Rugby Cup Ltd (ERC) - the organisation that runs both Europe's showpiece and the Amlin Challenge Cup - confirming that yesterday's scheduled meeting of all relevant parties was going ahead.
The real issue, it seems, is that no-one came running after the English clubs to reinforce their sense of self-importance in the months since the rather ill-tempered last meeting in May. At said gathering, no progress was made in terms of breaking the deadlock that had existed since the Premiership clubs embarked upon their course of gunboat diplomacy by announcing unilaterally that they did not want to extend the existing Accord.
The Celtic countries have, at least, salvaged some self-respect as a result of not doing so but, as things stand, it is the English and the French who appear to have much the stronger negotiating position. Things have moved on a long way since 1998/99 when, with the tournament in its infancy, the Celts and the French stood together and left the English clubs out in the cold along with a couple of renegade Welsh sides.
No tournament has better propelled rugby into the upper echelons of professional sport than the Heineken Cup, but its own success may ultimately be the competition's undoing.
The Gekko-esque "greed is good" philosophy by which English clubs and their apologists seem to live by means that, dissatisfied with their share of much increased proceeds, they want to make absolute their fiscal stranglehold on the game in order to ensure the competitive dominance to which they believe themselves entitled. It should have escaped no-one that, for all the boasts about the quality of their Premiership, no English team has won the Heineken Cup for six years and only one has in the last decade.
No-one would doubt the English media's ability to ignore such evidence while continuing to claim their superiority, of course. Not when their football analysts continued to promote their league as the world's best despite the 21 years between Liverpool's last two European Cup successes (1984 and 2005), being bridged only by Manchester United's 1999 success.
Similarly, all sorts of twisted logic has been applied as English Premiership rugby's apologists have sought to claim that the stultifying impact of relegation on any sort of on-field ambition somehow made their league better than the Pro12 - a league that has allowed leading players to be well-managed, maintaining fitness and developing skills, while also allowing up-and-coming talent to emerge.
Even so, distasteful as it may be, it is hard to see a resolution to this that is not much closer to the preferred English/French option than anything being championed by the Celts and Italians.
In an ideal world, the principle of a pan-European tournament would, with International Rugby Board support, be maintained by setting up well-financed clubs in the likes of Spain, Portugal, Netherlands and Romania who could target the best English and French talent if those countries opt for isolationism.
In reality, it is the other way around. The Welsh domestic game, for all the national team's successes, has been ravaged by an exodus of internationalists while the Irish, after years of being able to hold on to their best, are now spooked by the departures of Jonny Sexton and others.
The Italian and Scottish views are, in that context, irrelevant in terms of both their finance and competitiveness, while the English and French clubs are the only ones who can plan with any certainty based on existing sponsorship and television deals.
In the end, then, the rights and wrongs are irrelevant. Money will surely talk and English club owners can be relied upon to ram that message down the throat of anyone suggesting it should be otherwise.