Nothing was more transparent than the insincerity of English Premiership Rugby's claim last week that its controversial £152m deal with BT Vision is good for European rugby as a whole.
The immediate reaction of Heineken Cup organisers ERC Ltd, the umbrella organisation which had clearly been wrong-footed confirmed that this was was nothing more than a blatant grab for money and control.
What it also made clear was the willingness of big London-based institutions to favour the English market with the curious, some might say arrogant, claim that BT Vision have bought rights to TV coverage in the whole of the UK demonstrating the sort of contempt they have for Celtic negotiators.
It is not the first time English clubs have manoeuvred this way but professional rugby was in its infancy when they made their botched bid for greater control of the Heineken Cup 13 years ago. Back then, they failed to break up the Celtic Unions and while English clubs were joined in their Heineken Cup boycott by Cardiff and Swansea those clubs were probably the biggest losers, ultimately failing to sustain full independent status after returning to the fold when effectively replaced by provincial operations part-owned by the Welsh Rugby Union.
This time around, the stakes are much bigger, though, and clearly the belief of English clubs and their backers is that they can dictate terms by being able to offer irresistible money to those they favour as worthy of the chance to be involved in a new European tournament. That is a very real danger. However, a pan-European competition only maintains the sort of charm that has turned the Heineken Cup into world rugby's best competition short of, and perhaps even including, the Test arena if the feeder competitions are themselves credible.
This, in turn, relates to English frustration at the way the smaller Celtic countries, now joined by the Italians, have created a domestic competition which is measurably better than theirs.
As well as the results in the Heineken Cup, itself, where Celtic superiority is now approaching supremacy, the myth that the quality is somehow inferior was exposed as long as two years ago when it was first calculated that, on average, more international players play in the RaboDirect Pro12 than in the English Premiership each week.
However, as a closed competition, in line with American and Australasian professional sports in being free of relegation, it has also generated a culture where talent can be developed, nurtured and managed, resulting in Ireland and Wales also overperforming on the Test stage compared with England, in spite of superior rugby numbers.
The English Premiership is determined to level the playing field not only by increasing the participation percentages in European competitions in its favour, but by dictating to the Celts and Italians how they should run their domestic competition.
To some extent, they seem likely to succeed in that since the revenues likely to be on offer will prove hugely seductive to the Irish and Welsh, confident as they are that their respective big threes – Leinster, Munster, Ulster, Cardiff, the Ospreys and the Scarlets – will qualify annually for the top European competition.
Towards that end, yesterday's discussions are understood to have been conducted on a relatively amicable basis with representatives of neither side looking to force the issue regarding the disagreement over the legal standing of their respective deals.
What does seem certain is that a streamlined competition, whether the existing Heineken Cup or a new English-controlled version, will emerge once this is resolved. On the face of it, then, the Scots would, along with the Italians, be the biggest losers and it is hard to argue against that from a Scottish perspective because of all the six competing nations they have the least potential, in isolation, to contribute.
With PRO12 television revenues having consequently been split by rather complex mechanisms to reflect what each country is bringing to the table that has, at times, left SRU executives looking like petulant children stuck in the corner when negotiations are ongoing, complaining that it's not fair that Scottish broadcasters are not playing the game.
That has been different where the Heineken Cup is concerned where the English and French in particular think it is not fair that the Scots and Italians gain so much while contributing relatively little either competitively or in terms of generating interest due to the way sponsorship and broadcast revenues are distributed.
Yet by seeking to force matters, the English Premiership has potentially left the company that has previously had the biggest say in all of this, BSkyB, out in the cold which could well be a great outcome for the Celts and Italians and, most particularly, the Scots.
Sky's willingness to fill its schedules with Southern Hemisphere rugby suggests that, much closer to home and featuring UK-wide household names, the Pro12 can fill the huge gaps left in its schedule when it no longer has rights to English Premiership rugby.
A network deal would have to be shared among the Celtic and Italian partners, but even more important would be Sky's marketing support which is so effective that it has managed to allow the English Premiership to retain its extraordinary image of itself as superior to the Pro12 in spite of all available evidence.
Short-term, then, it seems inevitable that Scottish rugby will lose its automatic right to have at least one of its teams and perhaps both in Europe's top competition from 2014 onwards.Beyond that, however, if the Pro12's negotiators do the job they should, the gains should outstrip the losses in terms of both income and the promotion of professional rugby in Scotland.