Following formal representations from European Challenge Cup finalists Bourgoin and the French club's body, the LNR, ERC has agreed to move the Challenge Cup final from Gloucester's Kingsholm to The Twickenham Stoop.
The switch has been made with the full support and backing of Northampton Saints.
"Bourgoin and the LNR raised a number of concerns with ERC this week regarding the location of the 2009 final after consulting with fans in the wake of their semi-final victory over Worcester Warriors," said ERC chief executive Derek McGrath.
"Even though we began the process of finding a suitable venue for this season's final way back in January, and formally announced Kingsholm as the venue last Sunday, we have been open to the arguments put forward by Bourgoin who are delighted to reach this European final. To their credit Northampton Saints were very understanding and agreed to a switch as a gesture to the French club."
"With the day before the final being a Bank Holiday in France it was felt this might put pressure on their travelling fans. It was therefore agreed across the board that a switch to a London venue would be beneficial to the Bourgoin fans."
"ERC would like to acknowledge the magnanimous gesture by Northampton and the understanding and support of Gloucester Rugby with whom we have been preparing to stage the final."
"All our efforts now turn to the Twickenham Stoop, which has hosted two previous European Challenge Cup finals, and we know we can look forward to another great occasion at this fine venue."
The initial decision on the venue, date and time for the 2009 European Challenge Cup final was taken after consultation with the clubs, broadcasters and, prior to the semi-finals, the board of ERC and its relevant constituent parties.
The process of selecting a suitable venue started in January when final eight teams were known, as were the semi-final and final options.
Having identified a list of suitable and available venues in the UK and France, ERC asked its stakeholder Unions and Club bodies for expressions of interest in hosting the final.
The results of the quarter-finals saw Bourgoin and three English sides (Northampton, Worcester Warriors and Saracens) qualify for the semi-finals.
With only England having expressed an interest in hosting the final, and with a three week gap between the semi-finals and the final, ERC shortened the list of possible candidates to two available venues in England.
Finally, with the objective of ensuring the largest possible crowd for this showpiece game, Gloucester's Kingsholm Stadium was selected.
Representations were received by ERC from a French delegation including Bourgoin chairman Rene Flamand and LNR Chairman Pierre-Yves Revol. Following discussions with ERC Chairman, Jean-Pierre Lux, ERC approached Northampton Saints who agreed to consider the move.
Having addressed the logistical and operational impact of a venue change and consulted with ERC partners and stakeholders, the decision was confirmed at 11am this morning (Thursday, 7 May).
Gloucester Rugby's Head of Sales and Marketing, Pete Grzonka, responded to the decision as follows:
"Whilst we're obviously disappointed with the fact that we will not be hosting the European Challenge Cup final here at Kingsholm as we were very much looking forward to it, we understand the reasons behind it."
"We can however take solace from the fact that we were originally ERC's first choice to host the fixture."
"Kingsholm successfully hosted the 2008 Final as well as the Barbarians vs Ireland fixture at the end of last season and we look forward to being considered for similar fixtures again in the future."
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
Talk about a game of two halves. Things looked grim on Saturday as Gloucester trailed 0-6 to Bristol at half-time. However, Matt Scott's eighth try of the season got Gloucester off and running, and the visitors fell apart as the Cherry and Whites eased to a 26-18 bonus point Aviva Premiership win.