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."
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
Speaking after a last-gasp try from Exeter earned the Chiefs a 27-27 draw at Sandy Park on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted to mixed feelings. The game saw him score a try on his 200th competitive appearance for the club, but the frustration from not closing out the win was clear.
David Humphreys was minutes away from a winning interview on Saturday afternoon, but a late try from Exeter Chiefs meant the points were shared at Sandy Park. Humphreys spoke with the local media after the 27-27 draw.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture away at Exeter Chiefs, Director of Rugby David Humphreys reiterated that there are elements of Gloucester's game that are in good shape at present, that the performance against Bath was a step forward from Newcastle but that individual errors are costing the Cherry and Whites dear.
Lesley Vainikolo was a welcome visitor to Kingsholm this week, reminiscing as he wandered around the stadium. The big winger is back in Gloucester to take part in Sunday's Mitsubishi Motors UK Hybrid Cup (kick off 3pm).
Centre Matt Scott, a try-scorer in Bayonne last weekend, insists that Gloucester are taking nothing for granted when they welcome Benetton Treviso to Kingsholm on Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm).