When one thinks of Munster Rugby, more often than not the competition fans associate with the province is the Heineken Cup as opposed to the PRO12. Given the fact Munster play the vast majority of games in league action, and given the new rules for European qualification, Fitzgerald believes the focus has to change:
"We probably have too much of an emphasis in Irish rugby on the Heineken and incoming Champions Cup. At the end of the day, that's six matches in the year, we play 22 in the PRO12.
"The PRO12 is our domestic league, it's what you earn your bread and butter from; it's what pays the bills. We need to broaden our emphasis and get an understanding in Irish rugby that the domestic league from now on is most important and that's what qualifies you now for Europe."
The new European competition will see the top 7 teams from PRO12, with at least one club from each country participating in the league gain entry to the Champions Cup, a move which the Munster CEO feels will benefit the domestic competition:
"I think it will be a much better PRO12 League as a consequence.
"You saw the end of the league this year when the two Italian teams were playing for a spot even though they were finishing 11th and 12th.
"The PRO12 determines whether you get into Europe and your position will determine seeding; your historical performance in Europe won't make any difference.
"It's going much more like the Champions League model. If you don't perform then you won't get rewarded."
Fitzgerald also knows that fans are crucial to future domestic league campaigns, and as a consequence, European qualification and success.
"The last thing I would do is criticise our supporters because they're fantastic, they're unique and they understand the game.
"But it's up to us to show them just how important the PRO12 is going to be from here on in, how important the 22 games are going to be.
"The PRO12 is something that will very much determine the business model and determine the whole season."