7 Jun, 15:39
ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
And speaking ahead of this season's competition Hartley admitted it was a hard defeat to get over but believes the future is bright for the club.
"Of course it was a hard defeat to take," he said.
"We had a great run to the final but we didn't play for 80 minutes and that cost us. We threw away our lead and threw away the Heineken Cup.
"You are only in a competition because you want to win it so it was disappointing to come so close.
"But we have learnt over the last few years that it is not an easy competition to win.
"We learnt from the defeat to Munster a couple of season's ago in the knock-out stages and we came back stronger.
"Last time around we went further but didn't quite go far enough but we have learnt and will go forward.
"We are still quite a young squad and we have our best years ahead of us.
"We haven't really lost anyone from the squad over the summer and we have added some players which has added depth to the team."
Northampton kick off their 2011/12 campaign with a trip to former Champions Munster on Saturday November 12 and Hartley is only too aware of the battle that awaits his side at Thomond Park.
"It is going to be a big battle upfront, as is every game at this level but it is something we pride ourselves on and hopefully it will give us a platform," he added.