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Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

15.28 30 Apr 2020


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The president of Bordeaux-Begles insists the club will not ask to be crowned champions of the prematurely-ended Top 14 season. 

Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) president Paul Goze informed French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu on Thursday that the Top 14 will not resume until September.

All team sports in France are banned until September 1 following a directive from prime minister Edouard Philippe on Tuesday.

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The LNR board and the presidents of all professional clubs in France met last night to discuss how best to end their season.

In a statement on Thursday, the LNR wrote, "After consultation with the presidents of Top 14 and PRO D2 (second division) clubs, the Board will propose to the LNR Management Committee not to follow up on having playoffs at the end of August to close the 2019-2020 season, to pronounce the end of this 2019-2020 season, and to focus on the organisation of the launch of the 2020-2021 editions of the two championships starting in September 2020."

When the Top 14 was suspended in March, Bordeaux-Begles held an 8-point lead at the top, with nine games of the regular season remaining.

The LNR have not yet decided if there will be a champion crowned, nor whether there will be promotion and relegation.

Since the merging in 2006 of Stade Bordelais and CA Bordeaux-Bègles-Gironde, Bordeaux-Begles have never finished higher than 7th in the Top 14.

But Bordeaux president Laurent Matri has told RMC he's sticking to a previous statement, that they will not ask to be champions."

"I am true to what I have said from the start. We will not ask for the title of champion," Matri said.

Some questioned Matri's sincerity on the matter, but he is unflinching, "Personally, I am going to emerge from this crisis, proud of my attitude.

"I am not sure that this is the case for everyone. I was faithful from start to finish to what I said.

"I love sport, I am a competitor, I cannot stand injustice and I fight for fairness.

"The backbiters, the jealous, the frustrated, we can do nothing against them. You have to forgive them."

Matri warns, however, that a return to action in the autumn behind closed doors could also be damaging for clubs.

"80% of club revenues are made at the stadium, for 20% of TV rights", he said.

Matric added, "There would be serial bankruptcy filings without any particular aid.

"Everyone will have to make an effort. It is in our hands.

"Without collective effort, there will be no more professional rugby for some time."


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