Stade Francais strike over merger

Kristopher Drake
March 16, 2017

Racing beat Toulon a year ago to win the French Top 14 title in front of a record crowd of more than 90,000 fans in Barcelona's Camp Nou stadium. The former Stade Francais player, now at Montpellier, told Reuters: "Whatever the players decide, we will support them 100 per cent".

Racing's billionaire owner Jacky Lorenzetti and Stade Francais counterpart Thomas Savare announced the plan on Monday and Stade Francais players have threatened industrial action.

Ironically, Stade Francais' final match is against Racing on April 29.

"In a climate of tension, you must leave room for dialogue, but the condition of the players for the notice of strike to be lifted is that there is the definitive and total stop of this merger plan".

Remarkably, the Stade players and staff were not consulted on the decision, and the first they heard of it came via the club's public statement.

The Racing squad features Dan Carter, a world champion with New Zealand's All Blacks, and both clubs are packed with internationals, so their presidents argue the combination will give birth to a top European side.

What it does mean, is the likes of Dan Carter and Sergio Parisse can now play on the same side, combining in what is likely to be one of the most star-studded teams in France.

'Yes and no, because if we strike, we would need the Racing players to do so as well, ' Danty said after the Stade players had met.

It has previously been revealed that the 40-year-old's future at the club could be in doubt following the news that current Racing flanker Chris Masoe is set to join the coaching ranks at the club, potentially taking over as skills coach and also having input into defensive strategy.

"What do we do about those players who signed pre-contracts for next season, those players who have started making arrangements for next season?" said Tchale-Watchou.

Rival clubs expressed fears over the creation of a new super club while the French Rugby Federation and the Paris city government complained they had been kept in the dark about the move.

'Consolidated by its dual culture, by the fierce determination of its two presidents and its increased audience in a population pool unmatched in France, this new club has a long-term commitment to build a true reference day after day'.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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