Investors at the centre of a bid to takeover Beziers have pulled out after French rugby’s accounting watch-dog rejected their approach, ending the ProD2 club’s dreams of expansion. The DNACG, the French game’s financial enforcement body, decided that the criteria for takeover hadn’t been met.
It’s a disaster for the club, who have also lost the patronage of their previous investors, who had been effectively bank-rolling the blue and reds for years. Their majority shareholder, Louis-Pierre Angelotti, exited negotiations earlier this month and appears to have stepped away from the side following two decades of support.
What’s more, Beziers could now face demotion from the ProD2, due to financial irregularities in their accounts, which were submitted as part of the process of selling to the Emiratis. According to Midi Libre, the club now have to Thursday (July 16th) to explain €1,750,000 euros are missing from the club’s accounts.
The mayor of Béziers, Robert Ménard, says he is “disappointed”. “These are also five months of discussions and dreams that are ending”.
“I’m sad like everyone, a little bit dejected. But another battle will take place. And we have to come out victorious over all that.”
Meanwhile, Philippe Baillard, a spokesperson for Sotaco International, said: ‘We were buying a relatively expensive damaged car and the seller is asking us to prove that we can make it more beautiful than it was…”
The news could have considerable ramifications for a number of players who are reportedly on the verge of signing. For many, their signing would have been contingent on the club being bought. Reports have emerged of Bath’s Semesa Rokoduguni presenting at the club for a medical, with a view to joining. They have also been linked with Wallaby wing Marika Koribete.
Béziers have won eleven French championship titles since its establishment in 1911, but have fallen down the tables in recent years, even facing the ignominy of relegation to the Federale 1 at the end of 2008-09 season. They stand at 9th in the ProD2 and face a complete overhaul if they want to win relegation form the super-competitive second division, which currently includes the likes of Grenoble, Biarritz, Perpignan and Colomiers.
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