The head coach of AS Béziers Hérault says that the future of the club is bleak if its much-touted Emirati buyout does not go ahead. The billionaire acquisition of the ProD2 side has made headlines around the rugby world, but with the deal still not done, head coach David Aucagne has spoken of a ‘tense’ atmosphere at the former champion side.
Meetings between Christophe Dominici, who is acting as a middle-man in the takeover; the club and the would-be buyers, headed by Franco-Emirati investor Samir Ben Romdhane; have taken place in recent weeks, but a deal is yet to be struck. Last week Midi Olympique confirmed that the French Rugby Federation still had not received any documents from the future buyers of the club.
Now former French international Aucagne has described the club’s situation as ‘crazy’ and that he fears for the future, now that the previous stakeholders in the club have walked away. In a revealing interview with RMC Sport, he said: “It’s long. And we don’t even know if it will succeed.
“What I have trouble understanding is that you can go to the DNACG without having presented anything. You put a club at risk for three months, perhaps for nothing at all. It’s crazy.
“We don’t know what will become of the club. Quite a few people rejected the long tine patrons of Béziers. I have the impression that there was no respect in anything.”
There has also been speculation as what coaching ticket the new investors might go for, and if Aucagne himself will be replaced. “It’s part of the game. I think mostly of my players. Some have small children. This is what worries me. If they are fired overnight, it’s tricky. We have to find a job and it will be complicated. Many are in a state of uncertainty.”
“The atmosphere is not great. Some players are asking less questions because they were given permission to look at options outside of the club.
“It’s not a great atmosphere. That’s why I gave everyone this week’s vacation.”
Should the deal go ahead, AS Béziers Hérault will almost immediately become a heavy hitter in the global player market place. Already they have been linked with a number of the game’s most high profile players. Asked if he had been contacted by the potential new owners, and Aucagne’s answer was blunt: “No, they never called me.”
If the deal goes ahead or not, many French noses are set to be left out of joint.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now