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Even by his standards, Mourad Boudjellal's latest tantrum is particularly childish

Mourad Boudjellal

Toulon boss Mourad Boudjellal declared war on Sunday matches after watching his side slump to a 40-29 home defeat against Racing 92 at the weekend.

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“If [French Top 14 pay-TV broadcaster] Canal + decides to schedule a program Sunday, we will declare a forfeit. I won’t play on Sundays anymore if we don’t get fair compensation,” comic-book magnate Boudjellal said as he let fly against the fixture list in front of surprised journalists at a midweek press conference at the club’s Berg training ground.

And the prospect of relegation to the ProD2 – an automatic penalty if a club forfeits three matches – did not faze him.

“We’ll be relegated to the second division. I won’t back down. Whatever happens, I don’t care. If we play on Sundays, we’ll be relegated to the second division, I couldn’t care less.

“I’m fed up with being the Top 14’s money pit.”

TV rights in France have seen six of Toulon’s 10 Top 14 games so far scheduled for Sunday afternoon. To add insult to injury, after playing the final match of last weekend at teatime on Sunday, they face Castres Olympique in the opening match of the 11th round of fixtures early Saturday afternoon.

He claimed the schedule was playing merry hell with much-needed ticket sales. A crowd of 13,000 were at Stade Mayol to see the match against Racing 92. Saturday afternoon matches attract audiences of more than 16,000.

“On Sunday at Mayol the stadium was empty. For two years now we have been put in difficulty over Sunday matches. We have a system based on ticket sales, merchandising (but) some people at the League have decided to kill us.”

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Boudjellal vowed to write to French sports minister Laura Flessel, the former Olympic champion fencer, to air his grievances.

His mood was not improved when he learned that Toulon’s next home match – against Lyon on December 2 – is to be broadcast free-to-air in France.

 

 

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Turlough 4 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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