Mohed Altrad has revealed he will give up his presidency at Top 14 club Montpellier if he is successful in local mayoral elections in the French city at the end of the month. The club owner has emerged as one of the most influential voices in the game in France in recent years.
However, he has admitted he will have to curb his level of involvement if his political ambitions prove successful. Altrad is currently in third place after the first round of voting in the election to become mayor of Montpellier.
He secured 13.3 per cent of the opening round vote and will now compete in a three-way run-off on June 28 with rivals Philippe Saurel and Michael Delafosse. Speaking to Le Figaro, Altrad said: “If I am elected, there will be a conflict of interest. I can’t help a club that belongs to me, but I would remain a shareholder.”
Altrad also mentioned the name of the person who could replace him. “Who could take my place? The rugby club is a company of a hundred people. Philippe Saint-Andre, the new manager, could take this place. Rugby is his whole life.”
Altrad made headlines last month when Montpellier were linked with moves for Pieter-Steph du Toit, the Springbok who was World Rugby player of the year in 2019, and former Australia international Israel Folau, who had his contracted terminated last year by Rugby Australia and now plays for Catalan Dragons in rugby league’s Super League.
“Great talents inspire me, whether in sports or elsewhere,” he said when quizzed about du Toit. “Du Toit interests me. But so far, I have had no contact with him. And now is not the time to talk about recruitment…”
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