“Strengthening the place of rugby in French sports”

maintenance – One year after being elected to the Top 14 of the 30 and Head of the Pro D2 Club, the LNR president will create a post-pandemic assessment of Figaro. And it reveals a new path for development.

LE FIGARO. -How is French professional rugby working at the end of the two years when the pandemic is prominent?

René BOUSCATEL. ―――― His financial condition was unstable. Some clubs, especially large clubs, are weakened. There are still some tense situations, but thanks to state aid, DNACG has not identified a catastrophic situation. Revival seems to have made a good start. The spectators returned to the stadium and the attendance record was broken during the day dedicated to Derby, who has more than 160,000 supporters in the Top 14 and Pro D2. The number of TV viewers is also increasing. We are heading in the right direction. Shown by the signatures of five new partners since March 2021.

Can this period affect the amount of salary cap?

no. It will be revised a little below, but as expected (€ 10.7 million in the top 14 next season). The decision to lower the salary cap was made early last season after the first confinement and the course is maintained. It proved itself for the fairness and charm of our championship. Currently, there are 8-10 clubs that can claim to be French champions.

Do you sometimes doubt his respect?

Some clubs may be tempted. However, we carry out independent detailed checks and thorough investigations. We have already corrected some mistakes. Setting a rule can try to get around it, but it’s very limited.

Personally, I don’t agree with the commercialization of players

Some presidents are pushing for transfer reform. Can they be a new source of funding?

We’ve been discussing transfer compensation with 30 club presidents for some time. There are two schools. A person who campaigns for a free transfer for a free amount so that it is a way to fund the club like football. Personally, I don’t agree with the commercialization of this player. The other extreme example is someone who wants to ban them altogether. This is unrealistic and probably illegal. Therefore, we are in the process of developing an intermediate position, the regulation of transfer compensation. The portion corresponding to the unpaid salary does not fit in the salary cap, unlike the excess. This is a guess.

Another subject being discussed: the increasing number of duplicates, the recent Top 14 was argued without the international requested by the French team.

Duplication has a negative effect as well as a positive effect. Negative concerns are two or three clubs that have a lot of internationals in particular. They are experiencing difficult times. In the final stages, which take place in the form of cups, they can often get out of it because they can rebalance their forces. By the way, I am grateful that the club has sacrificed for the benefit of the French team. On the positive side, it allows young players to hatch. Each president must try to forget the specific interests of the club depending on the situation, for the sake of collective benefit. Keep in mind that this increased availability of International has the goal of connecting everyone. That is, the French team is in a position to win the World Cup.

“Do you want to change the format of the top 14? I don’t have a sacred number.”

Can you imagine changing the top 14 formats for the 2023-2024 season to reduce these duplications? For example, by reducing to 12 teams or passing to 2 pools of 8 teams.

There are a number of weekend sets available for each season. You have to participate in championships, European Cups, and international matches. There are also advanced projects for creating the Club World Cup every four years. All this requires pondering the format of the competition. I have no sacred numbers. However, the establishment of Singlehen has contributed to the sporting and financial success of our championship. The Top 14 format is proven in itself. Therefore, you need to be very careful before considering changing what is working well. When the club’s sports performance is there, all of the French rugby is the winner. See the Grand Slam achieved by Bruce. The club is the present and future of the French XV.

What are NRL’s main projects over the next few years?

At the World Cup, it’s time for French rugby to be enthusiastic about conquering a new spectator. Therefore, I established the “Economic Development and Innovation” Committee to respond to changes in society and the audience. Also, In extenso Supersevens (In extenso Supersevens (7 Championship, Editor’s Note). In addition to sports training, I would like to make rugby an educational school for living together by raising efforts to address social issues such as the environment, diversity, and solidarity. Rugby needs to contribute to moving and inspiring the line. We would like to expand its influence, strengthen its position in French sports and promote its value in society.

For René Bouscatel, “We can drive the geographic development of professional rugby in a measured way, not in an artificial way.” Francois Buchon / Le Figaro

How do you solve the challenges faced by the up-and-coming clubs of Pro D2 in order to maintain their presence in the Top 14.

Pro D2 is an increasingly attractive and challenging competition. There is still progress, but the gap is narrowing. Perhaps by helping the up-and-coming club a little more. 2When Division cannot connect 1time But you need to exercise solidarity. That’s why 60% go to the top 14 clubs and 40% go to professional D2 clubs when redistributing income from the league.

Some are campaigning for direct access to the first season of the regular season, but they no longer pass through random dams …

It is a discussion to engage. I think this final stage is one of the attractions of Pro D2 …

“Rugby should not be mistaken for football. The financial means are by no means the same.”

Will LNR help improve the geographical distribution of professional clubs and establish their position in the North, Brittany and Grand Est regions?

These aids are very theoretical. First, they must be oversized. Second, do not artificially transplant. It must come from life and must be rooted … Rugby is a cultural sport for me. To the southwest of the spire is a tradition for the spire. Geographical development cannot be driven in a measured way, and above all in an artificial way. Because it doesn’t work. Rugby should not be mistaken for soccer. The economic means are never the same.

As for the Top 14, is it possible that the finals will alternate with the state stadiums rather than systematically at the Stade de France?

We have a contractual promise to play the finals there until 2025. But the question arises in 2024, the year of the Olympics. The finals will be relocated as the Stade de France will no longer be available. After 2025? Why not …

We will try to give the European Cup a new impetus to establish a new mode of operation

What does LNR have to do with the International Federation of World Rugby?

As soon as he was elected, he wanted new dynamics, so he worked to build a more fluid relationship with FFR, World Rugby and France 2023 for all French rugby. It first settled in the French Union. Like a large family, sometimes explosions can occur, but the tension had to end on both sides. It is positive and constructive so that everyone can benefit.If French rugby has a good World Cup, everyone, including professional clubs, will benefit … at World Rugby, Currently, there are regular and very positive interactions. This is what guides my governance. It’s more open, participatory, and transparent. When I was a lawyer, I always said, “If you don’t want to make a deal, I’ll call you. If you want it to happen, you’ll meet.” When we talk to each other, there are lots of bad interpretations and misunderstandings. Notice that there is. So everything has become much more fluid. After that, we must not dream or stay vigilant. However, neither is delusional.

Then use EPCR to manage the European cup. Earlier this year, I remember a very important outing to him regarding the management of Covid cases …

I was very angry. And I’m not yet. EPCR had governance and organizational issues. I have never been invited to the Swiss headquarters for a year. It’s amazing. But I think it will change. We will try to give the European Cup a new impetus to establish a new mode of operation.


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