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The Stade/Racing Merger Fiasco Has Taken Another Ugly Turn

The Stade/Racing Merger Fiasco Has Taken Another Ugly Turn
By Gavin Cooney
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Perhaps the maddest sporting story, if not the year, came from France yesterday: the last two winners of the Top 14: Stae Francais and Racing 92, are to merge to create one Paris-based superclub.

The move was made behind the backs of the players, and while it is portrayed as a merger, the reality portrays it as closer to a Racing takeover of their Parisian rivals. The presidency will rotate every two seasons, with Stade's Thomas Savare the first to serve. The coaching team, however, will be the present Racing team of Laurent Travers and Laurent Labit. It is up to them to select the best 45 players from the 90 players on the books of both clubs at the moment.

Remarkably, the Stade players and staff were not consulted on the decision, and the first they heard of it came via the club's public statement.

Amid their very understandable anger, the Stade players have gone on strike, and as a result, are refusing to train and play this weekend's game against Castres.


The players met yesterday evening, and per Pascal Pape, they voted 99.8% in favour of going on strike. The decision to meet in the first place has caused ructions in the French international camp, too, with their attending a meeting against the express wishes of Guy Noves.

Djibril Camara and Jonathan Danty left the French camp without seeking permission from Noves. Camara had this to say to AFP:

"Maybe next year I will be somewhere else, maybe in Federal 1 (third division).

He confirmed he had not spoken with the Stade president: "Who? Don't ask me about that after he just screwed me over."




See Also: Jerry Flannery Reveals Donncha O'Callaghan Text After Emotional Glasgow Victory

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