The Top 14 is a big-money business, but dark clerks of the FFR and LNR ensure clubs do not play fast and loose with the financial rules…
If ever you needed proof that French rugby’s Top 14 was a high-stakes game for high rollers with money to burn, recent news has delivered it.
Last week, the new billionaire owner of Stade Francais, Germany’s Hans-Peter Wild, revealed he was willing to invest €30million of his own money over the next three seasons to right the struggling Stade ship.
The 75-year-old Capri-Sun king joked: “At my age, I’ve earned the right to have some fun.” But he also said that he wanted his investment to become one of the top three clubs in Europe.
And then, on Sunday, it was revealed that Toulon – that rabble-rousing red-and-black symbol of conspicuous Top 14 consumption – were days away from being busted down to the second-tier ProD2 by the dismal-sounding Direction Nationale d’Aide et de Contrôle de Gestion (DNACG), who had discovered a €2million hole in their finances.