French league ready 'to take all measures' in potential rugby season re-shuffle


Paris (AFP)

The president of the French league (LNR) Paul Goze said on Wednesday he is ready to take action against World Rugby if their proposal of a global calendar is ratified.

In a letter sent to the LNR's Top 14 and ProD2 clubs seen by AFP, Goze claimed the governing body's ideas discussed at a meeting on Monday put the future of professional game at risk in both France and England.

Goze claims World Rugby want to decrease and move the domestic campaign in Europe to the summer and increase the window for Test matches this autumn from three to seven weeks.

"The way the talks during Monday's meeting were carried out leads us to anticipate a decision which would not take into account what's at stake for professional clubs," Goze said.

"We must prepare to take all measures to protect these interests, in France and in England," he added.

The 30 full-time outfits in France are supported by their counterparts from the Premiership.

The French top-flight has the most expensive television broadcasting deal of any league in the world and the highest salary cap set at 11.3 million euros ($12.7 million) a season.

Goze said moving and or reducing the campaign would have considerable sporting, structural and economic consequences on professional club rugby.

According to Goze, World Rugby want to hold international matches from October 24 to December 5-6 which could include finishing this term's Six Nations.

Club games would be held at the same time and those in the domestic game in both France and England worry it would affect them further financially after the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Les Bleus are set to play Ireland before games against Georgia, Australia and South Africa before potentially facing Argentina twice in ties re-arranged from a cancelled July tour.

An announcement from World Rugby about the new structure of the season is expected on June 30.