FFR: financial statements painfully voted down, legal reform rejected

The Ordinary and Financial General Meeting of the French Rugby Federation took place last Saturday, in particular the positive results of 6.6 million euros for the financial year 2021-2022 were announced. However, the budget was voted by only 52.41% when a legislative reform to choose between face-to-face, remote or mixed voting was rejected.

Is the wind about to turn at FFR? the question must be asked. With the decision on the Laporte/Altrad case set for December 13, the Federation held its 158th Ordinary Financial General Meeting on Saturday with, among other things, two important votes on the agenda. First, the accounts were confirmed by amateur clubs up to 52.41%. At the same time, a sharply lower score compared to last year. Remember. Despite a deficit result of 3.86 million euros for the 2020/2021 season – which is mainly explained by the impact of the health crisis on the federal budget, but also by the recovery plan announced to deal with the exceptional situation in 2020, the closure of accounts represents 85 of the clubs represented, 69% voted.

The difficulties are that on Saturday, the treasurer Alexandre Martinez presented the statement of accounts (for the season 2021/2022) with a positive result of 6.6 million euros this time to the vote. The latter even rejoiced in the columns of rugbyrama.fr on Friday: “The FFR had never faced such a result except in 2007, because of the legacy of the World Cup: 139.3 million euros in production and 7.5 million in pre-tax results. euro. In addition, we sold almost half a million tickets for our French teams’ games, which is a record since we have never sold so many tickets for our international matches. Thus, we exceeded our goals by 2.4 million euros. This means that we have marketed our matches well. These three performances make us very happy. »

However, the clubs have painstakingly confirmed this account statement. Bernard Laporte’s main opponent, Florian Grill, emphasizes: “The clubs did not vote against the closure of accounts. They voted against the reform of mileage allowances and the advance of legal fees for Bernard Laporte and Serge Simon. And the latter added: “What is more surprising is that what was good enough at first glance , but also the rejection of the legislative reform that must be approved by the current administration. Indeed, the purpose of this legislative reform was to allow a choice between in-person, remote or mixed voting, which was applied especially during the Covid-related crisis. Only 42.18% of the votes collected and rejected.

What can we conclude from these numbers? Firstly, it is certainly worth emphasizing that the FFR has regained its financial strength, where the sale of part of the 6 Nations Tournament to CVC is not at all related. “We are back to the pre-crisis level in terms of net position, because we are generating more than 34 million euros, which is an excellent performance,” Alexandre Martinez said. But in addition to this success, it allows us to restore the financial strength that is necessary for FFR above all.” Then, on the political level, this General Assembly could be an important turning point. The rejection of the legislative reform, together with the painful confirmation of the closure of accounts (52.41% in favor and 47.59% against, 375 abstentions…), shows the dissatisfaction of some amateur clubs. The wind of the bullet did not go far. And in Bernard Laporte’s camp, we insist that the Oval Group has strongly mobilized its troops together. No doubt there is some truth in this, but still… This general meeting is a victory for the Florian Grill camp. Laporte and his teams are no doubt aware of this as they meet on Saturday afternoon to return to battle order in view of the next election, which is scheduled for 2024 but could be postponed depending on the decision handed down on December 13. Further proceedings in the Laporte/Altrad case.

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