Clermont Auvergne have not reacted well to their Champions Cup clash with Saracens being rescheduled for Monday.
In response to hazardous conditions around Allianz Park at the weekend, the EPCR made the decision to postpone Sunday’s fixture. They later rescheduled it for the following day, and despite initially saying that it would be behind closed doors, further checks on the facilities mean that it will now be open to supporters as normal.
In a lengthy and scathing statement on their website on Monday (part of which can be read below), Clermont have vocalised their annoyance at the situation, the lack of consultation with Sarries and the EPCR among many listed grievances:
“Very annoyed by this completely absurd situation with multiple twists and turns, the Clermontois are preparing somehow their meeting with the Saracens in a stadium which they do not know, still not, whether it will be occupied by spectators or empty.
“Warned Sunday morning around 10 hours that the meeting could not take place because of the difficulty of hosting supporters and organise the relief and security of the meeting, the Auvergnats have waited, going around in circles, all day Sunday news of a possible postponement.
“Without any consultation of one of the staff members (and no official information) throughout the day while discussions were going well between the EPCR and the Saracens club (while we recall that we were and are still concerned by this meeting!) We were eventually informed, by telephone by a member of the EPCR, around 5 that the meeting would be held on Monday, December 11 at 2 o clock.
“At the end of the evening, we were informed around 11 pm that the meeting scheduled for 14.00 was again moved to 17:30 (local time) without the opportunity to warn players most of whom had returned to their room. A game initially scheduled behind closed doors … What a disappointment once again our supporters present and who decided to return to France the next morning after some of them have to sleep on the floor, for lack of available rooms!
“In this story, the club has never been invited to the negotiating table and must adapt to the incompetence of the public authorities and Saracens to organize this major sporting event as it is nevertheless indicated in the specifications of the competition … all at the expense of the sports preparation of the players and “having fun” with our fans as with vulgar toys.”
Despite Clermont’s clear frustration at this whole thing, the match is still scheduled to go ahead at Allianz Park at 5.30 on Monday.