Earlier this week, European rugby was shocked as it was announced that Paris clubs Racing 92 and Stade Francais would be merged.
However, a dramatic u-turn has taken place today, with Racing president Jacky Lorenzetti releasing a statement that they have changed their minds after great opposition.
The merger will not take place
In agreement with Thomas Savare, the merger will not take place.
We decided, with Thomas Savare, to bring Stade Français Paris and Racing 92 together to create the great Ile-de-France club of tomorrow and ensure it a long-lasting and brilliant future.
I decided to give up this beautiful project.
I sincerely believe that it was ambitious enough to garner the approval of the majority. I felt that the advantages he offered to the Ile-de-France rugby would outweigh the inevitable efforts he would imply.
I have heard and understood the strong reservations raised by this beautiful plan of union.
In any case, social, political, cultural, human and sporting conditions are not fulfilled. Maybe we were right too soon, the future will tell us…
I did not expect such resistance, especially internally!
I would like to thank the players for defending their convictions, courage, generosity and solidarity. Especially with a great sense of responsibility. I am proud of them, of all of them.
I want to tell the big rugby family, the loyal partners of Racing 92, the supporters, the players, the sports and administrative staff of the two teams and the volunteers of the rugby schools that it was not in my intention to oppose one part of the family to another.
This family is the beating heart of our sport. As for me, I am only a passionate servant.
The future of Stade de France will be written without us, and I sincerely wish him all the best that can be hoped for by someone whom we have come to know more closely.
I will, of course, continue to work to grow the Racing 92 with even more support on our training center and our future Arena which will be delivered in a few months.
This brings closure to one of the more crazy rugby stories of recent times. The two clubs will continue to co-exist in the French capital, and we’re sure this will be remembered as one of the most outlandish things to happen in the Top 14, even by France rugby standards!
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