Syrian-born billionaire Mohed Altrad will not become the majority shareholder at Gloucester Rugby, reports Gloucestershire Live.
The current owner of Montpellier Herault in the Top 14 has been trying since November to acquire 54 per cent of the club’s shares, but has been told he cannot do this by the European Professional Club Rugby (EPRC) board.
The rules state clearly that one entity cannot control two clubs which may meet in the same competition, and while it had been thought this was just a delay, it seems that they have decided this is something they are unwilling to be persuaded to let go of.
There is still a possibility Altrad will buy some shares in the club and have a degree of influence over decisions concerning the club’s future. However, the aforementioned report states that he would not plan to interfere with the current coaching set-up.
Gloucester are currently sitting in ninth place in the Aviva Premiership table, but after a brilliant 31-23 victory over champions Saracens on Friday night David Humphrey’s men will be hoping to claim a Champions Cup spot for next season.
Perhaps if more success were to come throughout the season, a takeover of any sort would become increasingly less likely, but as it stands Gloucester are looking to regain the form they possessed a few seasons ago.
Whether or not French money would help remains to be seen, and as high-flying Wasps demonstrated this weekend – it doesn’t make a team invincible as they lost to tenth-placed Sale Sharks. It would certainly mean that Gloucester would be able to hold onto their star names more effectively.
Oscar Reilly, Pundit Arena