Boudjellal ready to pull plug on Toulon

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 20:34
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NEWS: Mourad Boudjellal, who has bankrolled Toulon to three European titles, revealed he could sever his 10-year association with the French giants this season.

This comes as his frustration with his critics is growing.

The 56-year-old said he "wants another life" and wonders why "he takes hits every week".

"There is a strong chance that this will be my last year," said the man who made his fortune from comic book publishing before investing large sums of it in bringing an array of world stars to the Stade Mayol.

"I do not have a huge fortune but it's reasonable. I am much depleted by the club and I don't know if many presidents do this.

"And after a while, it weighs on my life. There are lots of things that make me wonder why I take hits every week from guys who have not done a hundredth of what I've done for 10 years.

"It will be complicated for me to continue longer. I want to live another life."

Boudjellal was speaking on another dramatic day at Toulon, who defeated previously unbeaten Clermont 23-21 thanks to a try seven minutes from time by giant Georgian forward Mamuka Gorgodze.

The win helped Toulon to leap from 11th spot in the Top 14 table to a more respectable fifth and eased the pressure on coach Diego Dominguez.

Earlier in the day, Boudjellal had announced that he was bringing in former Bath boss Mike Ford to work alongside Dominguez as backs coach. Ford replaces Steve Meehan who will move into a different role at the club.

Boudjellal, whose reign has been colourful as much as it has been controversial, employed a new metaphor to explain the recruitment of Ford.

"Clermont are a fine team while Toulon, at the moment, we are Monsieur Bricolage [a popular French term for a handyman]," he said.

"We are left with guys not in the right positions. So to tinker, I brought in a new handyman.

"Mike Ford comes to the club. Steve Meehan's still at the club. Mike Ford will take care of the backs. Diego Dominguez is obviously the boss. It is a collective work. Steve Meehan will concentrate on video and skills."

Agence France-Presse