Racing 92-Stade Francais merger called off


A proposed merger between Top 14 rivals Racing 92 and Stade Francais has been called off following a fierce backlash against the plans.

An arrangement to bring the two Paris clubs together was revealed last week in a move that stunned the rugby world.

Fans and players of the two teams voiced their concerns at the proposals which were outlined by presidents Jacky Lorenzetti and Thomas Savare.

Following protests, strike action and the postponement of the clubs' league fixtures, it has been decided that the merger will no longer go ahead.

"I heard the emotion, the surprise and the misunderstanding of the supporters, the players and the members of our association," said Stade Francais chief Savare.

"I also heard their deep attachment to the independence of Stade Francais, this attachment coming above all other considerations.

"So we have decided, in agreement with Jacky Lorenzetti, to put an end to this proposed merger."

Racing president Lorenzetti added in a statement: "I have decided to give up this beautiful project. I did not expect such resistance, especially internally!

"Maybe we were right too soon. The future will tell us.

"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... it was not my intention to oppose one part of the family against the other.

"The future of Stade Francais will be written without us, and I sincerely wish them all the best having come to know them more closely."