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Middle East investor represented by Dominici eyeing takeover of French sleeping giant

Beziers, 11-time French champions, dropped into Pro D2 in 2005.

Christophe Dominici celebrates after France's last-gasp Six Nations win over Ireland at Croke Park in 2007.
Christophe Dominici celebrates after France's last-gasp Six Nations win over Ireland at Croke Park in 2007.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

AN UNNAMED MIDDLE Eastern individual represented by former France winger Christophe Dominici said on Tuesday they want to buy second-tier French rugby club Beziers.

The 11-time French top-flight champions were relegated to the ProD2 in 2005 and – according to reports – have financial problems.

The businessman from the United Arab Emirates says they have met the side’s current owners who are also in talks with a local real estate firm.

Dominici, who played 67 times for Les Bleus, claimed last week the investor is close to the Emirati royal family and had significant wealth.

“The first time we came to Beziers it was to see if we would buy a vineyard,” a statement said. “The friendly and warm welcome made us appreciate the region and its people with their accent which charmed us… In the warmth of discussions, we were shown the difficulties Beziers face, and we were asked to offer our support,” it added.

Reports about the possible purchase of the side who play their games at the 18,500-capacity Stade Raoul-Barriere originally emerged earlier this month. Current presidents Cedric Bistue and Pierre-Olivier Valaize then claimed the Emirati’s ideas lacked concrete guarantees.

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“Our proposition will last until the end of the month. It’s not sponsorship but a love affair which only presents itself once,” the potential buyer said.

“It seems some parties want to obstruct us and keep the club in ProD2 to see it suffer for personal interests… We will never enter into this type of system and we would prefer to pull back towards other horizons,” they added.

© – AFP, 2020

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