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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019

Mourad Boudjellal writes to the English Premiership asking if Toulon can join

The outspoken RCT president has another ambitious plan.

TOULON PRESIDENT MOURAD Boudjellal has written to the Aviva Premiership asking if his club can join the English league.

Mourad Boudjellal with new signing Paul OÕConnell Boudjellal welcoming Paul O'Connell to his club. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

The outspoken comic book magnate regularly reveals ambitious and provocative plans of a similar nature, although it remains to be seen how his approach to the Premiership is received.

Boudjellal has a rocky relationship with the LNR [Ligue Nationale de Rugby], who run the Top 14, and has also been at loggerheads with the FFR [Fédération Française de Rugby] in recent years.

The RCT chief has expressed his frustration at the current €10 million salary cap in France’s top tier of professional rugby, while he has also taken issue with rules designed to ensure more French-qualified players are fielded by clubs each weekend.

The Toulon president has told L’Équipe that he believes his club could add ”huge value” to the English Premiership if his request to join is granted.

If it’s not possible next season, maybe the one after that,” Boudjellal told L’Équipe. ”For them, besides a big first, it would be a huge added value. And I’m serious in my approach.”

“This is not just a provocation. I’m serious. Monaco compete in the French Ligue 1 and no one finds that incongruous. The economic future is better in England than in France, given how the two leagues are run. The English make good decisions.”

Boudjellal must now wait on a response from the Premiership, although it would be a major shock if Toulon do end up moving to the English league. If RCT are not to be included in the English competition, Boudjellal has another idea.

“I could also, along with other people, take over an English club – keeping RCT – try to win the league and develop an economy over there.”

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Murray Kinsella

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