Castres (AFP)

Pierre-Yves Revol, president of Castres Olympique, whose players started their recovery journey on Tuesday, pleaded for a Top 14 more "prudent" financially who must lower his "salary cap" (salary ceiling) for clubs "at the English level ", in an interview with AFP.

The National League Steering Committee (LNR) formalized the final stop of the 2019-2020 season on Tuesday morning. The date of September 4 has been retained for the start of the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

Q: The board of directors of the National Rugby League (LNR) has approved the 2019-2020 season but has it tackled the reform envisaged by World rugby which wants to standardize the calendars at the global level?

A: "It was not on the agenda. We discussed it at a meeting of presidents on Friday. As it stands, I am attentive. We do not know either the project or the deadline within which it is likely to "Be applied. You have to know the ins and outs. I hope that we (the presidents of the pro clubs) will defend our points of view as best as possible."

Q: Do you understand this project?

A: "What is astonishing is that this subject of standardization comes up on the carpet as quickly, in emergency conditions when these are fundamental reforms requiring serious appreciation and hindsight".

Q: Castres set an example by signing the first salary reduction agreement (15% for players, 20% for staff). Will this be sufficient if the recovery takes place behind closed doors or with a limited gauge?

A: "We considered that the hypothesis that we should retain is a resumption in September with the support of our public. If this is not the case, beyond the CO, all rugby pro will be confronted to new difficulties. TV rights represent only 15% of our budget. We cannot permanently carry on our activity behind closed doors. We would be obliged to adopt certain measures. That we were the first shows that Castres keeps its very strong spirit of solidarity. It's good that the players participated in the effort. "

Q: Few clubs have followed your example ...

A: "It may take a little longer elsewhere. Clubs may also be waiting for more visibility. Like the players. Everyone is trying to manage the crisis as best they can."

Q: Before this pandemic, you were already talking about lowering the salary cap of the Top 14 clubs. Do you advocate this reduction more?

A: "Yes, I think that all the more. We can lower the overall payroll of clubs because we are the country that pays the best players. And we have no objective reason to do so since the competition is limited, only to England, where the salary cap is lower than ours (7 million pounds or 7.9 M EUR, and two players not included in its calculation). We do not have Spain as an adversary , Italy ... We have to set our salary cap to the level of English, only weighted with social charges and taxation.

Q: Has this pandemic highlighted the need for reform?

A: "The crisis has highlighted in rugby as in other activities a certain fragility, certainly relative because there has been no bankruptcy for a decade. Many clubs are in the inability to overcome a difficult and unexpected period. "

Q: Will players accept this decrease in wages?

A: "They are not affected individually. The salary cap is a lump sum. It is a redistribution of the payroll. There may be slightly fewer players in each club. This does not mean lower wages of all players. "

Q: President Revol has said little for a long time. Why is it more present? Because he aims, as it is rumored, for the presidency of the LNR?

A: "I have just answered certain requests. A number of my colleagues have asked me. I do not know when the elections will take place. They have not yet been fixed. We will see this quietly in due course. For now, it is not a priority. "

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