Paris (AFP)

The project to take over the Béziers rugby club (Pro D2) by UAE investors, led by former international Christophe Dominici, was abandoned after a new unfavorable opinion from the DNACG (National Directorate for Aid and Management Control ), potential buyers announced on Monday.

"While we had brought, within limited and constrained deadlines, all the elements requested, and we legitimately thought that all the signals were green, we received an arrow forcing the DNACG not to be able to give its immediate agreement and having as a first consequence of not making the necessary recruitment in time to restore Béziers to its true place in French rugby, "said a press release published by the Sotaco group, which represented Emirati investors.

"We leave sad and we know that the heart of Biterrois is bleeding and crying ... Ours too because the magic of a project has died out today", continues the press release.

Clearly, the Franco-Emirati project, led by former international Christophe Dominici, puts an end to a soap opera that has been going on since mid-May.

The club with eleven titles of champions of France had long seemed ready to go under the UAE flag. But, at the end of June, the Hérault party had announced that René Bouscatel, former president of the Stade Toulouse, would become the new boss at the heart of a counter-project led by Louis-Pierre Angelotti, the main shareholder.

The Bouscatel-Angelotti duo had turned around a few days later and the ASBH had entered into "exclusive negotiations" with the UAE investors.

In the Dominici clan, we claim to have brought the necessary documents "in a very limited time since the memorandum of understanding was signed only on July 6".

Insufficient for the financial gendarme who recalled the UAE file, ensuring, according to a source close to the file, not to have received enough guarantees.

The ASBH will have to pass Thursday in front of the DNACG and could risk an administrative relegation. Unless, as explained a source close to the file to AFP, the organization is not lenient because of the length of negotiations.

© 2020 AFP