Pro D2 – Biarritz: Budget, partners and project over eight years… After the silence, the time for the first announcements

Pro D2 – Biarritz: Budget, partners and project over eight years… After the silence, the time for the first announcements
Pro D2 – Biarritz: Budget, partners and project over eight years… After the silence, the time for the first announcements

Heard this Tuesday by the Rugby Regulatory Authority (A2R), the new owners of the BO presented their project to the financial policeman. They then, in the evening, revealed the names of the new partners to accompany them in this adventure.

This Tuesday, at the start of the afternoon, Olympic Biarritz was summoned by the Rugby Regulatory Authority. The reason ? Since the formalization of the takeover of the club by Shaun Hegarty, Marc Baget and Flip van der Merwe, the financial policeman of the League has been waiting for bank guarantees and concrete elements in relation to the financing of the red and white project, which was slow in coming, which ended up annoying the A2R.
We were summoned for a disciplinary council in relation to the delay in communicating the elements of the salerecalls the lawyer and new member of the management board, Christophe Cariou-Martin. We came to explain the context in which the sale took place. Our goal is the definitive recovery of the BO. We could not take the risk of seeing, once again, a transfer aborted. It would have been a trauma for the employees, the Biarrots and rugby lovers. By coming before the disciplinary council, we wanted to raise the voice of the employees who support the club and without whom the club would not be what it is today.

Cost reduction, a budget of 9 million euros

After this first point and even if the Basque club knows that it is exposed, today, to sanctions, this Tuesday’s meeting with the A2R above all allowed the new owners of the Basque club to present the broad outlines of their project to the controller.
For more than two hours, Shaun Hegarty (chairman of the supervisory board), Arnaud Dubois and Christophe Cariou Martin (lawyers and members of the management board) presented their business plan. In the premises of the former DNACG, the bosses of the BO presented a budget of 9 million euros for the coming season.

They also mentioned an eight-year plan, divided into three phases: first three years for “sanitize“the club, the next two to develop it and the last three to obtain”full potential“of the model.”For years, the BOPB has generated revenues between 8 and 9 million, with final expenses between 11 and 14 million, depending on the year. It couldn’t work. There was a hole systematically. The structure of the economy and its development were not good. We will work together to show them that, contractually, the reduction in charges is logical, tenable and that it can be contained at 9 million over the next three years.“, continues the lawyer.

The first names revealed

Also, Biarritz leaders took advantage of this visit to the capital to unveil the list of new partners who have agreed to support the BO. It emerged from these discussions that, in idea, the project led by Shaun Hegarty aims to make Biarritz independent of a large patron and therefore change the economic model which was king, on Aguiléra’s side, in recent times, when Serge Kampf then Louis-Vincent Gave allowed the club to stay alive. “It must be understood that today, there are no new shareholders entering SASP BOPB, or new shareholders entering SAS B.Otiful. (the company owned by Shaun Hegarty, owner of the club, Editor’s note), underlines Cariou-Martin. I’m talking about partners. These are people with whom we will collaborate for the economic development of the club.
It was through a press release, released around 8 p.m., that the first names of these partners were made official: Pierre Rondinaud, Pierre-Edouard Sterin, Pierre Fraidenraich. Pierre Rondinaud (41 years old) is director of Horizon 7 Consulting, a communications and advertising agency in which Romain Détré holds shares. Pierre-Edouard Sterin (50 years old) manages several companies including Smartbox (company specializing in gift boxes). “Attached to the Basque Country, aware of the image that this historic club represents for this territory, we did not hesitate for a second, with Pierre Fraidenraich to give it our support“, explains the businessman in a press release published by the club.

Cariou-Martin: “We are calm”

Regarding the panel of national societies having agreed to join the BOPB project, Cariou-Martin explained, late in the afternoon: “These partners have committed to providing us with funds of at least 3 million per year, for the next five years. It is a guarantee that we have, but in addition, this guarantee is backed. These partners believe so much in development that they came to provide guarantees of their commitment. Its very important for us.” Concerning the funds, the Biarritz leaders assure that they have “an account where there are 3 million euros, which are sequestered at the disposal of the SASP BOPB in the development of the receptive, cultural, event experience, around the stadium“. Finally, for the sporting part, the new owners assure that they have “bank guarantees of one million euros by the Rothschild bank“.

Twenty-four hours after presenting the project to the shareholders, the new bosses of the BO came out “serene“of this day and the hearing before the A2R.”We know that there are attentive people who will help us in development. We are happy to have been able to enter into dialogue with the League, in a liberated manner, without confidentiality… It was a very professional, very frank, very liberated discussion. Everyone was able to express themselves“, concludes Cariou-Martin. It remains to be seen, now, what the A2R thought of the explanations and documents provided by the Biarritz leaders. The validation of the viability of the project is in its hands. The coming days will allow us to find out more more.

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