The FFR validated Friday evening the principle of a season without relegation. The amateur clubs best placed before the suspension of competitions may however move up to the higher division. Including in Pro D2 – Albi and Massy are the best ranked – where there will however be no relegation.
Fried on the line. And a new match in prospect between the Federation, guarantor of amateur rugby, and the League, in charge by delegation from the professional sector. Because the FFR and its president, Bernard Laporte, have set foot in the dish via a press release published after the Federal Office, Friday evening shortly before 10 pm “To date, the FFR maintains the principle of a rise of two Federal 1 clubs in Pro D2,” said the governing body.
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A decision that will provoke a showdown with the National Rugby League (LNR), whose president, Paul Goze, had asked April 2 by mail to his counterpart at the FFR to skip promotions in Pro D2 . It was notably written there (according to Olympic Midi who obtained it): “Regarding the bridge between the Pro D2 and the Federal 1, we consider that the position of reason is also to neutralize symmetrically the two accessions initially planned. This neutralization of accessions in Pro D2 seems to us coherent in terms of sports fairness with the final cessation of the Federal Championship 1 to four days before the end of the group stage and before the final phases which should have determined the clubs’ sport. promoted cannot take place. ” And the president of the League to argue by stressing that increasing the Pro D2 from 16 to 18 clubs would divide the windfall of TV rights a little more, endangering the financial health of the clubs already installed in Pro D2.
The response of the shepherd to the shepherdess, in this case the League which wanted to secure the gauge of 30 professional clubs
“Having taken note of the position of professional clubs, (the FFR) requests a meeting in the coming days with the representatives of these clubs and the LNR,” replied the Federation in a incomplete manner. Who has not appreciated at all that the League decides unilaterally Wednesday this status of “closed league” and who intends to enforce his decision. In this case, a move into the professional division for Massy and Albi (who, in the event of failure this season, had announced to renounce his professional status), the two highest ranked teams of the four Federal divisions (effectively excluding Bourg -en-Bresse and Union Cognac Saint-Jean-d’Angély, leaders of the two other pools but with fewer points in the ranking).
So this is the firm answer from the shepherd to the shepherdess. Wednesday, the League had recorded the maintenance of the same thirty clubs in the two professional divisions, Top 14 and Pro D2. For the Federation, it will therefore be 32. Charge to the League to decide on the distribution: a Top 16 and a second division remaining with 16 elements. Or an unchanged Top 14 and a Pro D2 going to 18 clubs…
“All amateur clubs will have the opportunity to go to the next level based on their sporting merit“
On the many lower floors, the FFR has generalized the same principle. No sporting relegation will take place for the 2019-2020 amateur rubgy season, i.e. until Federal 1 (division 3). The Federation however maintains promotions. To decide on the climbs, the classifications of each competition, all definitively stopped a week ago because of the coronavirus pandemic, will be “built on the sports results obtained at the end of the qualifying phases with recourse to equalizations”, calculations provided for in the regulations to smooth the effects of games not played on the positions in the ranking. The “publication of national rankings” is announced for May, without further details on the date.
Direct consequences, in the absence of relegation but with promotions, Federal 1 will be increased to 60 clubs divided into five pools next season, against 48 divided into four groups in the last exercise. Likewise, the number of clubs that will play in Federal 2 and 3 is also increasing: 96 teams, divided into 8 pools of 12, will compete in the Federal 2 championship; 180 equipped, divided into 15 pools of 12, will start from that of Fédérale 3. And it is planned that 24 to 27 clubs from the Honor divisions of the regional leagues may go up to Fédérale 3. “All the clubs will therefore have the possibility of going up to the next level based on their sporting merit, “concludes the press release.