Provence & Côte d'Azur: Despite hopes that the team could pull through this crisis, it remains under a black cloud
Nice Rugby folds
After a hectic few months of trying to scramble together enough money to cover the club’s building debts, Rugby Nice Côte d’Azur has finally given in to its fate and has reportedly folded amid money problems and an ebbing team spirit.
While no official confirmation has come out of the rugby club since the French Rugby Federation (Fédération Française de Rugby) made its final decision yesterday, the club is rumoured to have collapsed following a fruitless search for an investor.
Hopes were momentarily raised when businessman Thierry Perez stepped forward and offered the club the money it needed to relaunch itself – an amount in the region of 1.5 million euros – but was unwilling to pay off the RNCA’s debts of 1.3 million euros, leaving the team effectively “stuck in the mud”.
Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has thanked the acting president of the team, Tony Catoni, for his “dedication and services to the cub” but was forced to admit that his constituency would no longer be able to support the RNCA financially.
Nice will be sad to see its rugby team leave the stands for good but in early May, a board of city advisors voted unanimously against plans to once again help the club out.
In an official press release, Estrosi reassured both professional and amateur players, fans and coaches that the demise of the RNCA does not mean that the Riviera will lose the sport permanently, saying, “I foresee a future for rugby in Nice and on the Côte d’Azur”.