/ Top 14 Orange 2013-14

/ News

Top 14
Riviere promises Perpignan war chest in promotion bid
ESPN Staff
May 4, 2014
Perpignan's Lifeimi Mafi tries to break through the Clermont defence © Getty Images

Perpignan president Francois Riviere has vowed to spend heavily in a bid to return his club to the Top 14 after they suffered their first relegation in 103 years.

Former champions Perpignan crashed out of France's elite competition after a narrow 25-22 defeat by Clermont, but Riviere was bullish about the prospects of making a swift return to the top flight.

Explaining the atmosphere after Saturday's defeat, Riviere told Rugbyrama: "There was great sadness in the changing room, emotion, tears, but I made a speech to the players assuring them that we would do everything to gather one of the biggest budgets of the Pro D2, probably around €10 million, to try our hardest to get back to the Top 14 as quickly as possible."

Perpignan president Francois Riviere, Clermont v Perpignan, Top 14, Michelin stadium, May 3, 2014
Perpignan president Francois Riviere © Getty Images

With fears growing over an exodus of Perpignan's top talent - Toulon announced a move for France international lock Romain Taofifenua just minutes after Saturday's final whistle - Riviere has called on his players to clarify their intentions ahead of next season.

"I will hold a press conference on Wednesday in which I will unveil the new organisation of the club," he said. "As for the players, it is too early to say. But several things have disappointed me. I can understand that the international players wish to leave the club in order to best prepare for the 2015 World Cup but the way in which this has been expressed is not very gracious.

"It is just one example, but it has been 15 days now that I haven't heard from Sofiane Guitone either dismissing or confirming rumours that he's moving to Bordeaux. Similarly, I didn't find it very gracious the way in which [Toulon owner] Mourad Boudjellal announced the arrival of Romain Taofifenua at Toulon ten minutes after the final whistle.

"I will have a discussion with a core group of players that we would like to keep. I have talked with Bertranf Guiry in particular and even though he hasn't assured me of anything, there have been a few reassuring words and I hope he will want to be part of this project. He is one of those players you can count on for his support to pass on the DNA of the club."

Perpignan came within minutes of saving their Top 14 skins on Saturday, but ill discipline proved costly as they received three second-half yellow cards and fly-half James Hook missed several kicks from relatively easy positions.

But Riviere praised Perpignan's supporters and promised to fight on for them. "It would be unworthy to give up," he said. "I fight because Perpignan has a strong soul. I talked to some Perpignan supporters after the Clermont match and just for them, it is inconceivable to give up."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Rugby

    Handre Pollard kicks Bulls into seventh place

    Bulls five-eighth Handre Pollard became the first Super Rugby player past the 100-point mark this season as his team defeated the Crusaders 31-19 in Pretoria

  • Rugby

    Waratahs facing brutal schedule

    The NSW Waratahs are steeling themselves for a brutal schedule that could require playing for 13 straight weeks to retain their Super Rugby crown

  • Rugby

    Blues can still make Super finals: Kirwan

    A believer in sporting miracles, Sir John Kirwan hasn't given up on his beleaguered Blues making the Super Rugby finals despite their none-from-six start to the season

  • Boxing

    Brook makes perfect comeback on return from stabbing

    Six months after being victim of a machete attack that left him fearing for his life, Kell Brook dished out a vicious attack of his own in his a first world title defence

  • Tennis

    Heather Watson flounders at Miami Open wash-out

    Heather Watson's challenge at the Miami Open ended in the second round as Angelique Kerber won their rain-affected clash which spanned two days

  • Football

    A Klose call

    Miroslav Klose scored goals in the World Cup final tournaments of 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. Has anyone else scored World Cup goals 12 years apart?

  • Formula 1

    F1 cost cutting: Not putting money where the mouth is

    Mudslinging and an agreement on something that will never happen, it's all in a day's work for a Formula One boss, as Maurice Hamilton explains...

  • Formula One

    Tough at the top

    Who has driven in the most GPs before taking pole position?

  • Rugby

    Unsavoury sledging did not end with Potgieter

    Fallout continues from the NSW-Brumbies derby, with one Tahs forward - not Potgieter - surprised by other unsavoury comments during the game, Greg Growden reports

  • Rugby

    Super Rugby preview, team news, line-ups: Round 7

    Greg Growden previews Super Rugby round 7. We've also got key stats, team news and all the line-ups to inform your ESPN Footytips Super Rugby picks

  • News
  • Features

Sponsored Links

Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income