Attendance caps to hit French clubs hard

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New government regulations, on top of the vaccine mandate to be implemented in France from mid-January, are likely to hit French clubs with force according to the Ligue National de Rugby (LNR).

From Monday, January 3, attendances at French games are capped at 5,000 people (2,000 for indoor events, such as at Racing’s La Defense Arena), while the sale of food and drinks will also be prohibited.

Conviviality

“The decision to limit the attendances partially taken by the authorities is linked to the health situation and it is obviously necessary to respect its objectives and motivations. It will nevertheless hit professional rugby clubs hard,” said LNR director general Emmanuel Eschalier in a statement sent to AFP.

“Rugby is a sport of conviviality whose resources at more than 60% on average are linked to the presence of the public and partners during matches. The economic model of professional rugby clubs is built on the reception of the public on match days.”

“This new measure, coupled with restrictions on the sale of food/beverages in stadiums, will have heavy economic repercussions; new government support for clubs will therefore be essential to compensate for it.”

The restrictions will make their first impact on the weekend of January 8/9, on which, among other games, second-placed Toulouse and third-placed Montpellier is scheduled. The clubs may by then already be labouring under the absence of further European competition under the new rules.

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