'Biggest crisis since World War II'
NEWS: A French-based agent has laid bare the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the sport in France.
Usually, the phones are hopping at this time of year with multiple deals to be done. In 2020? Nothing. It has all gone quite with no sign that business will pick up any time soon in a globally depressed climate where Rugby Australia have just unveiled swingeing cuts and USA Rugby have declared bankruptcy.
In an interview with French bi-weekly Midi Olympique, player agent Pascal Forni has claimed: “It’s the biggest crisis since World War II, no more no less!
“During the stock market crash of 1929, there were deaths but it had nothing to do with what will happen today and tomorrow due to the pandemic. We have to be aware of the ordeal we are all going through.
“Twenty-seven of our sports agents are currently unemployed. We must add to these about fifteen providers. That makes 40 people on the sidelines. Yes, we are impacted.
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“What do you want me to tell you? We are in a closed championship, with closed clubs and we do not know where we are going: the clubs, the players and the agents. There is no more trade, no more transactions.
“What will the contract signed today be worth in a month or two if the club in question is in bankruptcy? Today, everything is called into question. We are all at a standstill.
“Everyone will have to make an effort… but stop pointing the finger at the agents as alleged wrongdoers. I feel like we brought the coronavirus, sometimes. But I remind you that we have 40 unemployed people at home. We suffer, like everyone.
“A third of the Top 14 contracts expire on June 30. The rest run for several years. But remember what I’m telling you: we are heading towards family and social dramas.
“The non-preserved player finds himself in a black s***. He cannot find any new club, he cannot find a house elsewhere… he is lost, does not know what to do. So rather than thinking about my commission, these are the players I think of, those who have nothing left.”
Midi Olympique & @RugbyPass