Bath make professional progression
Wednesday 13 March 1996
By this means, the blue-chip West Country club, champions five times and cup-winners nine times since 1984, intend to attract corporate investment to finance professionalism, which will become a reality at the end of this season. According to the Bath chairman, Richard Mawditt, half a dozen companies have expressed firm interest.
By rugby standards, big money will be involved. Bath estimate they will need pounds 3m in the next couple of years over and above their present income so that attractive contracts can be placed before their players, many of whom are already subject to offers from other clubs. The club's wage bill for next season alone will be pounds 1.5m.
More than 800 members, 20 per cent of the total, had gathered for an emergency general meeting which voted by 806-6, with eight abstentions, to turn the club into a company which will also be charged with finding the pounds 6m necessary to expand the capacity of the Recreation Ground in the heart of the Georgian city from 8,500 to more than 15,000.
The dropped French hooker Jean-Michael Gonzales yesterday regained the place that had been lost for Saturday's game against Wales when a sprained ankle caused the withdrawal of Marc de Rougemont, who had replaced him. With Wales facing a second consecutive Five Nations whitewash, the coach, Kevin Bowring, has summoned one of the Cardiff coaches, the former Pontypool and Wales prop Charlie Faulkner, to assist scrummaging preparation.
Most of the French team, meanwhile, are hawking their services around English rugby. Newcastle's Rob Andrew has been in discussions with Jean- Luc Sadourny, Emile Ntamack and Thomas Castaignede, the latter two from his old club, Toulouse. Abdel Benazzi, Christian Califano, Olivier Roumat, Thierry Lacroix, Olivier Merle, Laurent Benezech and Laurent Cabannes are being associated with sundry other English clubs.
Andrew will not achieve another of his targets, the former Wales centre Scott Gibbs, who has signed a registration form in the hope of being released by St Helens to play in the off-season for Newcastle. "Scott is going nowhere," David Howes, Saints' chief executive, said yesterday.
One union-league link-up that was agreed was Wakefield Trinity's acquisition of Orrell's 20-year-old Scottish wing, Graeme Smith, for summer rugby league. In addition, Wigan have agreed to play in a rugby union sevens tournament organised by Newcastle on 4 May - a week before their participation in the Middlesex Sevens at Twickenham.
Latest in Sport
Manchester United transfer news: More signings expected, indicates Ed Woodward
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger says he will not be signing a striker this summer
CM Punk 'never ever ever' returning to WWE (so he probably will)
Manchester United transfer news: Completed summer deals
James Rodriguez joins Real Madrid: World Cup top scorer completes £63m move
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 3 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus 23 days holiday and pension scheme: Clearwater ...
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum 23 days holiday plus Pension scheme: Clearwater Peop...
£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education are urgentl...
£85 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...