XV of France: a staff that is expensive

Aware that the France team had a less extensive staff than the other major nations when he took over the presidency in 2016, Bernard Laporte dedicated the necessary means. A phenomenon which has been further accentuated with the arrival of coach Fabien Galthié.

Rugby, when practiced internationally, cannot suffer from the slightest approximation. And for that, you need people. Lots of staff. From the outside, the extended staff of the XV of France can take on the appearance of Mexican armies. But it is quite simply the norm at the international level, and in this area France was lagging behind, as Alexandre Martinez, treasurer of the FFR since that date, told us: “ Strengthening the staff was one of our priorities when our president Bernard Laporte took office in 2016. We wanted to find a high-performance French team, and we had to give ourselves the means to achieve our ambitions. We needed a staff that resembles that of the biggest teams in the world. This reinforcement began in 2016, but it culminated with the arrival of Fabien Galthié’s staff in 2019. We gave Fabien all the means possible to build up his staff, and give ourselves the means to achieve our ambitions. »

The Federation therefore recruited accordingly, and not without cost: “ There has indeed been an increase in the payroll dedicated to the staff because its size has increased. The staff is consistent, even very consistent and more important than before the arrival of Fabien Galthié but it is neither more nor less than what the other big nations have. We just got back to their level. »

Martinez: “It’s an investment”

You should know that the annual budget of the XV of France men oscillates “ between 15 and 19 million euros », Explains the master of the FFR chests. A figure that varies depending on tours, number of matches and other parameters. It includes staff salaries, bonuses, travel, operating costs, transport, equipment, endowments, etc… »

Professional secrecy obliges, the treasurer of the FFR refused to tell us the share that the payroll of the staff represented in this budget. The fact remains that the FFR had to make choices to finance this staff: “ There are many possibilities for directing spending, but as we have increased our revenues since 2016, we have more room to manoeuvre. The stoppage of the Grande Stade project has also given us some comfort. But these choices have not affected the functioning of the Federation or amateur rugby, since we have carried out a recovery plan and have redirected more than 80 million euros towards amateur clubs. “says Martinez.

Expanding the staff therefore had a cost, but it must be recognized that it also paid off: “ For the treasurer that I am, it is also an investment, which calls for a return on investment. As the French team won the grand slam, we can say that it was a relevant investment. We will still benefit from the fallout when more children join clubs, or more people go to the Stade de France. The XV of France is more attractive than ever, even with partners. It has increased in value. It is up to us to value it. And then when the France team wins, it’s excellent for all of French rugby, from amateurs to professionals. It was well worth such an investment…

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