Tipped to be the MHR coach for next season, Franck Azéma will ultimately not go to Hérault. On the other hand, he will leave his post at Clermont in a few weeks and could find himself without a club. Explanations.
Everything seemed to be done. Franck Azéma was to leave Clermont this summer after 10 years in Auvergne, to join the MHR. And then: “I will not go to Montpellier next season”, dropped Franck Azéma on Wednesday in the columns of The mountain.
However, the coach was well and truly motivated by the project. Franck Azéma had announced that he would leave his post at Clermont at the end of the season, despite his two remaining years of contract. “The club needs a new lease of life,” he said at the time, confiding his weariness. “The job is for Franck”, for his part argued Montpellier President Mohed Altrad. But it was necessary to be attentive to the rest of the sentence: “but Franck cannot take it. And I cannot give it to him until he is released. Legally, we cannot have two contracts with two different clubs. . “
Complicated discussions between the two clubs
Clermont and Montpellier then had to agree, to release the coach earlier than expected, in return for compensation. But the negotiations between the two parties were laborious, complicated, and then finally broke down. “We are in a business situation: I defend the interests of the club beyond the relations we have with him”, explained the president of ASM Jean-Michel Guillon to The team
“I have nothing for next season”
The talks that had dragged on for many weeks gave the impression that everything was not going as planned for Franck Azéma. And the extension of Olivier Azam, coach of the forwards of Montpellier, was an additional clue and pushed the Clermontois to clarify the situation. “Today, this track can not succeed. A point that’s all! And for the moment, I have nothing for next season”, he decided in The mountain. Because the ASM has already announced the name of its future manager: Jono Gibbes, who will arrive from La Rochelle.
Franck Azéma still has at least three games left on the Auvergne bench. ASM receives Toulon on Saturday (9:05 p.m.), will then move to Toulouse (May 29) and will face La Rochelle (June 5) at the end of the regular season. Three strong opponents while Clermont still has to fight to ensure his place in the six qualified for the finals. And ASM is hoping that what has been going on behind the scenes in recent weeks will not rub off on the ground.