It is proving to be a rather difficult time for Top 14 club Montauban. First of all, their start to the season has been extremely average – now, their financial situation has been blasted into the public eye with their president, Daniel Havis, resigning.
Havis has stepped down from his role at the French club after the administrative council refused to act on his request to investigate the state of their accounts under former president Patrick Bardot. This request from Havis came after it was revealed that the club were 1.3million euros short of balancing their financial books. Something that was a direct result of drastic over spending last season.
This whole situation has sparked fears that the future of the club could be in doubt. Even if they manage to find some much needed investment in the coming weeks, there is a chance they could be automatically demoted from the Top 14 – this happened to Albi last season, after all.
With the current state of the club off the pitch in some disarray, the way the team is performing right now could be considered equally as disappointing. They sit 10th in the Top 14 after suffering four defeats already this season – all but one of which have come away from home. Away form was a big problem for them last season as well and it shows no signs of improving this time around.
Things could have been so much different though after their opening Heineken Cup game against Munster. The French club took the lead three times in the match, but eventually lost 19-17 thanks to a 77th minute penalty from Ronan O’Gara. The rugby odds didn’t give them a chance to win this match and it would have been one of the biggest shocks in Heineken Cup history had they held on.
Had they gone on to win this game, the whole shape of their season could have changed. It would have given the players a massive lift for the rest of the Top 14 campaign. As it stands though, they have lost both of their games in Europe so far and find themselves in a major financial crisis. The only way is up I guess.
However, considering their away form of late, I won’t be placing a rugby bet on a positive result for them in this weekend’s trip to 4th placed Clermont. Therefore, things really could get worse for Montauban before they get any better.