Clermont has accused Saracens of “incompetence” and claimed they were cut out of negotiations over the rescheduling of their Champions Cup clash.
According to the Top 14 side what should have been “a feast of rugby” has descended into “another episode of amateurism,” following the decision to postpone the fixture due to adverse weather in north London.
A post published on the official Clermont website at 11.50am today insisted that the French champions had not been involved in the decision to call off the match, or in follow-up talks about its rescheduling.
— ASM Rugby (@ASMOfficiel) December 11, 2017
The statement read: “[Clermont] was not invited to the negotiating table and has had to adapt to the incompetence of local authorities and Saracens in organising this major sporting event.”
It claimed players and staff were informed that the match would be postponed at 10 a.m. Sunday — and spent the rest of the day waiting for news of when it would be rescheduled.
“We ended up being informed by telephone by an EPCR official, at around 5 p.m, that the game would be held on Monday 11 December, at 2 p.m,” the statement said, adding that it left players and backroom staff little time to adapt training and nutrition programmes for the rearranged match.
The club noted that other Champions Cup and professional football matches within a 30 mile radius of the ground went ahead as scheduled.
“In the end, for a little more than 10 centimetres of snow, the organisation of this meeting was ridiculous and absurd. Staff and players are deeply upset by the lack of interest in their fans throughout the weekend and will use that an extra source of motivation,” the statement said.
Earlier furious club president Eric de Cromières told regional newspaper La Montagne: “This new schedule will put our team at a considerable disadvantage, especially in view of the return leg, since we will not return home after the game until 2 a.m. (CET) on Tuesday, before playing again on Sunday.
“I’m furious! There was no meeting between the clubs, EPCR and the police. We have had no explanation, no elements to understand the ins and outs. It’s very, very mismanaged. If necessary, we will consider bringing the case before other bodies.”