Reports in France suggest Harlequins set to lose highest-paid player - Ruck

Reports in France suggest Harlequins set to lose highest-paid player

According to recent reports in France, André Esterhuizen is considering leaving his current club, Harlequins, to join Lyon as a replacement for Josua Tuisova.

This news highlights the financial difficulties faced by many Premiership clubs, including Harlequins, which are struggling to stay afloat.

Esterhuizen, a South African star player, is currently under contract with Harlequins until 2025, but reports suggest that Marcus Smith may soon become the club’s highest-paid player with a new deal.

Harlequins’ CEO Laurie Dalrymple has rubbished the reported departure, tweeting: “No he’s not!,”

A cynic might say ‘well he would say that, wouldn’t he…’.

Nicknamed ‘Andre The Giant’, Esterhuizen joined Harlequins from the Durban-based Sharks during the backend of the 2019/20 season.

Quickly establishing himself as a first starter at Harlequins, the centre started and scored in the Premiership Final victory over Exeter Chiefs. 

Two more clubs in trouble:

A scary report released suggests that more Premiership clubs are ‘heading for disaster’ having amassed £300m in net debt.

According to The Telegraph, London Irish are considered “high risk” due to low turnover of, at best, £10 million, while Harlequins are “concerning” due to their high borrowing of £48 million in the 2021 financial year.

Private equities director Mike Ryan has been investigating the league and made some interesting findings.

He said: “The club structure has historically been on an unsustainable footing. It has never made a profit. The combined losses for the clubs over the last six years, excluding the payment from CVC, has been £300 million,

“At the moment, this is heading for disaster. I would like to see the fiscal-year 2022 numbers to be more comfortable with the call, but I would be surprised if they were any better than FY19 [financial year 2019]. The overall competition is still losing money.

“It is professional on the field and semi-professional at best off the field. That is the biggest problem that rugby is facing globally, in my view.”

Read the full report from The Telegraph here.

Three clubs in trouble:


They wrote: “They borrowed £48m in FY21, maybe through £50m on the back of FY22. If you look at operating profit per employee, they are paying £60,000 per employee and going backwards. It’s the structure of the business – big property investments, borrowings.”

London Irish

They wrote: “They have never made a profit, have £30m worth of borrowings. It’s one club that’s potentially at high risk because of very low turnovers, at best in a good season of £10m.”

Paddy Jackson of London Irish kicks for goal during the Gallagher Premiership match between London Irish and Newcastle Falcons at The Brentford Community Stadium, London on December 04 2021 (Photo: Danny Loo/PPAUK)


#13. Exeter Chiefs – £13m

#12. Gloucester – £27m

#11. Northampton Saints £26.5m

#10. Worcester Warriors – £26.5m

Worcester Warriors flags fly in support of the club as they go through difficult times. during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Worcester Warriors and Exeter Chiefs at Sixways on 18 Sept 2022 Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK