Those connected to Gloucester Rugby will know that takeover rumours have been circulating for some time now, following the attention of Mohed Altrad – as covered previously by Last Word on Rugby. Now the Daily Mail has broken the news that there could be an overhaul of the management team at Kingsholm when/if this takeover goes ahead. However, this is not the time for a Gloucester Rugby takeover revolution.
The Return of Phillipe Saint-Andre
The Daily Mail is speculating that former player and coach Phillipe Saint-Andre will return to England as Director of Rugby, possibly with Mike Ford also crossing the channel as Head Coach–plus former favourite Olivier Azam reportedly making a return.
Over the course of this season many ‘Cherry and White fans’ have criticized the coaching team. Some see it is inevitable and maybe even welcome that current head coach Laurie Fisher (main picture) will move on. But after a successful January in competitions, these announcements could derail the rest of the season.
Gloucester return to Aviva Premiership action at Welford Road this Saturday. They face a frail Leicester team who are ‘there for the taking’. Gloucester need to win this sort of game if they want to reach the top six. The following week they host Saracens without their England contingent. Another big opportunity to show progress.
But now, if David Humphreys and company know they are out of a job in May…..where is the motivation to continue improving the team?
Back to Square One?
More importantly, what would be the end result of Humphreys’ three year tenure? The club are now widely regarded as ‘nearly men’ due to many close or last minute defeats. They do perhaps need a shock to push them over the line and to turn them into winners. Equally the coaches have spent three years shaping and molding the squad – is it sensible to throw all that away now?
Admittedly all this has yet to bring Champions Cup rugby but recent signs are encouraging. Signings for next season also seem to say refinement rather than new direction. The club have not signalled any direction (see below tweet). Where does this leave the players who have bought into the Humphreys and Fishers’ vision?
Of course all of this is speculation. It brings together two men with connections to Gloucester; plus a coach who may likely to be out of a job at the season end. What is known is that the Altrad takeover is likely to be approved by the EPCR [European Professional Club Rugby] next week.
The new owner surely will want to have an immediate impact. For this reporter, it may not be a welcome one.
“Main photo credit”