Billionaire Stade Francais owner promises R1.6bn investment

Heyneke Meyer (Getty Images)
Heyneke Meyer (Getty Images)

Paris - Stade Francais owner Hans-Peter Wild said on Sunday he was planning on investing 100 million (1.6 billion) in the under-performing French Top 14 giants over the next half a decade.

Billionaire Wild, whose wealth comes after he inherited a food and drinks company, took over the Parisian club in May 2017.

However, the side are yet to reach the end of season playoffs under his ownership despite signing international stars like Nicholas Sanchez, Gael Fickou and former South Africa head coach Heyneke Meyer.

"I think I'm going to put in another 100 million for the next five years," he told broadcaster Canal+ before Sunday's 27-23 victory at Parisian rivals Racing 92.

German Wild, 77, also fired a warning to members of Meyer's squad.

"There are some who aren't playing and there are good reasons why they don't play, if they don't like what the coach does then go and find another team," he said.

"It's unacceptable that people complain in public to the press. It's an expensive professional sport and they have to behave professionally, they have to learn that."

On the field on Sunday, two of Wild's signings in Fickou and Sanchez proved their value to keep the club's hopes of a playoff spot alive in an entertaining affair at the La Defense Area.

Stade started the derby positively as France centre Fickou crossed for the opening try after five minutes which was converted by Argentina flyhalf Sanchez.

Racing responded with a seven-pointer of their own as Fiji lock Leone Nakarawa crashed over and Teddy Iribaren added the extras for a 7-7 score after 20 minutes.

Sanchez and Iribaren traded penalty goals before the home side's young wing Louis Dupichot gave his side the advantage at the break.

He intercepted Stade scrumhalf Piet van Zyl's pass to run in from his own 22m line.

Iribaren's replacement Maxime Machenaud stretched Racing's lead to 20-10 after 10 minutes of the second half before Bernard le Roux was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Sanchez.

France forward Le Roux only avoided a more serious punishment from referee Cyril Lafont as stand-off Sanchez had put his arm on the ground before crashing to the floor. 

Stade then were given a penalty try by Lafont from the following rolling maul for a 20-17 score.

Meyer's side took the lead on 57 minutes as replacement Giorgi Melikidze squeezed over and Sanchez's second conversion meant his side had a 24-20 advantage.

Machenaud kicked a penalty before former South Africa flyhalf Morne Steyn slotted a drop goal from 40 metres for a 27-23 win.

The victory means Stade still have a chance of reaching the playoffs and move four points behind Racing who currently occupy the final playoff spot. 

Earlier on Sunday, Lyon closed in on a playoff place with a last-minute bonus point as they won 34-10 at home to Bordeaux-Begles.

On Saturday, leaders Toulouse, who have already made sure of a semi-final place, scored 13 tries as they thumped Pau 83-6, with Thomas Ramos scoring 26 points in a virtuoso display.

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