Mourad Boudjellal

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Mourad Boudjellal is a French businessman, the proprietor of comic publisher Soleil Productions.[1] He was born on 5 June 1960 in Toulon, France. He is currently the President of the Toulon Rugby Union club.[1][2][3]

In the first part of the 21st century, he has opened his cheque book in an attempt to bring his hometown rugby team to prominence. His signings of international stars such as past Toulon players George Gregan, George Smith, Sonny Bill Williams and Tana Umaga, plus current stars Steffon Armitage, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell, Mathieu Bastareaud, Bakkies Botha and Jonny Wilkinson, have led British rugby commentator Martin Gillingham to call Toulon a "band of galacticos" (an obvious reference to Real Madrid's galáctico policy).[4]

His time at the helm of Toulon has not been without controversy. Most notably, he drew a 130-day dressing room and pitchside ban from Top 14 organizer LNR for the following outburst after a narrow Toulon loss to Clermont in January 2012:[5]

"I had my first refereeing sodomy in the [2010] semi-final against Clermont. I've just had my second tonight. It appeared to hurt the first time but it was just as bad this time. We will review the images not on YouTube but on YouPorn."

Nonetheless, his tenure has seen tremendous commercial success for the club. ESPN rugby journalist Ian Moriarty remarked during the 2012–13 season,

Boudjellal claimed earlier this season that the financial performance of the club meant he no longer needed to put his own cash in. Whatever you think about his penchant for throwing verbal grenades in the media from time to time, his management from a commercial point of view has been impressive. Toulon have increased their turnover by 500% during his tenure, allowing the club to spend right up to the limit of the salary cap.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Mourad Boudjellal wants to pay Sonny Bill Williams $3million". The Daily Telegraph. 2008-07-30. Archived from the original on September 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  2. ^ Karl de Kroo and Jim Tucker (2008-08-01). "Sonny Bill Williams big money deal may not add up". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  3. ^ Arnaud Coudry (2008-01-21). "Toulon, la multinationale de la planète ovale" (in French). Le Figaro. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  4. ^ Gillingham, Martin (2012-03-27). "Top 14: Toulon are the Galacticos of the rugby world". The Independent. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  5. ^ Gillingham, Martin (2012-06-06). "The perfect finale". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  6. ^ Moriarty, Ian (2013-05-30). "Wilko and Toulon target rare double". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 2013-05-30.