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In conflict with the FFR, Guy Novès delivers "the fight of his life" – XV of France

The former coach of the XV of France, dismissed in late 2017, asks nearly 3 million euros to the French Federation before the Prud'hommes of Toulouse.

The former coach of the XV of France ensures want to lead "the fight" of his life. Guy Novès claims this Thursday before the industrial tribunal of Toulouse 2.9 million euros to the French Rugby Federation (FFR) to "wash his honor". Novès, 65, had arrived at the head of the Blues in 2016. But 21 matches later (7 wins, 13 defeats, 1 draw) in late December 2017, he was landed by the president of the FFR, Bernard Laporte.

»READ ALSO – Guy Novès will claim 3M € to the FFR for his dismissal

To justify the dismissal of the one who has the greatest record of coaching France with 4 European crowns and 10 Brennus shields at the head of Stade Toulousain, Bernard Laporte has argued a "serious fault". He reported on an audit of clubs, players and leaders he did not produce. In front of justice in Toulouse, Novès is decided to fight. He wants to begin to recognize the illegality of the decision, because he claims to have read in the press and not according to the rules of law, namely in a letter and during an interview prior to the dismissal during which he could explain.

"What a serious mistake?"

This lack of respect for the law was also criticized by Bernard Laporte by his opponents: "There is no business leader who dismissed someone announcing his departure in the press," lamented the president of the Regional League of Ile-de-France, Florian Grill. At the same time as the compliance of the dismissal, a first in the history of a coach of the Blues during the term, it is his motivation that Novès also wants to challenge. "What a serious mistake?" He has already asked after the labor court conciliation hearing in May, before blaming the FFR for "not letting him finish his job".

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And to assert forcefully wanting to "wash his honor" because "for me, the most important thing is to find the eyes of people." For the former coach, whose the enmity with the president of the FFR was notorious, it could also be to admit the premeditation and therefore the vexatious nature of his eviction. Admittedly, his dismissal came after a series of six test-matches without success, punctuated by a historic poor performance against the modest team of Japan (23-23). But had Mr. Laporte not expressed his desire to oust him if he was elected in 2016?

"In Toulouse, he was God"

In total, with his lawyer Mr. Laurent Nougarolis, Guy Novès has provided 21 different points to justify the some "2.9 million euros" he wants to ask for compensation: termination of the employment contract, harassment, loss of annuities of retirement, damage to the image, regulation of overtime (500,000 euros) or compensatory rest (200,000 euros). According to Mr. Joseph Aguerra, defender of the FFR, he avails in particular hours spent watching television. "It goes in all directions," lamented Mr. Aguerra.

Mr. Aguerra indicated that he will plead in "the absence of Bernard Laporte" but in the presence of a "surprise personality" for a "requalification of the contract of CDD" which enjoyed Novès, "in CDI". For the FFR, in a difficult economic context with a deficit of € 7.35 million for 2017-2018, this contractual change would reduce the cost of compensation.

It would fall under the scale of the Macron law (2 to 3 months) and would not run until the end of the contract (24 months) a priori expected at the end of the World Cup (September 20-November 2). As for serious misconduct, it is constituted by "his managerial mode", it is estimated in the entourage of the FFR. "In Toulouse, he was God. He even chose the stadium keeper. He arrived at the FFR and he did not change when there were people who wanted to do things. He did not know how to evolve. He wanted to do as in Toulouse, "says one source.

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