Boudjellal in talks to sell Toulon

by AFP

A film producer and a lawyer are in advanced talks to buy Toulon from the French Top 14 giant's colourful owner Mourad Boudjellal.

The reported 10 million euro ($11 million) deal could be concluded "in a relatively short time", Lucien Simon, the lawyer and potential new club president, told AFP on Tuesday.

Simon is joining forces to buy Toulon with with Gerard Barba, a French 51-year-old film producer and businessman.

Mourad Boudjellal welcomes high-profile recruit Ma'a Nonu. Photo: AFPBoudjellal, who has bankrolled Toulon to three European titles (2013, 2014, 2015) and the French championship in 2014 over his 10 years at the helm, has become increasingly frustrated at his critics.

The 56-year-old said in September he wanted "another life" and wondered why "he takes hits every week".

"There is a strong chance that this will be my last year," said the man who made his fortune from comic book publishing before investing large sums of it in bringing an array of world stars to the Stade Mayol.

"I do not have a huge fortune but it's reasonable. I am much depleted by the club and I don't know if many presidents do this."

Simon, who was president of Aix Provence Rugby between 1995-2015 taking them to the Pro D2 before they dropped back down to the third division Federale 1 last season, underlined that a deal had not yet been struck.

Things aren't done today," the lawyer said. "We're still working with Mourad, who remains the sole person to decide."