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Nicolas Larrat: "The year 2012 promises to be exciting"
Topic Started: Dec 29 2011, 12:50 PM (448 Views)
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Through the long interview he has given us, the President of the FFR XIII, Nicolas LARRAT, talks about the year 2011 and discusses the objectives of the French rugby league in 2012. Development, Federal life, the Elite, the XIII of France, television, World Cup 2013, the future coach of the blues and everything else. Enough said.

President, at the end of the year, a first assessment from 2011, which ends ...

As before, let me say that this year 2011 was eventful most diverse. It has brought its share of satisfactions, its share of disappointments and some surprises. It also provided confirmation in relation to some policy choices that were made, but it also revealed certain deficiencies we will have to work to improve. But 2012 promises to be exciting.

But still ... ?

I will say first that the increased efforts we have undertaken since 2009 to around policy development of the discipline, are bearing fruit. The number of graduates is constantly increasing. Once again this year to mid-season we record an increase of more than 3%. The structure put in place around the development officers shows us every day that we are on track. The budget for the structural development of the discipline was also increased in considerable proportions (NDRL: around 43%) for the 2011-2012 season). The financial effort has been done is substantial. Our desire now is to sustain these jobs permanently which will enable the Federation to have in its ranks who will be assigned permanently permanent development of the discipline. We are currently in discussion with some departmental committees to act in concert to this end, a particularly important federal financial support. It is an investment over several years that we will engage and to ensure that French rugby league future flourishing. I wanted to remind all players of the sport can be aware of these efforts that are being made. But it's worth it. The goal I set for 2015 of more than 15 000 licensed competitions will be achieved. In any case, we set up the conditions to achieve this. I recall that we were a little less than 7000 in all categories in 2004. I recall again and again the progress of ongoing and increasing challenge of Petit Thirteen who still attended by more than 30 000 youth participants in 2011 over several weeks of initiation. So today we count more than 43,000 practitioners that is an undeniable success and we strive to go further, higher still seeking to create a real competition around the world of education is the key to all future success . The development is the future of French rugby league. I announced in 2009 that would be the priority of this second term. Under the auspices of Vice President Lawrence Roldos who took this matter in hand and work hard, the commitment was given.

I will say then, at the administrative level this time, that the approach was to structure our services has continued. For three years the Federation has hired new permanent youth work with a lot of desire to expand our area of ​​communication, event management, marketing. This is not just to point out and with the means that are ours, we continue this effort at the federal level of professionalism that we can now work more effectively with the success we know. In this regard, I recall the momentum that knows our website with a growing audience that one must certainly a constantly updated, always a news highlighted and the daily work is done. With over 350,000 new visitors in 2011, this communication tool has become essential and perfectly symbolizes the evolution in recent years taken by our external communication. I insist on the remarkable crowds we got to the championship final and international matches in the fall. More than 12,000 spectators at Narbonne, almost 17 000 in Avignon, close to 11 000 in Perpignan, there were long, long time that we had not experienced such success that are sustainable.

Again we need to work being done on a daily basis and participation of many pus: the services of the Federation, the clubs when they want to get involved or our decentralized bodies.

I can not, either, to mention the return of rugby league on public service with two games released in 2011 on France 3 Sud (the championship final and the France / Scotland). This is again the result of a long negotiation that was conducted for several months. First reconnect with France Televisions, then convince our interlocutors that rugby league should have its place in the public service broadcasts and negotiate by offering a quality product, before discussing the results of hearing, market share to continue to project into the future. Some believe it is sufficient to say that things done. If they knew the energy required, the pitfalls that must be overcome to reach there along with dozens of sports who deserve just as much as ours. Those here who believe that everything is simple and are so quick to criticize should also try to understand the world we live in ...

Without being exhaustive, I will mention again the remarkable victories of our youth teams of France against the AIS in particular we show that if necessary we have the players for the future, we must continue this training in trying to do more, better to prepare our best hopes at the highest professional level. It's an approach we are conducting in conjunction with DTN, training centers that exist or are created and with the Catalans Dragons who will become privileged partners in this action now unavoidable.

Not to mention the very good relations that the Federation has with its parent ministry, which I think is aware of all this work being done and has yet testified this year support maintaining the level of our annual grant, which was not the case for all sports.

And I can not close this long chapter without mentioning our partners. Those who are with us for several years, including MUTUAL REMPART and without which we could not do the same. Those who have just arrived, including PUMA and AXA are in the same dynamics of a true partnership. When I measure the work done by our insurer, the audit has been done against our insurance and solutions that were made, not to mention the support that has been set up, I think that some difficulties have been experienced by the clubs at the time of purchase of licenses, and have led to some irresponsible statements of some were quickly swept away.

I will conclude on the organization of two meetings of the World Cup 2013 in France, which will allow XIII of France playing to his audience in Avignon and Perpignan, which will give us the opportunity to experience this wonderful event closest, in optimal conditions. I would like once again that all treizistes measure this chance given to us can be agents of the world 2013. You know, again, all is not fallen from heaven. This trust is shown to the Federation is the result of our negotiations for months. He had to convince the International Federation, demonstrate that our Federation was able to participate in the organization of an event of this magnitude. We must also see the consecration of the credibility we have demonstrated our international partners. The term constructive relationships that are worth to France to be considered in its proper place and be listened to a speaker and a force of proposal within the International Federation.

Those who imagine that there still is enough to say for it can measure must first demonstrate what we can accomplish by working daily to return to participate in the organization of a cut the world.

Since you mention indirectly the France team, what conclusions can you make of the international campaign in 2011 and why, ultimately, Bobbie GOULDING has he not been re-elected?

It's a long subject ...

If XIII of France's international campaign started badly with a defeat against the team of abnormal England Knights, the test match against a terrible Avignon England team that beat a few days later the world champions New Zealand in qualifying for the final of the Four Nations, showed that the France team had found its founding values.

The certainty of a true spirit of team with players involved, honoring the tricolor jersey. The last two games against Scotland and Ireland, beyond the victory that was the least expected, however, have shown that it is now necessary that the XIII of France to go further, earlier in its progression, that it is more ambitious, more rigorous, more efficient, it is able to assert itself against its enemies. Having lived alongside the blue, for a discussion with many actors in the group France, I forged my opinion and I gained the conviction that the XIII of France did not evolve further to its true level.

We really need a new level. And I felt that the team of France could do that if we could offer him a great strategist, a great technician of our game can work in harmony and total peace of mind with all players in the French rugby league. The Catalans Dragons as well as our clubs and our DTN Elite. A breeder able to provide another discipline, another discipline, new working methods, new training methods, to make this connection on behalf of the common interest. Indisputable personality that will be able to get the XIII de France towards excellence, the highest level. So I felt that for the future, Bobbie GOULDING could not be that man there. This does not detract from its merits and Bobbie gave a lot, worked hard to rebuild the soul of the XIII of France, who had disappeared during the 2008 World Cup. The mission assigned to it was filled and I am very grateful. Bobbie GOULDING was a leader of men. Now we need a leader of men but also a visionary, a coach who can innovate and lead the team of France is where it belongs.

The question is not whether the future coach must be French or foreign. I will dream that our technicians can qualify for this position difficult but now I see no French coach has the responsibility for major professional clubs that operate at the highest world level. It will come because we have wonderful boys like Aurélien GOLOGNI or Laurent Frayssinous filled talent, but now I do not yet come for them. This will certainly over time, with the experience they gain now. The Rugby League International has reached an exceptional level so we have to offer to XIII of France an exceptional coach. This is the price that we will do a world cup in line with our position. So of course, find this rare bird is not easy. I work every day. Contacts have been made. But the process is difficult because we must be able to give us the means of our ambitions and provide serious guarantees that we will have the ability to bring a large team of France in the World 2013. But this competition is essential for the XIII of France and the entire French rugby league. So you have to do it. And we'll get.

Then when the coach announces the future?

Soon. Allow us time to work, discuss. I hope that by next January, the future head of the XIII de France will be in place for the next two seasons. And anyway, I will take as long as necessary.

To change the subject, you mentioned some projects for 2012, which?

Projects, the rugby league a lot but you also have the financial means to achieve the best possible way. I shall mention several.

The first is this building that we work with our partners to create a real competition around the challenge of Petit Thirteen. I hope we are able in the future to organize a tournament with all the schools from which we operate and we work with a lot of desire and pleasure. I like the idea to finally bring this process to which we work and which will allow us to set new goals around all the teams in primary schools, colleges, high schools or districts and then allow those who want to continue the adventure in our federal clubs. This will allow us to host, I am sure even more new licensees but especially new leaders and need new clubs. A school phase to be followed then a federal participation in competitions for those who wish, that the priority which we associate the greater number. I asked the DTN kindly provide a structured versus the ambition to be ourselves, and everything will be done to make it happen quickly.

The second concerns our Elite competition. This year our league has definitely taken the right path. Meetings undecided all weekend clubs that continue to structure a level of play which progresses continuously and the return of TOULOUSE that brings added value beyond dispute. Teams that take a few points, which generally promoted behavior worthy of the Elite, the peaks all weekend, no doubt that our championship progresses. Who today would be able to say what the six teams will qualify for the play-off? The total uncertainty is a competition and when the first plan offers this indecision is that things are going in the right direction. And the rest will follow, necessarily, in terms of crowds and media interest provided of course that clubs continue these efforts. The Elite is now ready to embark on a very large project which will switch to another dimension, which will open at the national level. It is time to work on this outcome and the Federation is thinking about it. Proposals will be made shortly and clubs where membership is unanimous then we launch into a great adventure. For the time we decided with the English Federation that it was time to realize the idea of ​​a European competition whose contours will be in place as and when. We will start this year after our championship final, for the day during which French-English our four best clubs Elite meet the top four teams Championship (Leigh, Sheffield, Featherstone and Halifax). If the popular success was the appointment, if French clubs are able to meet the sporting challenge proposed to them, then we can consider going further in the future. I will explain shortly how Elite clubs of this tournament that can be described as European. But it is an important event for our club.

The third is of course television. The situation today is not simple. Orange Sport broadcaster who was the team Catalans Dragons in France and seems to want to withdraw from the game and in any case not be broadcasting more meetings of rugby league. The audiovisual world knows, moreover, some upheaval with the probable arrival of new channels on DTT, cable and satellite. In short, things are moving now and discussions are ongoing. As you know, since 2009, the FFR XIII no longer negotiates on behalf of the Super League TV rights in France, that task is now to the company IMG, agent of the Rugby Football League, the world leader in TV rights and Marketing. This does not allow us to act directly to a particular broadcaster with whom I remain in constant, however. But the Federation works in close collaboration with the agent of the Rugby Football League and the total communication between us. We work together to arrive at a solution for the Catalans Dragons, the future of the XIII de France on TV is in turn about to be ensured. All this is expected to accelerate in early January 2012 and important meetings will be scheduled. Also remains the championship of France and the Goblet of France. We must continue to work again and not ask or believe in the impossible. Our final and I hope our semi-finals are the goal I set for 2012. And that would be great in terms of what can reasonably be expected from the world of broadcasting. You have to be lucid. There are dozens and dozens of aspiring sports television broadcasting, who deserve much as we do and who claim to be in the shadow of the so-called major sports round up all available space. There are also important criteria without which it is difficult to convince broadcasters to trust you. Full stadiums but also the audience and market share. A sport that is not in the ratings as we used to say has no chance. The penalty is immediate. Or you must pay to finance the production and give your images, even without the certainty that broadcasters will be takers. And that goes for all sports. We must therefore continue working humbly, patiently and continue to build that credibility without which nothing can be seriously considered. It is especially important to continue to convince the rugby league, necessarily faced with competition from rugby union, can legitimately claim an exhibition worthy of the name. So when I hear some people want to believe in the impossible and who criticize without knowing, anger rises ... We fight every day to get the maximum, to appear as a federation with a sense of the realities and responsibilities. Rest assured that we are at the heart of difficult discussions and we do not let go. As I said, I have important meetings in PARIS in January to try to realize all the contacts that were made: for the France team, for our elite, for the Catalans Dragons as the Federation will never let fall. I trust. But please, that we are left to work in the discretion required in such circumstances.

The fourth is still the world amateur. For three years, the number of clubs of federal divisions has continued to increase. By the dozen. This is also the fruit of all the work that is accomplished through the development of the discipline by all actors of the Federation and I associate clubs, leagues, committees, the DTN and development officers. The desire to regionalize these competitions and try to better assist all our clubs are facing significant spending is daily. The world amateur needs to be more sustained and its development should be preferred. This will include the team of France known as Federal trying to propose a schedule built better, more coherent, interesting sporting. We are working with the Rugby Football League and I heard the message that the coach gave me the blues, Christian Textor, who did an outstanding job.

I also hope that 2012 is utilized to completely overhaul our federal regulations regarding transfers, training allowances and all that surrounds transfers. This area is annually compounded sources of conflict, some permanent maneuvers to try to circumvent the rules. That is enough. We must revolutionize the practice of date for all clubs to work differently, in serenity and this also applies to the services of the Federation who are daily taken hostage or blackmail under the most diverse and varied. When they are not insults. This is definitely more tolerable. We must also improve our disciplinary field, including at the appeal board is not responsive enough. This is a problem and I concede that we must quickly solve. The appeal board is composed of legal professionals to give it a legitimacy must operate differently. A new section will shortly be created to enable quick recall of all records for players and clubs are fixed as soon as possible. Everyone needs to know that people who make up this committee are volunteers and their availability is limited. We will therefore work to improve a poorly performing today.

Finally, there is the creation of this club I want France really see materialize in 2012. A club that will include those, but as passionate partners, who want to help XIII of France to acquire the means of its ambitions. A club that will allow us to attract new investors to us, new players in the French rugby league, a club that will also enable us to best promote the next World Cup in 2013 and help us in our efforts to that end. The club must be created and will be launched early 2012.

President, you mentioned at the beginning of this interview fears? What are they?

I am deeply wounded by the conduct of certain officials or players, totally irresponsible attack verbally or physically, but also our referees and sometimes federal officials. Unfortunately, there are still incidents and unacceptable that hurt our sport even if they occur in all sports. The answer to these actions may be legal because the law protects the referees and the Federation does what she must do to assist the referees assaulted. The response must also be discipline but with respect for the independence of the disciplinary committees who need to judge their conscience. But for me, sport should especially be able to fight all these excesses through its educational value by helping those who ignore or do not understand enough. The passion may be exacerbated and leads too often on too heavy consequences. I know that in most cases the authors regret, apologies. But if we always keep a second chance to those who want it must also defend the referees. I am not of those, and they'll sometimes the complaint, who think that the maximum penalty is the answer to any abuse. I am convinced that we must continue to talk, explain, educate. The leaders of the school rugby to the elite club, should help to disseminate the values ​​of respect, tolerance. Admit that a referee can make mistakes, can make mistakes, will be a first step in this process. This also implies arbitral body it forms part of this process of dialogue, listening, he knows admit mistakes when there are a. We need to find this balance without which we will live well together. We really need actors of our federation include this requirement. Otherwise, there will be no choice but to punish harshly. But this must be the ultimate answer. While many become aware of all this, think about it and act accordingly.

President, one last thing. We know that the question is even asked you about your future at the head of the federation, when the federal election time comes. So really, the decision not to seek a third term is really final?

You know, I think I have given so much during this decade for our sport. There is a time to close a book, to open another. But it's true, many treizistes me ask this question. Some insist that I see my position to go back for a third term. I will not deny either that the discussions I had with some players XIII of France asking me to accompany them to the next world cup touched me deeply to heart. I will be sincere. Things are moving, the data change, the stakes are high. Prepare the 2013 World Cup, definitely ensure that policy development that calls for a significant financial investment, work towards the attainment of a second French club in Super League, ensuring the television exposure of rugby league for the next ten years; reassure our partners that they too ask me; engage XIII of France in international competitions to come to complete this construction and the transformation of our Elite ... And everything else. As you say, election time has not yet come. The French rugby league is a real family. As in all families, there are sometimes angry, some malice, jealousy, excessive and so on. But there is also this passion, this love for a sport that brings us together and that is fun to navigate, to live together, even if we accept to have to face difficult times; although some people are not always those we believe. What I have always kept it there with us the outstanding men and women who work every day and are examples for me. He expressed the friendship, sincerity and make you live the highlights. For them we have the will to fight every day for all those anonymous enthusiasts who are fantastic. You know, the role of a president of a federation such as ours, is difficult to bear. We do not support an amateur or professional club. There is often more disappointment than joy. It's a daily struggle and can not save you anything, even from your own camp. These are ongoing concerns, worries that haunt you day and night. It is a vision that we must be able to have the future. It is trying to understand the world in which we evolve. That search for solutions. It is building networks in the real decision makers. And they are still important choices to make when you have to do. And in those moments you are often alone, in front of you and the responsibilities that are yours. So today I watch, I watch the behavior of each other, listen what I say as my friends and some leaders of clubs. You know, I was always taught that you should never give up his family. So if the conditions are right, if the priorities of work and family that are mine now can be solved if I still have the passion, if treizistes still want to trust me, if they are willing to support without which no commitment Volunteer makes sense, if the flame, the desire to keep moving are still there, we'll see. I ask just one thing: that they let me the possibility of free thought in conscience when the time comes.
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