Montpellier prolong Galthie suspension

Montpellier on Friday extended the suspension of coach Fabien Galthie, the former French rugby captain, with the club president saying Galthie’s management had been a “failure”.

Galthie was relieved of his duties on December 29 after a string of defeats, with South Africa’s 2007 World Cup winning coach Jake White brought in as a consultant to take over the reins.

“The suspension is extended. I’m giving myself time to reflect,” said club president Mohed Altrad, after prolonging the initial suspension which ran until January 9.

“I let him know my grievances,” Altrad continued.

“I’m disappointed because this period of provisional suspension is intended to give the employee time to think … to come and say something interesting to his boss.

“He didn’t tell me anything. Saying ‘I’ve nothing to say’ leaves very little after such a meeting.”

Altrad said he had “eight pages of criticisms” against Galthie covering team results, his “blunt” manner of communication, “defeatist, aloof and non-motivating behaviour” and his “criticism” of players and the club president.

“It’s a failure. We can’t say that Galthie’s path this season has been a success.

“You have to go a long way back in French rugby history to find a club which has lost eight out of nine matches.

“I also remember his comments before the match at Bath (European Cup on December 5, 30-5 defeat), when he said that we were going to lose,” added Altrad.

“The players, including (David) Attoub and (captain Fulgence) Ouedraogo, were saying they were going to fight, at least put on a good show and why not win. His (Galthie) comments didn’t put the players in a comfortable position.”

Altrad also slammed Galthie’s outside activities, advertising campaigns, and television commentary roles, along with a trip to Brazil when the team prepared for and played a Top 14 match.

One TV advertising campaign had Galthie declaring what he would do as future coach of the France national team.

“It was during a critical period, badly timed where Fabien Galthie was saying he was the coach or future coach of the France team,” said Altrad.

“There are things that matter for Fabien Galthie. His reputation, his image and money. Now his reputation has taken a hit,” complained Altrad, adding that there was also talk of Galthie signing a contract with Italy.

Earlier Galthie, who was appointed coach in 2010, refused to comment after the 30-minute meeting. “I’ve nothing to say,” he said.

The former international scrum-half, who played at four World Cups and captained France in 2003 when they lost 24-7 against England in the semi-finals, spent four years as coach at Stade Francais between 2004 and 2008 before moving to the south coast.

White got off to a winning start last Saturday as the Top 14 strugglers beat European and French champions Toulon 16-12.

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