Heineken Cup Rugby
Boudjellal sends shot across the bows
December 24, 2010
Max Boudjellal has stoked the fires ahead of Toulon's cruch clash with Munster © Getty Images
Toulon owner Max Boudjellal has launched a somewhat bizarre broadside at Munster rugby that is unlikely to improve relations ahead of the clubs' cruch Heineken Cup clash next month.
The multi-millionaire owner who has financed the signings of Jonny Wilkinson, Felipe Contepomi and Joe van Niekerk that have propelled the south of France club into the European qualification mix, has criticised the two-time champions' culture and lack of respect for Toulon's values, suggesting they are narrow minded.
"Munster are in a culture closed in on itself," he told French website Rugby365, before using the post match reception between the two sides in Thomond Park last October as an example. "Take the reception after the match. The beer was free but you had to pay for the wine. They don't know the culture of others. At Toulon, the beer will be free because we recognise everybody's culture. I found that side of them a bit outrageous. In their mind, everyone drinks beer, a kind of 'what happens here happens everywhere else."
This is not Boudjellal's first criticism of Munster, whose players are thought to have upset him by comments in the build up to their pool game in October. Just days ago he intimated that the club were financed by the International Monetary Fund.
And while his comments on Munster weren't all bad, the Toulon owner's thoughts look likely to appear on the away dressing room wall when the sides meet on January 16 in a must win game for qualification.
"I have a great respect for Munster and the Irish public. I found the silence (at Thomond Park) during penalties to be very classy. But I found some of the comments by some of the players to be completely misplaced given that I know the salary levels and that they pay much higher than us. What we want to show Munster is that we'll be happy to have them (at Stade Mayol). We'll try everything to make sure it's a big party."
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