‘Non’ to Basque merger

Date published: June 27 2015

The proposed merger with rival Basque club Biarritz will not happen following a resounding "no" vote in Bayonne.

The creation of a single Basque club has been mooted for some time and with both sides now relegated to the Pro D2, their respective presidents saw it an economic necessity, despite strong resistance from within the supporters ranks.

Now the idea seems dead for good after Bayonne's amateur association voted 70 percent against such a venture on Friday.

Just days after Biarritz president Serge Blanco tendered his resignation after failing to get the necessary votes in favour of a merger, Bayonne president Manu Mérin said he too would be stepping down.

Mérin, who was the driving force behind the plan, is due to speak to the press on Saturday.

The vote in Biarritz could be carried out for a second time, after there were deemed to be irregularities on the first vote, but that now seems irrelevant.

Next season there will be no Basque club in the Top 14 for the first time.