Bernard Laporte (right) and Serge Simon (left). – SYLVAIN THOMAS / AFP

The FFR caught in the act of lying. After the revelation Friday by our colleagues of the World Serge Simon's salary, which exceeded (by 4%) the legal ceiling and placed the federation in illegal vis-à-vis the tax administration, the FFR had pleaded a simple "service error".

In addition to the 9,800 euros monthly gross, the maximum authorized limit, Serge Simon also benefited from a company car. It is this advantage in kind that is at the origin of the overrun. If he did not hide the existence of the irregularity, the treasurer of the FFR had put this error on the back of the "Human Resources services", adding "They have planted but we caught everything".

The FFR aware as early as December 2016

Only here, after further investigations of the World, it seems that the leaders of French rugby were fully aware of the situation and yet decided not to remedy the problem. In December 2016, the FFR staff was alerted to the risk faced by Bercy and even asked for the advice of lawyers to go deeper into the subject.

On arrival, at the time of the vote of the remuneration of Serge Simon, during the steering committee of December 14, 2016, the company car had disappeared from the radar or, more accurately, from the payslip. It was only in October 2017, after new warnings from the human resources department (you know, the one supposed to have committed the blunder) that the company car finally reappeared on Simon's pay slip. Problem, the salary of the vice-president exceeded the legal ceiling. For his part, Serge Simon claims that the exceeding of his remuneration from the legal limit "has been reimbursed".

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