By Cherry Picker
December 16 2016
The Cherry and Whites head off to La Rochelle wondering if they'll be meeting a new employer on their trip.
It's been confirmed by the European Professional Club Rugby that they've received an application to take a majority stake in the club by Altrad Participations - owned by Syrian born multi-millionaire Mohed Altrad who also owns Montpellier Hérault Rugby.
There could be conflicts of interest, of course, with EPCR saying: "EPCR has received an application for consent for the acquisition of a majority stake in Gloucester Rugby by Altrad Participations - the owner of Montpellier Herault Rugby - and has discussed the matter at the most recent meeting of its Executive Committee.
"To have a controlling influence on two clubs participating in European club competition would require consent from the unions concerned (in this case, the RFU and the FFR who are both shareholders and are represented on the EPCR Board) as well as from World Rugby and EPCR itself.
"EPCR has written to the three organisations in question, asking for their clarified positions on the matter.
"EPCR is committed to completing all of its due diligence regarding this matter and to assessing any potential risks to the integrity and image of its tournaments in which both clubs participate, by avoiding any potential conflict of interest, or perception thereof.
"It is important to consider the views of all stakeholders as part of a fair, thorough and transparent decision-making process."
Not much coming from the club at this stage with Stephen Vaughan saying: ""We have pledged to remain as frank and open with all our stakeholders as we possibly can on this matter.
"Last week we confirmed that discussions had begun with Mr Altrad, but that any progress going forward was dependent on receiving approval from a number of relevant bodies.
"The statement from EPCR confirms that they have received communication from ourselves, We will, of course, strive to keep interested parties up to speed with developments as soon as we are in a position to do so."
M. Altrad may well be among the crowd to see the return leg of the Challenge Cup. Callum Braley will lead theisde which sees Jerem Thrush make his first appearance of the season.
Gloucs: 15. James Hook; 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Matt Scott, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Jonny May; 10. Billy Burns, 9. Callum Braley (capt); 1. Josh Hohneck, 2. Richard Hibbard, 3. John Afoa; 4. Tom Savage, 5. Jeremy Thrush; 6. Lewis Ludlow, 7. Jacob Rowan, 8. Ben Morgan
Reps: 16. Motu Matu'u, 17. Yann Thomas, 18. Paul Doran-Jones, 19. Joe Latta, 20. Mariano Galarza, 21. Willi Heinz, 22. Henry Purdy, 23. Matt Kvesic