Mohed Altrad: Greig Laidlaw 'disappointed' Premiership blocked Gloucester investment

By Chris JonesBBC Radio 5 live rugby reporter
Mohed Altrad
France-based businessman Mohed Altrad was born in Syria

The decision to block Mohed Altrad's investment in Gloucester is "really disappointing", according to club captain Greig Laidlaw.

Premiership Rugby voted against the Montpellier owner's plan to purchase a 45% stake at Kingsholm.

But Laidlaw feels the deal would have been beneficial to both Gloucester and the game as a whole.

"A little more investment can really help the academy and the structure off the field," Laidlaw said.

He added to the Rugby Union Weekly podcast: "That could really push Gloucester forward in the future. I'm really disappointed it's not gone through."

Altrad initially proposed a 55% stake in the club, before reducing his interest to below 50%.

However, this was subsequently rejected with Premiership Rugby understood to have concerns over a conflict of interest given Altrad's involvement in the Top 14.

"Clearly the discussions are way over my head, but if someone is coming in to put a lot of money into the game, and invest in facilities and academies and help give young players a platform to get better and better, surely that's a good thing for the game," Laidlaw continued.

"But I can't comment on the ins and outs."

'Bad timing to get injured'

Laidlaw is philosophical about his omission from the British and Irish Lions squad to tour New Zealand.

The Scotland captain was in contention for a call-up before an ankle injury curtailed his involvement in the Six Nations.

Ireland's Conor Murray, Wales' Rhys Webb, and England's Ben Youngs are the three scrum-halves included in Warren Gatland's Lions party.

"It was clearly bad timing to get injured," Laidlaw said. "I would have loved to have played right through the Six Nations.

"But that's life and it's done. For me it's about getting back on the field and finishing this part of my career on a high with Gloucester."

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