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Gloucester Rugby say Carl Fearns will no longer be joining the club for the upcoming season and will remain with Top 14 side Lyon. Despite signing a three-year contract with the Cherry and Whites, Fearns will stay in France. Gloucester say Lyon made a concerted effort in recent months to convince the 28 year old to stay offering him significantly increased personal terms.
I want players who buy into what we are trying to achieve here, who want to represent the club, the city and the community, to wear the Cherry and White shirt with pride. Carl had a desire to be part of this, but has now evidently decided otherwise.
Naturally the club took the best Legal advice on the situation, but as soon as it became apparent the player wanted to remain in France efforts immediately turned to getting the best possible deal for the club to allow us to move on in a stronger position. I am very happy at the outcome and we have agreed significant compensation that will all be used on strengthening the playing group further.
The signing of Fearns was welcomed by many fans at the club who had seen his ability during a four year stint with rivals Bath. Despite his performances on the pitch, Fearns is probably best remembered for the fight with team mate Gavin Henson on a night out in Bath.
Gloucester's CEO went on to say in a club statement that despite the disappointment they will no look to reinvest the compensation from Lyon in their playing squad for next season.
David Humphreys worked extremely hard last year to agree terms with the player and his agent. He was a sought-after commodity, our offer was excellent and we announced Carl as our first signing for the 2017-18 season. We have refused to be bullied and have trusted a signature upon a contract meaning something. However, after lengthy negotiations, a suitable compensation figure has now been agreed upon that will allow us to strengthen the squad and David Humphreys deserves enormous credit for the role he has played in recent weeks. We find ourselves in a stronger position as a club now that that this matter has been resolved. We are now looking forward with a squad of fully committed players set to report for preseason training later this month, and will be making some announcements regarding new signings in the not too distant future.