The Girondins de Bordeaux, a monument of French football in danger

Alain Giresse, Bixente Lizarazu, or more recently Aurélien Tchouaméni, were trained in Haillan. Zinedine Zidane, Marius Trésor or Aimé Jacquet have left their mark on Parc Lescure. Four of the players of the Girondins women’s team, which has just played in the Champions League, are selected with Les Bleues for the Euro. “This legacy cannot die”implore the Ultramarines (the main group of supporters), who call to demonstrate this Saturday, July 9 in Bordeaux.

Tuesday, July 5, the DNCG (national management control), charged by the French Football Federation to monitor the accounts of professional clubs, has indeed rejected the appeal of the Girondins de Bordeaux. Down in Ligue 2 at the end of a season which they finished last in Ligue 1, they were then demoted to National 1, the lower level, by the financial policeman. This would lead de facto to a liquidation of the professional structure of the club, whose resources would become insufficient to meet its expenses.

funds and form

Reason: the club’s significant debt, 52 million euros due to its creditors, former owners and still shareholders of the club, the American investment funds King Street and Fortress. The lack of equity, according to the DNCG, makes it unlikely that the club will be able to complete the season, which starts on July 30, with a budget of 40 million euros which would be the largest in Ligue 2.

This Thursday, during a press conference, Gérard Lopez, president and owner of the club since last year, said his ” incomprehension “, when he thought he had answered point by point to all the reservations of the instance. In particular, he planned to inject 10 million euros of personal funds into the capital of the club, obtained from creditors the transfer of half of the debt to his company, Jogo Bonito, and a line of credit of 14 million euros. euros in case the sales of players are not enough, and the incentives on the transfers of former club members, including Aurélien Tchouaméni who will leave Monaco for Real Madrid.

The Spanish-Luxembourgish businessman said to himself ” revolt That some, in the front rows of which the president of the FFF, Noël Le Graet, make the comparison with clubs which had to start from scratch after suffering the wrath of the DNCG, such as Strasbourg or Bastia. These clubs weren’t even paying for their turf anymore. We have never failed to pay our suppliers’ bills, we have a budget to pay employees and players, everything is there to succeed. » The president of the FCGB wants as proof of this a recent order from the Commercial Court of Bordeaux, attesting that the club is not in default of payment.

Local support

He also benefited from a rescheduling of the payment of rents due and to come for the use of Matmut Atlantique, the large stadium in Bordeaux Métropole, voted on Thursday, July 7. Alain Anziani, president of the metropolis, and Pierre Hurmic, mayor of Bordeaux, have indeed both denounced “a dramatic decision”and expressed “the bitterness and anger of a whole people”.

“We manage to overcome our divisions to save a monument of French football which is also a company hiring between 200 and 300 people, not to mention the consequences for subcontractors”, says Alain Anziani. If the resident club disappears, 80 to 100 million euros in revenue will be missing to reimburse SBA (Vinci-Fayat consortium), builder and operator of Matmut in the context of a public-private partnership.

Local elected officials, who have written to the Minister of Sports, nevertheless see ” a glimmer of hope “ in the conciliation that the club will request from the French National Olympic and Sports Committee. They evoke a precedent: in 2002, OGC Nice, also downgraded by the DNCG and very close to returning to amateur level, “fleed during an appeal, thanks to political mobilization and unprecedented popular enthusiasm”hammer the Ultramarines.

After consulting the conciliator, it will be up to the executive committee of the FFF to decide. If the decision is again unfavorable to it, the FCGB would only have to seize the administrative court in summary proceedings.


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