« C’est ce qu’on mérite »… On a assisté à l’enterrement des Girondins

« C’est ce qu’on mérite »… On a assisté à l’enterrement des Girondins

At Matmut Atlantic,

The symbolism held until the final whistle with this huge black sheet above the South Bend. Smoke bombs in the colors of death. Indeed, this Saturday, French football witnessed the burial of the Girondins in Ligue 1. Even if mathematically it is not yet official, the Marine et Blanc will play well (at best) in Ligue 2 next season after their goalless draw against Lorient (0-0). With three points behind the play-off and a very unfavorable goal difference, it would take an unlikely scenario. To make it short, the Bordelais must take back 13 goals in Metz and 7 in Saint-Etienne on the last day of the championship. In other words, mission impossible.

The club will therefore be relegated for the first time in thirty-one years. At the time, it was an administrative demotion. To find the date of the last sporting descent, you have to go back to 1960. The shock was very harsh for the Girondins family, like the tears of young Tom Lacoux, a child of the club, in the corridors of Matmut Atlantique after the match. And as often at funerals, there was anger and then the silence of mourning.

Exhausted supporters

It could not be otherwise after a season in hell. So the Ultramarines had planned a whole program for the evening and it did not matter if hope sometimes returned during the match when reading the result of Saint-Etienne. It began with an eventful reception of the players’ bus under tear gas fire from the CRS before continuing inside the stadium with broncas and hostile chants with a refrain: “You are m…. »! A huge banner reading, “You are the shame of our 140 years of history” had been installed above the South Bend.

The anger of Bordeaux supporters when the players arrive. – Romain Perrocheau / AFP

A VS which has multiplied the banners against the players, the staff or even the management by openly attacking Gérard Lopez, the owner and president of the club for the first time: “Having saved the club cannot excuse everything” or ” Gérard Lopez: from the promise of the top 10 to hell”. The players, themselves, had the right to their PQ moment with dozens of rolls of toilet paper thrown on the lawn which caused the match to be interrupted for a few minutes. An anger that will still be contained, without invading the field for example at the end of the meeting, but an anger that the young striker Sékou Mara understands: “What happened in the stands was hard , but that’s what we deserve after such a season. We did not meet the expectations of the supporters. It is the result of our work. »

The match was interrupted a few minutes after throwing toilet paper.
The match was interrupted a few minutes after throwing toilet paper. – Romain Perrocheau / AFP

“I did not know how to federate”

The 19-year-old kid will be the only one to stop in front of the press. No other player will find the courage to speak out. Some do not hesitate to tackle the media. From Marcelo’s “I don’t trust you” with a big smile on his face after this relegation to the “you talk a lot so go ahead” of a Rémi Oudin who is especially angry and touched by the situation, going through the “ask others, it’s up to them to assume “of a Paul Baysse who has still not played a minute in an official match this season. In short, we really had the impression of witnessing the disappearance of a historic French football club in incredible indifference. As if everyone was already very far from Bordeaux.

To the point that for long minutes, we thought we hadn’t even got a reaction from the club’s management one evening when it descended into Ligue 2. At first, only David Guion spoke to recognize the “failure” of the club: “It’s a sad evening, a very difficult season. I think we deserve what’s happening to us too. We will analyze in due time this season which, from the start, got off to a very bad start. The longer it went, the more problems there were, the more difficult all these failures were to overcome. I put myself in this failure, I came to maintain the Girondins and I did not succeed. I had 13 games, two and a half months, I did not know how to federate around this maintenance.

He federates less and less, it is Gérard Lopez. This Saturday evening, he was once again not present to witness the fall of his club and it took a long time to get his reaction. A reaction sent in the form of a press release to journalists: “I will take the night to digest all this. We are probably going to Ligue 2. I measure and I understand the anger of the supporters. We will have a great responsibility to respond to them, take stock and find solutions to recover as quickly as possible. I will express myself coldly after the season. I will continue to put, as I have always done, all my energy into saving the club. »

A living dead to keep alive

According to the statements of his relatives, this is what he would try to do at this very moment and this would explain his absence. According to information from 20 minutes, Gérard Lopez has indeed spent the week on the other side of the Atlantic. He notably chained meetings with his creditors, the American investment funds Fortress and King Street. These are the keystone for the Girondins de Bordeaux to remain at least in Ligue 2 next season even if the entourage of the Bordeaux president tries to minimize this: “There are no negotiations strictly speaking. There is just a Ligue 2 business plan that has to be agreed. It is in progress and it will be done. The same with King Street”, explains a close friend of the Hispano-Luxembourg businessman.

The club will have to plug a hole of 40-45 million euros with this descent. To achieve this, Gérard Lopez has asked his creditors to make a new effort to once again reduce the club’s financial debt (around 45 million euros) like last season. If that was not enough to complete this business plan and before the DNCG, it could go through a return to better fortune clause. This is what he had done at the time of Losc with the Elliott investment fund. It will also be necessary to sell at least for 20 million euros during the next transfer window with a budget which should be divided by two or even by three to survive this relegation. The first passage in front of the DNCG is scheduled around June 10.

Finally, the entourage of Gérard Lopez continues to strongly deny his possible sidelining by Fortress and / or King Street. “The reality is clear, if the club survives this descent, it will still be there next season, says those around it. The rest is just hustle and bustle, it’s already too late to change”. These words will in any case quickly have to be followed by action to prevent doubt from intruding, because here we are no longer talking about Ligue 2 but quite simply the very existence of the Girondins de Bordeaux.

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