Les Girondins de Bordeaux vers la Ligue 2 : la relégation, des secousses à venir à tous les étages

Les Girondins de Bordeaux vers la Ligue 2 : la relégation, des secousses à venir à tous les étages

1 Will Gérard Lopez stay?

The descent that is looming is a failure for Gérard Lopez. By recovering almost all of the club’s shares last July, the businessman…

1 Will Gérard Lopez stay?

The descent that is looming is a failure for Gérard Lopez. By recovering almost all of the club’s shares last July, the businessman showed the desire to put the club back in the top 10 of L1, before battling for Europe by 2025. Faced with the sporting reality, the former boss of Lille had however affirmed it at the beginning of March: in the event of Ligue 2, he would stay and face.

As we revealed last month, it is framed. The American investment funds King Street (owner since 2018, now creditors) and Fortress (main creditor since 2018) own a preferred share in the capital of the FCGB. It allows them, among other things, to carry out a forced sale of the club in the event of relegation. The second fund, which lent 50 million euros and already gave up 10 million last season, would welcome finding an honorable and not too expensive way out of its catastrophic adventure at the Girondins. He has probed again in recent months. Without finding much listening given the state of the club.

Unless there is an unexpected reversal, the same team will have to take care of the rest. “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,” wrote Gérard Lopez on Saturday evening. If he succeeds, the evolution could come from the appointment of a deputy president. The lessons of the season tend to do so, the Ultras and supporters ask for it. Fortress and King Street can also, because of relegation, impose someone.

2 Financially, what solutions?

How to set up a budget for L2, with revenue (TV rights, sponsorship, ticketing) down sharply, when, after the 67 million losses in 2020-2021, it is missing this time, according to Gérard Lopez during the last board meeting. administration, around 30 million euros to complete that of this season? Managing director Thomas Jacquemier, already an architect of the forceps march since King Street took over in December 2019, worked on the plan.

Employees should be the first to toast. An internal source mentions 60 to 70 positions threatened out of 120 to 130 administrative jobs. The big part of the degreasing will have to come from the payroll of the professional team. For players under contract, who have no release clause, the Convention provides for the authorization of an automatic 20% reduction in wages. Negotiations can be opened for a 50% reduction, with, in the event of refusal, the possibility for the player to leave free.

However, it will be necessary to present a team, and the operating costs will not disappear by magic. Hope, for the club with charges amounting to some 115 million euros in 2021-2022, comes from exceptional cash inflows: a “parachute” planned by the League (around 7 million euros), a payment of CVC (the company which bought shares in the commercial company of the LFP, 16.5 million euros) and the expected sales of Tchouaméni and Koundé for which the Girondins will receive 20% of the capital gain. The sales of certain players (Hwang, Onana, Elis or even Mara…) should make it possible to fill the rest of the 45 million euros needed according to “20 minutes”.

In recent months, Gérard Lopez has been negotiating with financial partners and discussing a new debt restructuring. His clan has always leaked optimism and the need to come back up immediately. And for good reason: the three main revenues (CVC, parachute, Koundé/Tchouaméni) will no longer exist for a second year in L2 in 2024-2025. Season at the end of which must arrive the repayment of loans to Fortress, King Street and the payment to the Metropolis of three years of rent for the stadium deferred during the takeover by Gérard Lopez. To date, some 65 million euros in total.

3 What impact on young people and women?

While the workforce for the following season is being prepared in April, the training center managers have acted as if the budget and number of players remained unchanged. If some young pros from the reserve were integrated with the first team, they will have to be replaced. As for employees, the question concerns the impact of budget cuts on staff and the number of young people under contract.

The concern is very strong within the women’s team, 6th in D1 at two days. Many players at the end of the contract are on standby. While the budget has already been greatly reduced this season, it should take a further hit.

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