Girondins fans ask the club to "start from scratch"

Girondins fans ask the club to “start from scratch”

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This is how a great club is also recognized, the amount of reactions and comments that its results, and more generally its management, generate on a daily basis. Suffice it to say that knowing a little about the Bordeaux context from about ten years ago, we expected to receive (many) answers to our call for contributions on the Girondins de Bordeaux this week, around this question “What needs to change?”, while this historic French football club is headed straight for Ligue 2. And, indeed, 20 minutes Received dozens of messages. Some touching on the image of Damián who acknowledges us having “cried twice in the stadium lately”, others longer and sometimes highly discussed to the point that we could have transferred them to the current management of the club.

As such, we would like to apologize for not being able to broadcast all of them. But in the end, many times the same things emerge from these testimonies filled with dismay and anger. “The club no longer means anything to me, it lost its identity and its values ​​a long time ago”, summarizes Vicente, one of the most determined. Today I dream of a destination in Strasbourg! Most don’t go as far as this supporter, but they all rally around the idea of ​​”starting from scratch.” On the messages, three wishes constantly come up: to restructure the club after years of mismanagement, to rebuild the athlete around the strong training center and finally to restore order so that everyone stays in place around a more accessible and alive place. .

Start from scratch but where and with whom?

This idea of ​​starting from scratch arises above all from an observation by Philippe: “The Girondins project is huge and almost insoluble. “If the hope of a new beginning had returned last summer with the acquisition of the club by Gérard López, after three years of great nonsense symbolized by the disastrous management of the American investment funds GACP and King Street, it was quickly disappointed. . Off the pitch (hobbyists, economy, institutions, etc.), things may be a little better but on top of that it’s even worse as Girondins is on the verge of relegation ahead of their trip to Angers this Sunday (3pm). But, where to take up this “immense and almost insoluble” project? League 2 or N3? There is a real divide among supporters on this issue, even if a slim majority want the club to retain its professional status.

For Vincent (second from the band), “we must use this potential relegation to restructure the club and have ambitions to match what it is today. Laurent develops in this sense: “The first thing to change is to stop taking yourself for what you haven’t been for a long time and work. We don’t get it because we call ourselves Girondins de Bordeaux, we get it because we work consistently. This humility does not prevent us from being ambitious. “We are the most professional of the amateur clubs,” Mathieu accuses for his part.

After the “where” of course comes the question, with “who”? And one of the little surprises in our call for contributions is the lack of criticism towards Gérard Lopez. The owner and president of Marine et Blanc is quite spared. Why ? Philippe sums up the general sentiment:

“Probably there should be people who play with their money and not with the invisible loan funds. People who take risks and not just a salary. But, for example, none of the great Bordeaux fortunes has outlined the slightest attempt at a recovery project in 2018 or 2021. They are astute entrepreneurs who do not want to invest in a bottomless pit. »

López was not afraid to go. Instead, it is the management of the Hispano-Luxembourg businessman that gives chills. Supporters, for example, unanimously demand the appointment of a vice president. A president “who will be there every day because when the cat is not there, the mice dance”, as Sébastien explains. One of his namesakes wants a “local president who steps forward to defend the club’s interests, or shake up the players when necessary.” In this sense, Vincent throws out the names “Johan Micoud, Stéphane Martin or Laurent Blanc” on the fly to embody the club on a day-to-day basis and allow Admar Lopes [le directeur technique] to focus on the athlete. “More generally, Charles wants” the return of some former club glories to instill the club’s values. »

Finally restructure the club

This is perhaps also one of the small surprises of our call for contributions, the number of messages about the very structure of the club. The received idea that amateurs are only interested in results would therefore be false. Many of them remember to what extent Girondins de Bordeaux is today a completely oversized club with its 300 employees and its crazy fixed costs compared to its sporting level. It’s simple, “the number of employees in the club increased as the sporting level dropped and M6 hid the misery by filling the structural deficit at the end of each year”, launches “Soubi”.

According to the DNCG report for the 2020-2021 season, Girondins has a payroll of 65 million euros. It is the 7th largest in Ligue 1 while the club has been vegetating for three years in the second part of the table. For comparison, Lens has a payroll of 34 million euros, Strasbourg 32, Reims 34, Montpellier 41, Nantes 45… And this Bordeaux anomaly lasts for more than a decade although, of course, player salaries have a lot to do with that. In any case, he questions Anthony: “Given how the club is running at the moment, I wonder what all these people are for, it’s disproportionate to me. There are many people for whom the soup is good and it indirectly contributes to this situation, it is while this stops and that we clean our club even if it means starting from very low. »

Also, there will be no other solutions if there is a downgrade. Gérard López has already planned it, this will go through a profound restructuring of the Navy and Blanca with a social plan of more than one hundred layoffs. Vicente is “very aware of the social damage that such a fate would represent, but it would simply be anticipating the inevitable.”

Rebuild sportingly around the training center.

In this sense, the new management has put its feet on the plate this season taking all the big salaries from the club. And not necessarily with an upper class. It is the least we can say about Koscielny, Costil or Otavio. But for the fans, the sporting priority is not necessarily there today. For many like Philippe, it will be necessary above all to rebuild “give up setting up a team of mercenaries from 17 different countries because it is impossible to create a ‘club’ spirit in these conditions. There has to be a strong French core to embody the club’s history.”

Sékou Mara, the young striker for Girondins de Bordeaux.
Sékou Mara, the young striker for Girondins de Bordeaux. – Romain Perrocheau / AFP

Therefore, it is time for the vast majority of Bordeaux fans to rely primarily on the training center with a strong identity. Charlie:

“I am ready to have local players who come from our regions and for whom FCGB represents something, even if it is to have a more modest level, but at least we will be able to identify with this team and find that state of mind. family that may have been at the club in the past. »

David recalls that “the best players at the club in recent years have been Laborde, Koundé and Tchouaméni (three players trained at the club)”. This is especially true for the latter and we must not forget the Brazilian Malcom, the biggest signing in Girondins history. “It’s time to put more resources into training and above all to trust players like Mara, Pirringuel or Louis-Jean, continues David. We cannot make a competitive team with only youngsters from the club, but we can make it our base. As a reminder, we are champions with Planus, Trémoulinas, Chamakh. »

Put order on all floors.

In this call for contributions, one last thing seems to be close to the hearts of Bordeaux fans who have spoken out. It is above all linked to the latest club news and the “Costil affair”. Reading the testimonials received, we can say that it was impressive. We had already noticed it in the stadium or on social networks. Like Sébastien, many of them want to “put the church back in the center of town with a few followers because everyone must know how to stay in their place”. For him, “what happened with Florian Brunet (the spokesman for the Ultramarines) is purely scandalous and his tremendous involvement for so many years does not give him any rights over what concerns the professional group.” “JB”, he would like to see “the emergence of a second group of supporters to animate the north turn and act as a counter power”.

“The UB87 will have to continue with their unconditional support but maintaining their role as magnificent fans, because this episode with Benoît Costil was an even more damaging element for the Girondins, because it tarnished the player-fan relationship and Bordeaux became the object of ridicule all over. ”, summarizes for his part a Thibaud disappointed by recent events. On this issue, the Ultramarines, without whom the club might never have been saved a year ago, have repeatedly reaffirmed their independence from Gérard López and their desire to always act for the good of the Girondins.

Finally, note the few comments on the situation of the Matmut Atlantique. Fabrice’s request to “smooth pedestrian traffic around the stadium by creating walkways and customizing the stadium in the club’s colours”. Axel and Sébastien insist on the fact of “making it more attractive through a drastic reduction in the price of seats”.

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