"It's what we deserve"... We attended the funeral of the Girondins

“It’s what we deserve”… We attended the funeral of the Girondins

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In Matmut Atlantic,

The symbolism remained until the final whistle with this huge black sheet over South Bend. Smoke bombs in the colors of death. Indeed, this Saturday, French football witnessed the burial of Girondins in Ligue 1. Although mathematically it is not yet official, 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-offs and a very unfavorable goal difference, it would take an unlikely scenario. To cut a long story short, the Bordeaux must come from 13 goals in Metz and 7 in Saint-Etienne on the last day of the championship. In other words, mission impossible.

Therefore, the club will be relegated for the first time in thirty-one years. At the time, it was an administrative demotion. To know the date of the last sporting relegation, you have to go back to 1960. The scare was very hard for the Girondins family, like the tears of the young Tom Lacoux, a boy from the club, in the corridors of the Matmut Atlantique after the match. And as is often the case 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 a whole program planned for the evening and it didn’t matter if hope returned at times during the match when reading the Saint-Etienne result. It began with a rough reception for the players’ bus under tear gas from the CRS before continuing inside the stadium with rants and hostile chants with the refrain: “You’re m…. ! A large banner reading, “You are the embarrassment of our 140-year history” was installed over South Bend.

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

A VS that has multiplied the banners against the players, the squad or even the management openly attacking Gérard López, owner and president of the club for the first time: “Having saved the club cannot excuse everything” or “Gérard López: of the promise from the top 10 to hell”. The players themselves were entitled to their PQ moment with dozens of rolls of toilet paper thrown on the pitch that 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 match, but an anger that the young striker Sékou Mara understands: “What happened in the stands was tough, but that’s what we deserve after a season like this. ” We did not meet the expectations of the fans. It is the result of our work. »

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

“I didn’t know how to federate”

The 19-year-old will be the only one to stop in front of the press. No other player will find the courage to speak up. Some do not hesitate to approach the media. From Marcelo’s “I don’t trust you” with a big smile on his face after this descent to “you talk a lot so go ahead” from a Rémi Oudin who is especially angry and touched by the situation, going through “ask others, it’s their turn to assume “to a Paul Baysse who has not yet 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 they were all already very far from Bordeaux.

To the point that for long minutes we thought we hadn’t even gotten a reaction from the club’s management one night when it was relegated to Ligue 2. At first, only David Guion spoke to acknowledge the club’s “failure”: “It’s a night sad, a very difficult season. I think we also deserve what is happening to us. We will analyze in due course this season that, from the outset, started very badly. The more time passed, the more problems there were, the more difficult it was to overcome all these failures. I got into this failure, I came to support the Girondins and I didn’t make it, I had 13 games, two and a half months, I didn’t know how to federate around this maintenance.

It federates less and less, it is Gérard López. This Saturday night, he was once again not around to witness the downfall of his club and it took a long time to get a reaction from him. 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 understand the anger of the fans. 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 all my energy into saving the club, as I have always done. »

A walking dead to keep alive

According to statements from his relatives, that is what he would try to do at this very moment and that would explain his absence. According to information from 20 minutes, Indeed, Gérard Lopez has spent the week on the other side of the Atlantic. In particular, he held meetings with his creditors, the US investment funds Fortress and King Street. These are the keys for Girondins de Bordeaux to remain at least in Ligue 2 next season, although the Bordeaux president’s entourage tries to minimize it: “There are no negotiations in the strict sense. There is only one Ligue 2 business plan that needs to be agreed upon. It is in progress and will be done. The same with King Street ”, explains a close friend of the Hispanic-Luxembourgish businessman.

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

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

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