Football: Bordeaux at the start of a decisive season in Ligue 2

From a land presented as infernal a few weeks ago, the second division championship would almost today seem like an oasis in Bordeaux. After the void that their sporting relegation from Ligue 1 to Ligue 2 – a first in 62 years – hinted at at the end of last season, the Girondins came very close to nothingness when the National Management Control Department (DNCG), the financial policeman of French football, had spoken out in favor of their administrative demotion to the lower floor, on June 14. The path to the National, the third division and exit door to the amateur level in France, even seemed traced when the body validated its decision on appeal in early July, following the financial examination of the club.

Promising to fight ” until the end “, Bordeaux President Gérard Lopez then moved his fight to the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF). His position in favor of keeping the club in Ligue 2 was finally followed, on Wednesday July 27, by the executive committee of the French Football Federation (FFF), just three days before the opening of the season.

This emergency rescue, the scapular club owes it to new financial guarantees, deemed sufficient by the city’s commercial court a week earlier. In this model, the Girondins’ creditors, the American investment funds King Street and Fortress, agreed to reduce the club’s debt by at least 50% and an additional 24 million euros were placed in receivership, divided between a capital increase and a guaranteed sale of players during the transfer window. The recent departure of striker Sékou Mara to England for 13 million euros and the percentage affected by Bordeaux on the resale of their former player Jules Koundé from Seville to FC Barcelona last week have already filled this last part.

“Symbolic decision”

“This is excellent news for the club but also a symbolic decision for French football, Bordeaux is part of the sporting heritage, salutes Alain Anziani, the president (PS) of Bordeaux-Métropole, aware that a descent into National would probably have resulted in a bankruptcy filing. By losing its professional status, the club would also have lost several hundred jobs, its training center and its brand image which contributes to the attractiveness of our city. » Last month, the chosen one had given up collecting from the Girondins a rent of 5 million euros for the Matmut Atlantique stadium for this new season.

Other positions from the political sphere were enough to fuel the debate around the draft of this history of the hexagonal championship, founded 140 years ago and six times titled in Ligue 1. High-ranking people in the Federation told me: “If it had been another club, we would follow the rules. But there, it is the Girondins de Bordeaux.” (…) Imagine a guy who fails his baccalaureate. Then who goes to catch up and who misses again. But his dad has a lot of influence and a lot of money, and he gets a third session for his son where the marks he had before will no longer be taken into account. Top experts would be there to upgrade the boy. Then he comes back, and we give him the baccalaureate, “ Philippe Terrier, the president of the Villefranche club, had thus wondered, who could have entered Ligue 2 in place of Bordeaux, questioned by The Team before the verdict of the FFF.

“Reinforced control” this season

The big sigh of relief, shared by the leaders to former players like Alain Giresse or Bixente Lizarazu, via the supporters, does not however suggest a season sheltered from tumults. After having won only a draw during the first day, Saturday July 30, against Valenciennes (0-0), the coach of Bordeaux, David Guion, has also hinted that the immediate rise in the elite was not the goal, especially since the technician will have to deal with a largely overhauled workforce, where the bulk of the degreasing is expected by the end of the transfer window, September 1.

From Tuesday, the club will once again go before the DNCG, which could ban it from recruitment. I don’t think drastic measures will be taken, nuance David Gluzman, banker specializing in financial restructuring. It would be more reasonable to impose on the club a framework for transfer compensation and its payroll. This would encourage him to rebuild a project more rooted in the local area, without forbidding a more planned dose of player trading. » The continuation of a series of meetings which will aim to exercise “reinforced financial control”, recommended by the FFF, throughout this 2022-2023 financial year.


A decade of turbulent finances

In 2009, the Girondins are crowned champions of France. They will even play a lucrative quarter-final of the Champions League the following season, but see their payroll jump. A first deficit is dug.

In 2018the owner M6 sells the club to the American investment fund GACP and King Street.

Bankrupt after King Street divestiture Last yearBordeaux is taken over by the Hispano-Luxembourgish businessman Gérard Lopez, ousted a few months earlier from the head of Lille for indebtedness.


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