Are the misadventures of the Girondins de Bordeaux coming to an end? Tuesday, July 5, Gérard Lopez must present to the National Management Control Department (DNCG) a rescue plan for the club he bought just a year ago. On June 14, the financial policeman of football decided, after examining the financial situation of the club, the demotion in National 1 (third division) of the Girondins de Bordeaux (FCGB), already relegated sportingly in Ligue 2 at the end of a season ended in last place in L1.
A decision which, if confirmed on appeal, would be synonymous with bankruptcy for the FCGB, a French football institution: the club could then no longer count on the windfall of TV rights and the redistribution of the money generated by the creation in March of the commercial company of the Professional Football League.
Particularly targeted by the DNCG: a hole of 40 million euros in the budget and the lack of guarantees presented by Gérard Lopez to fill it. Since then, the president of the club claims to have reached an agreement with the creditors of the Girondins, the American investment funds King Street and Fortress.
Gérard Lopez undertakes to contribute 10 million euros to the capital and to transfer half of the debt (which amounts to 52 million euros) to his company Jogo Bonito. These elements were added to the file sent to the DNCG on Friday, four days before the decision on appeal. “We responded point by point and precisely to the motivations formulated by the DNCG”welcomes the management of the FCGB.
The takeover hypothesis
Despite a calamitous season punctuated by numerous scandals inside and outside the locker room, economic partners and local politicians have put their hands in their pockets to support the club with the scapular more than a century old. Starting with the president of Bordeaux Métropole, Alain Anziani, who “made a considerable effort” concerning the rent for the Matmut Atlantique stadium, the construction of which was financed under a public-private partnership.
The metropolis has decided to spread the club’s debt (5.8 million euros) over the next two seasons, and to smooth the rents for the next two years until the end of the 2024-2025 season. An announcement justified by the fear that the club will disappear, “which would imply the end of rent-related income”.
The mayor of Bordeaux, Pierre Hurmic, also wanted to reaffirm his support for the FCGB. He asked the creditors to “to build with the president of the club a financial and sporting project allowing to ensure the maintenance of the Girondins de Bordeaux in Ligue 2 and their rise in Ligue 1 as soon as possible”.
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