The Girondins de Bordeaux continue their descent into hell. A month and a half after being relegated from Ligue 1 to Ligue 2 – the first in thirty-one years – the scapular football club experienced a new shock on Tuesday July 5: the appeal committee of the National Directorate of management control (DNCG), the financial policeman of French football, confirmed his administrative demotion to National 1, the Third Division (amateur level), the financial guarantees represented by the club not being considered sufficient.
This demotion was pronounced on June 14 by the DNCG. But among the Girondins, who had appealed, relative optimism was expressed in recent days before the meeting which was held on Tuesday at the start of the afternoon, at the headquarters of the French Football Federation (FFF), in the 15th arrondissement of Paris.
The club’s president for a year, Gérard Lopez, had hinted that he had found guarantees to plug the hole of 40 million euros pinned by the DNCG. The Spanish-Luxembourgish businessman had undertaken to inject ten million euros into the capital through his company Jogo Bonito and to transfer half of the club’s debt, amounting to 52 million euros, to it. euros.
The Girondins had also obtained from their creditors, the investment funds King Street and Fortress, to recover the profit-sharing on the transfer of Aurélien Tchouaméni to Real Madrid, valued at more than eight million euros.
A last resort?
Several local players had also made efforts, like Bordeaux Métropole, which had agreed to spread the club’s debt of more than five million euros for the rental of the Matmut-Atlantique stadium over the next two seasons.
The club’s management also wanted to bail out, selling several players (Hwang Ui-jo, Junior Onana, Alberth Elis, Sékou Mara), whose cumulative market value could bring in several tens of millions of euros.
All these guarantees did not convince the DNCG, which therefore confirmed, without specifying, for the moment, the reasons for its decision, the administrative demotion of the club to National 1.
The future of the Bordeaux club is now dark. The revenue he can hope for at the third level of French football will not allow him to ensure his daily operation: he will lose professional status and will have to do without the television rights associated with a presence in Ligue 1 or in Ligue 2.
The management of the Girondins can still have recourse to a conciliation of the French National and Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF) but does not seem to believe in it given the time required for the organization of the championships to come.
The Bordeaux club could, however, turn to the interim judge of the Administrative Court in order to suspend the decision. But the process could take several months.
Towards a bankruptcy filing
It now seems more likely that the Girondins are heading for bankruptcy, before restarting their adventure in National 3, the fifth level of French football. A real disaster for the club founded in 1881 and six times champion of France.
Many departures are to be expected within a workforce initially cut for Ligue 1. The question of the club’s takeover could also arise, while Gérard Lopez has held his position for a year.
In the summer of 2021, after having succeeded in convincing the DNCG of the merits of its plan to take over the Girondins de Bordeaux, the Spanish-Luxembourg businessman was optimistic about the future of the club. “It’s a great day for the Girondins and we are now going to get down to implementing the validated sporting and economic project [par la DNCG] », had, then, assured Gérard Lopez.
Today, it is neither optimism nor pessimism that reigns in Bordeaux, but amazement. Historical club of French football, the Girondins will now have to rebuild in depth to survive and hope, one day, to find the elite.