Finally kept in Ligue 2, the Girondins de Bordeaux are once again thinking about a sporting future

By waiting more than a month, Vital N’Simba will finally be able to plan the next season. Arriving from Clermont in June to sign for Girondins de Bordeaux, the 29-year-old Congolese defender has been training with the scapular club for several weeks, without a contract. He awaits his approval from the decision taken on June 14 by the National Directorate of Management Control (DNCG), the financial policeman of French football, to administratively demote the Girondins to National 1.

The decision taken by the executive committee of the French Football Association (FFF), Wednesday 27 July, clarifies the future of N’Simba, as well as that of all the players in the Bordeaux workforce. The FFF body has decided to reinstate the Girondins in Ligue 2, going in the direction of the conciliation proposed on Monday by the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF).

For the centenary club, a historic monument of French football, this decision is both a huge relief – it avoids a filing for bankruptcy that seemed inevitable in the event of relegation to the amateur world – and a victory, after several weeks of intense negotiations. Following the DNCG’s confirmation on appeal of the administrative relegation on 5 July, Gรฉrard Lopez, president of the Girondins, reached agreements to prove the club’s financial capacity to continue its business next season.

On July 19, the Bordeaux commercial court validated these agreements, giving weight to the Girondins’ file before their appearance before the CNOSF. Lopez has agreed with the club’s creditors, the American investment funds Fortress and King Street, that the latter write off half of the 53 million euros of debt and restructure the other half.

The entrepreneur has also seized โ‚ฌ 10 million in capital injection, through his holding company Jogo Bonito Group, and โ‚ฌ 14 million in guarantees, a figure that the club has said it wants to achieve in the sale of players this summer. Sรฉkou Mara, in fact, was officially sold on Tuesday to the English club Southampton against 11 million euros.

A classic preseason for gamers

All these guarantees convinced the executive committee of the FFF. โ€œI am relieved for the local ecosystem and I am also personally relieved. But, for me, it’s just a step in the club’s restructuring.declares, a World, Gerardo Lopez. Bordeaux are now looking forward to next season, which kicks off on Saturday with their first Ligue 2 match against Valenciennes at the Matmut Atlantique stadium. For this meeting, the Bordeaux president announced that he would offer the seats. Yet despite the “relief” mentioned within the club, the last few weeks have been particularly experienced by some employees and some players.

โ€œThe club’s internal communication has angered the workforce. The leaders repeated before each pass in front of the DNCG that everything was finedescribes the agent of a Girondins player. Gradually we realized that not only had they not responded to all requests, but that they had also shown a suit I don’t care. There are deadlines to meet and it wasn’t like that. “ If the DNCG was judged by the executive committee of the FFF, the CNOSF specified that the decision of the French football financial officer was legitimate at the time it was adopted, due to the file submitted at the time.

In the uncertainty until Wednesday regarding their future, all players had to prepare for a potential hasty start. “We have worked with other clubs to provide a foundation”admits Boris Laval, agent of Vital N’Simba. “We were on high alert, I asked other clubs just in case”confirms the agent of a Bordeaux player.

The players and the staff, on the other hand, experienced a classic pre-season, to project themselves, as if nothing had happened, towards the Ligue 2 season. start of the championship.

August will be hectic

With three wins, one draw and one defeat in five friendlies, club manager David Guion said “fulfilled” of the preseason. Without saying a word about the future of the club. Involvement within the workforce which is explained by the fact that “This preparation was still useful for the players, whether their future was in Bordeaux or elsewhere”claims Boris Laval.

If Bordeaux are not left on the ground, the club has fallen far behind in restructuring its workforce. After that of Sรฉkou Mara, the Girondins expect new starts in August (Alberth Elis, Hwang Ui-jo, Junior Onanaโ€ฆ). On Tuesday 2 August the club will have to present itself one last time in front of the DNCG, which can decide to regulate its payroll or prohibit its hiring.

Aware that the Girondins will have to attract several players in August, Gรฉrard Lopez assures him โ€œThe goal will always be the climb [en Ligue 1], if they [les] let it work normally “. A bad start in Ligue 2 would jeopardize that goal as only two teams will be promoted to the first division next year, due to the increase to eighteen clubs in the top flight in 2023-2024.

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“We believe it, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. With five or six quality arrivals, the eleven can be very solid”, assures Boris Laval. For his part, the other agent is less optimistic: โ€œGiven the delay they have taken, I find it difficult to see Bordeaux return directly. And the same situation [devant la DNCG] it will happen in a year. With the people who are in charge of the club, unfortunately, what happens is a headlong rush. “We start with a very solid financial basis to rebuild”retorts Gรฉrard Lopez.

Considered dramatic in late May following the club’s relegation from Ligue 1, Bordeaux’s presence in Ligue 2 is now a miracle. Fans welcomed the FFF’s decision, as in July 2021, when the DNCG validated Gรฉrard Lopez’s takeover of the club, as the Girondins were preparing to sink following the total withdrawal of Fortress and King Street. Before regaining the vertigo of Ligue 1, the Girondins were not done with the emotional charge.

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