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Football: Bordeaux officially maintained in Ligue 2

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After a meeting on Wednesday morning, the executive committee of the French Football Federation (FFF) decided to keep the Girondins de Bordeaux in Ligue 2 next season. A decision that prevents the club from going down to National (3rd division) and losing its workforce.

The Girondins de Bordeaux were drafted into Ligue 2 three days before the start of the season, the executive board of the French Football Federation (FFF) decided on Wednesday, ending a long soap opera.

The club, a time threatened with administrative demotion to National (3rd division), must also be summoned by the National Directorate of Control and Management (DNCG) “to judge any immediate monitoring and control measures against it”, and the Girondins will be under “reinforced and regular financial control during the 2022-2023 season”, specifies the press release from the FFF.

The club with the scapular could thus start its season on Saturday against Valenciennes, unless this match is rescheduled.

Called to decide urgently on Wednesday morning, the executive committee of the federal body indeed reversed the decision issued and confirmed on appeal by the DNCG, which condemned the Girondins to start the 2022-2023 season in National, a catastrophic situation for the club, which feared a bankruptcy filing. The FFF finally decided to follow the conciliation proposal provided Monday by the National Olympic Committee (CNOSF), which pleaded for reinstatement in L2.

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However, the FFF asks the “financial policeman of French football” to closely monitor the club, six times champion of France, which is summoned next Tuesday before the DNCG, “to judge any immediate follow-up and control measures against it ” , as well as “reinforced and regular financial control during the 2022-2023 season”. Their controversial owner-president, Gérard Lopez, welcomed on Twitter “excellent news for the Girondins and French football” and decided “to offer the places” for Bordeaux-Valenciennes, because “the support of the supporters has been essential”.

Decisive Mara Sale

Not yet materialized at the time of the hearings at the DNCG, in July, the guarantees provided since by the club ended up convincing the Federation and its president Noël Le Graët, who had not minced his words about the financial management of the club. in the scapular. But the FCGB managed to obtain from creditors King Street and Fortress a 75% reduction in its debt (from 53 million to 13.5 million euros) and announced the sequestration of an additional 24 million euros (10 in capital increases, 14 in guarantee of player sales during the transfer window).

The recent sale of striker Sekou Mara for 13 million euros, including bonuses, to Southampton has almost ticked this last objective on its own. A solid reason for hope. Failed twice by the DNCG, the Girondins were also able to count on a first favorable opinion from the Bordeaux Commercial Court, which on July 19 had approved the rescue plan piloted by Gerard Lopez. This judgment played a decisive role with the conciliators of the CNOSF, who qualified as “excessive” the decision of the DNCG in their opinion, which is only advisory.

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Still uncertainties

The “navy and white” join a list of previous “drafted” including Lens in 2014 and especially OGC Nice in 2002. These two clubs had both succeeded in winning their case with the CNOSF and changing the minds of the FFF, by providing sufficient guarantees shortly before the resumption of the championship. The Girondins “belong to the French sporting heritage”, tweeted the Minister of Sports, Amélie Ouéda-Castéra, also welcoming the return of the “women’s team” and expressing her “satisfaction” that the procedures have “gone to an end independently”.

After a month and a half of soap opera, the Girondins can now focus on the Ligue 2 season. But this favorable outcome is far from removing all doubts about the stability of the 2009 French champion. Faced with problems recurring budgets since its last title, it has been undermined in particular by unsuccessful changes of ownership.

There will be many challenges: deal with a Matmut Atlantique stadium which is still struggling to fill up – and the L2 posters will not help it – create a workforce with a payroll that will necessarily be supervised and above all get back into the elite as quickly as possible to remain attractive and to receive the millions of euros in TV rights promised to first division clubs. A financial windfall essential to the sustainability of the club.

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