Home Sports Michel Denisot: “I don’t know what happens when the opponent comes back”

Michel Denisot: “I don’t know what happens when the opponent comes back”


Former president of PSG and former great leader of the Canal + group, Michel Denisot has agreed to answer questions from the editorialist Jacques Vendroux, Lionel Rosso and the head of the sports department of Europe 1, Jean-François Pérès. A 30-minute interview broadcast in full in “Europe 1 Sport”.

Current president of the Berrichonne de Châteauroux club (from 1989 to 1991, from 2002 to 2008 and since March 2021), which plays in the national division, Michel Denisot is the new exceptional guest ofEurope 1 Sports. President of PSG from 1991 to 1998 and with whom he won a European Cup, the 76-year-old Indrois talks about his time in the capital club, the current situation after the elimination in the Champions League on Wednesday evening against Real Madrid and the differences between the Paris Saint-Germain of his time and the current team.

Is he still following the news of PSG? “I love football and I love the game”

“Yes. I’ve been at the helm of the club for seven years. It’s been a long time, but I have retained a special attachment to this club. So I often follow the matches, also because I love football and that I love the game. There is also a quality in the workforce that means that when you love football, you want to watch. It’s the players who are at PSG, in particular Mbappé, Neymar and Messi. “

The day he became president of Paris Saint-Germain: “I didn’t expect it at all”

“It was in 1991. It was in the last century and there was a desire from André Rousselet, Pierre Lescure and Charles Biétry at the time, to come and rescue PSG, which was insolvent, in difficulty and Bernard Brochand, who was at the PSG club at the time, had made the rounds of possible buyers. Jacques Chirac, the mayor of Paris, had told him that the town hall was not going to bail out the club every year and that “they had to find a buyer. Bernard Brochand made the rounds of potential buyers. At the time, he came to Canal, and the French football championship was a soap opera for television, with characters. And the Paris- Saint-Germain was an important character in the soap opera with OM.

So the channel decided, for subscribers at first, to preserve this soap opera, to save PSG, to buy it back. And me, I was not at all in the loop of all these negotiations and there was a meeting afterwards with André Rousselet, to which I was invited. We were about ten. And then he went around the table: Who is going to be president? Charles (Biétry), I think he wanted to be. But he was the boss of sports, ethically, it is not possible to be both the boss of sports and the president of a football club.

Me, I did not expect it at all, I was president of Châteauroux at the time. I have a little experience at that time, so he tells me that it would be good if you were president of PSG. I said I was going to think it over and he said, ‘If I were you, I would say yes.’ So I say yes and I went home in the evening. I tell my wife that I was president of PSG, which was not planned at all in our family life because it also disrupts life after.

His analysis of the arrival of the Qataris at PSG: “It’s good for the club”

“I was no longer in the circuit. I stopped in 98. I thought it was a good thing. We always envied English clubs with big foreign investors like Chelsea, like Manchester… in France this possibility. Indeed, it is good for the club because it has entered a different era in terms of resources, which are colossal.”

How would he have managed the PSG team today? “I don’t know what’s going on inside”

“I don’t know. Maybe it’s a different philosophy, different goals, different ambitions. Why are they there and what do they want to do? I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m not inside. When I was inside PSG, I heard enough categorical views from people who didn’t know what was going on. I don’t know what’s going on inside. inside. I don’t know what happens in those games where there are incredible comebacks from the opponent. That’s what’s strange about this team. I don’t know why.”

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The PSG of the 90s, more striking than that of today? “The players did not change clubs every four mornings”

“Yes, maybe. With hindsight, we see that the players who scored the most at that time were still Raï and (David) Ginola, Bernard Lama. I was lucky that at At the time, players didn’t change clubs every four mornings. The seven years I was at PSG, half of the squad spent seven years with me. It strengthens a team. I think that today today, you see players who score a goal and put their hands on the shirt, which shows the logo and then the next day they leave. It’s absurd. It’s a bit childish, but at the time, there was more attachment on the part of the players to the club they were in.

I think that can explain some differences in the matches. We had some pretty strong moments in that period, but what’s missing today are the victories, the European Cup victories and the great European Cup runs. Spectacular reversals. During PSG-Real, I think that that evening, we pleased all the football fans, all the clubs, all the supporters, because it was the emotion that was very strong.

Knocking over a mountain and winning in stoppage time is something that doesn’t exist in cinema, that doesn’t exist on Netflix, that only exists in sports and in the great moments of sports. There isn’t a day in Paris when there aren’t three people walking down the street to talk to me about PSG. So, it is true that it remains in the memories. I didn’t realize it when I was there.”

A lack of DNA at PSG? “There was an identification, a link between the public and the team”

“In the 90s, when we went to play in Madrid before the second leg, I said ‘There, we are really in another world. There, it will be complicated.’ And indeed, we lost 3-1 and on the return, we had this heat at the Park. Afterwards, everything was not perfect in the public at that time either. But we had something. There was an identification, a bond between the public and the team which was very strong and it is very useful. It is the strength of Marseille, it is the strength of Saint-Etienne, it is the strength of Lens also and obviously that plays. It’s not that that moves mountains, but it plays.”

Why this passion for football? “It’s my father’s passion”

“It’s something very personal and very intimate. In fact, it’s my father’s passion. My father died when I was very young and I decided later that through this passion, he would be with me. The real reason is that. My father had two passions, it was cars and football. And he died when I was 5. He was a mechanic in a village in Ain. and played soccer on Sundays with half my family.

In fact, I decided when I became a leader in Châteauroux, I said ‘There, now, he is with me, all the time. It hasn’t always been very present in my life. When I got married, I was not into football at all. I was not even going to see matches. My wife didn’t realize she was marrying someone who loved football that much. It’s a red thread in my life, it’s a passion. I like emotions, I like competition. I love all competitions in life. When you do TV or radio on a daily basis, as I did for a long time. Every morning, at 9:05 a.m., the audiences drop in, we play matches every day and it’s fantastic.”

On his candidacy for president of the League: “Vincent Labrune does that very well”

“I think it was a blessing in disguise for me, because I’m not sure that I was necessarily the man for the job given the board of directors that was there. There were 25 voters. J I had 10 votes, Vincent (Labrune) had 15. It was clear. For two days, I was confused. And then today, I’m very happy because I think Vincent does that very well. I am at an age where I am also happy to have a little time for myself. I am a grandfather. And besides, I like to have various activities and President of the League today, he you have to give 200%. The creation of the commercial company is a big challenge which, I think, will be successful. It’s very good, very good for football.”

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The relationship between the LFP and Canal +: “A complicated passage”

“I am often surprised to see Ligue 1 matches on Canal+ Décalé and not on Canal+. There was a complicated passage between Canal+ and the League. lost everything in one morning, everything was done in the rules. So afterwards, should we not respect the rules to favor people who have been there longer? It’s a philosophical question.

The regrets of his career: “We could have been champions once again”

“Every time we lose a match, we are disappointed. I still lost a bunch. Disappointment in the second European Cup final (In 1997, 1-0). I think we don’t “We didn’t believe it enough against Barcelona and we lost on a penalty from Ronaldo, the Brazilian. Afterwards, I think we could have been champions once again also the year we won the European Cup (in 1996). Otherwise, afterwards, in the players we took, those we didn’t take, we always make mistakes.”

On his arrival in Châteauroux: “My mother had opened the newspaper and I was president”

“I became president of Châteauroux in 1988. I went to matches. The team was in the third division and the president at the time was called Claude Jamet, who carried the club at arm’s length. And then, one day, I go to games and he says to me, ‘It would be nice if you joined us in the club one day.’ I say ‘Yes, yes, okay.’ Then I go back to Paris, I was at Canal at the time. And my mother called me three days later, she had opened the newspaper and I was president of the club. He didn’t tell me anything and it’s how it started.”

On the arrival of Yannick Noah at PSG: “He had his part in the victory”

“So we are 15 days away from the final (Against Rapid Vienna, in 1996). A final is special. It’s not a match, it’s an event. The club has never won a European Cup. And I’m in the countryside at home, in Ain, on my little tractor. I tell myself what I could do to bring more in the 15 days that come before the final? And so, I think of Yannick Noah. I always thought that when you wanted to achieve a goal, the ideal was to entrust the keys to someone who had already achieved it. He won at Roland- Garros and therefore, he has this victory thing.

I knew his attachment to football. And then I call him. I said to him, ‘Would you come with us for the 15 days? I don’t know how it’s going to be or what you’re going to do.’ There was Jean-Claude Perrin also in the staff with me, who was close to Yannick. He said yes, he came with us for almost 15 days. He lived with the group. Little by little, he untied a few knots. I think he had more affinities with some than with others, especially with Ngotty. And I think Ngotty’s free kick, there’s a bit of Yannick Noah in it.

He got angry once, when we stopped on the highway where we were going to Brussels and the players started eating sausages. He was very strict about dietetics and he was right. He did what he wanted, he spent time with such and such a player, with such and such a group. Afterwards, he gave me his opinion, his feelings and in the end, we won. When we win, everyone wins. Here, when we lose, it is the president and the coach. He had his share in the victory, of course.”

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