Can the club still save its skin?

Can the club still save its skin?


As long as there is life (and resources), there is hope! This is what the Girondins de Bordeaux and their supporters are clinging to today three days after the decision of the DNCG appeal committee to confirm the administrative demotion of the club to National 1, a few weeks after its sporting relegation to Ligue 2 It is not yet time to give up arms for Gérard Lopez and his teams. This Thursday, the owner and president of the club spoke at length with its general manager, Thomas Jacquemier and his lawyer Maître Cotret.

He again expressed his incomprehension of the decision of the financial policeman with regard to the documents provided. He had still not received the motivations of the body: “We have been waiting for 48 hours, that puts the club in a very complicated situation because we still cannot seize the CNOSF. There, we live a kind of double punishment. “One more episode which of course feeds the rumor which runs in Gironde that some would seek to put the maximum of spokes in the wheels to him to have his skin. He doesn’t want to believe it: “If that’s it, it would be very serious. But I don’t think so or at least I don’t hope so because it would be really very serious. »

A new abandonment of part of the debt by Fortress and King Street?

Moreover, this notification from the DNCG ended up arriving at the end of the day, better late than never, especially when the deadlines are now very short with a resumption of Ligue 2 on July 30. According to information from 20 minutes, the body still blames the Girondins for three things: its financial debt (26.5 million euros) despite its halving, the lack of supporting documents precisely on the transfer of ownership of the other half to one of Gérard Lopez’s companies and finally, the non-cash contribution of 14 million euros which should make it possible to cover the sales of players this summer if these do not materialize. There is therefore a lot of work before the passage in front of the CNOSF surely at the beginning of next week.

As of this Thursday, Gérard Lopez and his entourage have given a boost. Hurry up. The time is no longer really for negotiations with the club’s creditors, American investment funds, Fortress and King Street. Either they let go of the Marine et Blancs and will have to sit on 52 million euros of unreimbursed debts with the filing for bankruptcy and judicial liquidation, or they make a new gesture on the debt like a year ago. “The discussions are going in the right direction”, simply slips a person close to the file. If there is an effort, it remains to be seen whether it will be enough for the authorities of French football.

Will Lopez cover the 14 million euros in cash?

On the second point, things seem settled. The Girondins have finally obtained the legal deed of transfer of ownership of half the debt with perfect delegation and no longer rely solely on the “term sheet” (the agreement signed between Gérard Lopez and his creditors) deemed insufficient for the DNCG. For its part, Bordeaux Métropole voted almost unanimously for a deliberation to spread out until “end of 2026” the debt due and the rents payable for the occupation of the Matmut Atlantique stadium for this season and the next. She would also have given up part of the debt (2.5 million euros out of 5) that the club had accumulated before its takeover last season.

Gérard Lopez at the end of his audition before the DNCG.
Gérard Lopez at the end of his audition before the DNCG. – JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP

Finally, there are these 14 million euros to be guaranteed in cash, that is to say by blocking them in an escrow account to convince the CNOSF to give a favorable opinion on the file at first and then to obtain the green light from the FFF Comex. So far, the opening of a new first demand bond line of credit from Fortress to cover this summer’s player sales has not convinced DNCG members. It wants to avoid at all costs the creation of new medium-term debt. On this point, investment funds have already informed Gérard Lopez that they will not return cash to the pot according to our information. Everything therefore rests to this day on the Hispano-Luxembourgish businessman. He who will already put 10 million euros out of his pocket to help the club plug the hole of 40 million euros in the coffers can he (temporarily) put 14 on the table? Can he just afford it? “We are working on it”, advances his entourage.

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