Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne: Welcome to Oblivion – Sports

And the brutality of the spectator could hardly be surpassed: Saint-Etienne Ultras threw dozens of burning Bengals into the dressing-room entrance area, chasing players, their personnel, and opponents. The grass at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard was burnt in several places, with some rioters even breaking into the Saint-Étienne players’ parking spaces inside the stadium – destroying their cars.

The state of Loire later reported a total of 33 injured, including 14 police officers, on its damages balance sheet. The minutes after the second leg, who lost on penalties to AJ Auxerre, culminated in a deeply unsuccessful season for ‘Stéphanois’ in a disturbing fashion. Fans misbehaved again, which is why the French record champion, who has won the title ten times – like PSG recently – is likely to start his first season in Ligue 2 in 18 years without a spectator and perhaps a point deduction. .

Bordeaux was in the UEFA Cup Final 26 years ago with Zidane and Lizarazu

The fact that another traditional French club plunged into the second division in Girondins Bordeaux can be considered a parallel to the Bundesliga final a year ago: at that time Werder Bremen and Schalke 04 bid farewell to the Senate, in royal green and blue. The club that together won eleven German championships. The Greens from Saint-Etienne and the Neve Blues from Bordeaux hold 16 national titles together. However, it is quite doubtful whether the hard-hit clubs will manage to tackle the incident as quickly as their German counterparts can. Because either way, mismanagement and utterly botched planning for the band has significantly accelerated their decline lately.

Girondins was once so proud 26 years ago with greats like Zinedine Zidane and Bixente Lizarazu in the UEFA Cup Final against Bayern Munich. Just before the Qatari sheikhs joined PSG, Bordeaux won the league for the last time in 2009, with a team without a star but with Laurent Blanc as coach. Things have been slowly and steadily deteriorating in recent years, and football’s shortcomings have joined forces with massive economic problems since the spring of 2021: In the wake of the Corona pandemic, US hedge fund King Street announced that it would no longer support Bordeaux. The Americans are now demanding a refund of the nearly 50 million euros they gave the club since 2018.

A not-so-happy connection: Former Swiss national coach Vladimir Petkovic (left) failed at Girondin, and President Gerard Lopez must now prevent bankruptcy.

(Photo: Thierry Breton / Panoramic / Imago)

Forced relegation threatened, then, last July, Luxembourgish businessman Gerard Lopez appeared on the scene as a savior, who had previously moved to OSC Lille from renewal status to champion 2021. He took a portion of the approximately €80 million debt that Bordella had accumulated in Meanwhile, he hired former Swiss coach Vladimir Petkovic to continue the glorious times. But everything went wrong last season: Petkovic was unable to bolster his defense around goalkeeper Benoit Costel and former Arsenal defense chief Laurent Koscielny, and he did not manage to iron out controversies.

At the end of the season, there were 91 goals against them after 38 games, and former Bundesliga players Marcelo (Hanover 96) and Joshua Gelafogoy (Wolfsburg), who were brought in during the winter break, have not stabilized. The actors were suspended and pardoned again, and there were also disagreements with the ultras in Bordeaux. Internally, the quarrels reached the point where a young professional player was accused of stealing football boots from his teammates and selling them on the Internet.

David Geon, Petkovic’s failed successor, couldn’t prevent the relegation either. Now the club may finally be facing the shards of its existence. The DNCG is threatening to move Bordeaux to the third tier if officials do not raise €20 million by mid-June, for example through player sales or bonus payments owed in the case of former Girondins talents such as Jules Koundé (from Seville to Chelsea?) or Aurélien Tchouameni (from AS Monaco to Real Madrid?) changing clubs. Some French media have reported that the financial gap to be closed is as high as 40 million.

French League 1:

“You are a disgrace to the FCGB”: Bordeaux fans at the last match of the season in Brest.

(Photo: Damien Meyer/AFP)

However, the ice that President Lopez is walking on is thin. Belgium’s second-tier club, Axel Mouscron, also affiliated with him, filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday. And Lopez? He wrote a hard-line letter to the masses, insisting that he still believed in the “Girondan revival”. He admitted that the lineage was a “personal and collective failure.” “The task turned out to be more complex than anticipated,” Lopez said.

Selling record champion Saint-Etienne – US billionaire David Pletzer allegedly wants to enter

The situation at Saint-Etienne, the former club of Michel Platini, is no less serious. Less than five years ago they played against Manchester United in the Europa League, and in 2019 they returned to European competition again. Then the savings scheme promulgated by two major shareholders, Bernard Caiazo and Roland Romer, who had been controversial for years, took root: They let famous players go, ruthlessly suppressing expenditures. Presumably to force the long-awaited sale of the club. However, last winter, when Saint-Etienne was at the bottom of the French Ligue 1 with just 12 points from 19 matches, not a single bid was accepted. The owners had already turned down an offer to buy Cambodian Prince Norodom Ravichak in mid-October.

Ligue 1: Upside Down: Saint-Etienne's defense against Auxerre.  Defender Harold Mukodi (No. 2) has managed not to win one of his 28 games this season, including relegation.

Upside down: Saint-Etienne’s defense against Auxerre. Defender Harold Mukodi (No. 2) has managed not to win one of his 28 games this season, including relegation.

(Photo: Jean-Philippe Ksiazyk/AFP)

The change of coach – Pascal Dubras replaced veteran Claude Boyle – led to only short success. With so many young players that couldn’t handle the pressure and some emergency purchases from the winter, the club avoided direct relegation – and failed to go down. “Unfortunately, it is clear that the project that has been created is not of Ligue 1 level,” Tunisian international player Wahbi Khazri told RMC radio. But he defended his teammates, saying: “No player in this group would not have given two hundred percent.”

Hopes now rest on billionaire investor David Blitzer of New Jersey. Through Bolt Football Holding, he is involved in the New York Yankees baseball club and FC Augsburg, among others. It is alleged that he wants to invest up to 100 million euros so that the main shareholders can pay off debts, pay off debts and create a new team. Perhaps with former professional Laurent Battles as coach, he led Troy to Ligue 1 a year ago.

In any case, one thing seems clear: the record champions must return as quickly as possible, even if only to calm the ultras. Otherwise, the St-Etienne could soon catch fire again, nicknamed “Le Chaudron” for good reason: the witches’ cauldron.

Leave a Comment