The meeting was given on Saturday July 9 at 4 p.m., Place Pey-Berland in Bordeaux. For nearly two hours, 3,500 supporters of the Girondins de Bordeaux (FCGB) – just over 2,000 according to the police – marched through the streets of the city to shout their support for the football club, emblem of the city for a century – even a hundred and forty years, if we take the creation of the Club omnisports de Bordeaux as a starting point – but threatened with relegation to amateur level.
Four days earlier, the National Directorate of Management Control (DNCG), the policeman of financial football, had considered that the club had not provided sufficient guarantees to evolve in Ligue 2, where it had been relegated sportingly at the end of the 2021-2022 season, and that he therefore had to be demoted another notch, to National 1.
“It is a decision with serious consequences for a territory, for the inhabitants, deplores Pierre Hurmic, mayor (ecologist) of Bordeaux. You can’t scratch a club and its 140-year history. Saturday, accompanied by other elected officials, he was at the head of the procession behind a banner “Save the FCGB”.
If the demotion of the Girondins to amateur level were to be confirmed, it would most likely result in a bankruptcy filing and a restart at National 3 level, the fifth division, or even at regional level, one step below. With a devastating economic impact, given the structures of the club, currently cut for the professional level.
“Three hundred direct jobs and at least as many indirect jobs depend on it”, alerted, Monday, July 11, ten parliamentarians from Gironde in an open letter addressed to the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, denouncing “the death warrant pronounced by the DNCG against the Girondins de Bordeaux.
The training center could have to close its doors. As for the future of the women’s professional team, it would also be compromised. “They are paid by the professional company which could be affected by the liquidation this summer”, underlines Thomas Jacquemier, the deputy general manager of the Girondins, recalling that this team has the “third budget of the female D1, behind Paris and Lyon”.
“No question of leaving fallow” the Matmut Atlantique stadium
In addition to the impact on the economic and sporting plan for the club, a bankruptcy filing would also have consequences for local communities. The future of the Matmut Atlantique stadium, inaugurated in 2015, owned by Stade Bordeaux Atlantique (SBA), a subsidiary of the Vinci and Fayat groups, and financed under a public-private partnership with Bordeaux Métropole, is particularly heart of the questions of local elected officials.
During the council of the metropolis of July 7, the president, Alain Anziani, called for “general mobilization”. Metropolitan elected officials had already voted unanimously, on June 24, to spread the Girondins’ debts over the next two seasons, and to smooth future rents for the use of the enclosure until the end of the 2024 season. -2025.
The metropolis ensures that it can “cope with the lack of revenue if the FCGB no longer pays its rent, the overall budget of the metropolis being around 1.8 billion euros”. “That the metropolis has to give up rent for two, three or four years, it’s not dramatic,” said Patrick Bobet, leader (LR) of the opposition and former president of Bordeaux Métropole.
“You are very much into emotion, drama, shock, disaster, heritage. We can help, but we need the protection of employees in return, by not wanting there to be a single layoff in this company, especially since we know that there is money being distributed very opaque way, “said Philippe Poutou, Metropolitan Councilor (NPA).
The objective is now to study what the uses of the Matmut Atlantique stadium could be with Girondins de Bordeaux relegated to amateur status and therefore no longer attracting as many supporters. “If we don’t have a professional club anymore, we have to make the best use of it. There is no question of leaving this stadium, which is there and which can be of service, fallow, ”notes MP (LRM) and municipal and metropolitan councilor Thomas Cazenave.