The city of Bordeaux is “Stakeholder in the choice of the future buyer of the Girondins de Bordeaux” and is already in contact with two candidates, the mayor, Pierre Hurmic, told the press on Friday April 23. The buyer must show proof of “Attachment to the club, a love of football and a desire to territorialize this club”, released the day before by its owner, the American investment fund King Street, added the elected ecologist.
The two potential buyers, then said Mr. Hurmic, are Bruno Fievet and Pascal Rigo, two investors who made their fortune abroad and have Gironde ties. And “There may be others”. Le Girondin Pascal Rigo is a businessman who owns restaurant and bakery chains in the United States, while Bruno Fievet is an entrepreneur based in Switzerland.
Giving a scratch to Alain Juppé, who was mayor of Bordeaux at the time King Street had bought the club from M6, Pierre Hurmic claimed that “The town hall will not be a registration chamber as in the past, but a very active partner”. Then in the opposition, Pierre Hurmic had voted against the takeover of the club, in September 2018, by the American fund.
“A waste and an opportunity”
“Bordeaux city hall has a vision of what a club should be like in its city. The Girondins will celebrate their 140e anniversary this year, they are part of our heritage, part of the soul of the city of Bordeaux ”, insisted Mr. Hurmic. “It is totally out of the question that we can accept that a club like this is sold to the highest bidder and to new hedge funds, or American pension funds”, he continued.
He felt that the departure from King Street was a “Political, economic, sporting, but also ethical failure in the management of the club”, seeing “Both a waste and an opportunity”. The timing of the departure from King Street “Lack of elegance, and I am polite”, he said … “We don’t quit like that at the end of a championship. “
King Street announced Thursday evening that he no longer wanted to finance the club, plunging the Girondins into uncertainty as they fight to remain in Ligue 1 (L1). The club is now in the hands of the Bordeaux Commercial Court, which has appointed an ad hoc representative, tasked with finding a solution to its financial situation – a solution which most certainly involves the search for a buyer. The “Commercial court is perfectly capable of ensuring that the club is passed on to a serious buyer”, said Mr. Hurmic.
The withdrawal from King Street comes amid an acute sports crisis – Bordeaux is 16e of L1 and not assured of the maintenance – and very strong tensions between the president, Frédéric Longuépée, and the Ultramarines, the main group of supporters, exacerbated since the end of 2019 following a ticketing affair.