The American investment fund King Street, owner of the Girondins de Bordeaux, announced on Thursday April 22 that it “Wishes more to support the club and finance current and future needs”. The club, resident of Ligue 1 (L1), was placed under the protection of the Bordeaux commercial court.
“An ad hoc representative has been appointed [qui] will be responsible for assisting FC Girondins de Bordeaux in their search for a lasting solution ”, explained the training in a statement, evoking “The economic context linked to the Covid-19 pandemic and [le] withdrawal of Mediapro [ayant] caused an unprecedented drop in revenues for French football clubs ”.
The disappearance of part of the television broadcasting rights with the withdrawal, in December 2020, four months after its debut in France, of Mediapro, had left many clubs facing cash flow concerns.
“These events are in addition to the financial consequences that already hit clubs hard last season due to the cessation of the championship and the resulting loss of income”, continues the club.
Sports crisis and tensions with supporters
The King Street announcement is also part of a sports crisis – Bordeaux is 16e of L1 and fight for its maintenance – and very strong tensions between the president, Frédéric Longuépée, and the main group of supporters, the Ultramarines.
Exacerbated since a ticketing affair, at the end of 2019, they were amplified in spring 2020 with the broadcast of the “Girondins Leaks”, a series of audio recordings from private meetings held between December 2019 and March 2020 between Bordeaux leaders and club subscribers, and broadcast by the Ultramarines on social networks.
King Street was the sole master on board in Bordeaux since he bought his shares in the American fund GACP (General American Capital Partners) from Joe DaGrosa, with whom he had taken over the club in 2018, until then owned by the M6 channel.
Majority shareholder without a face, nor showing an overflowing passion for football, King Street has in total invested 46 million euros in equity – according to the club’s statement – to cross, twice, the obstacle of the National Management Control Department.
“A page will have to be turned”
This withdrawal “Unfortunately not a big surprise for me”, reacted quickly the mayor of Bordeaux, Pierre Hurmic (Europe Ecologie-Les Verts). “The club’s takeover plan, against which I voted in 2018 [en tant que conseiller municipal d’opposition], did not seem, from the start, in a position to ensure its sustainability. This seems to be confirmed today. “
“A page will have to be turned, he added. Everything must be done to put in place a solution ensuring the sustainability of this club. All its supporters, partners and supporters will have to show solidarity and vigilance so that the great sporting adventure of the Girondins de Bordeaux, which began 140 years ago, continues. “
Is the club in danger of disappearing? “This is what can happen”, declared on RMC the legend of the Girondins Alain Giresse, who said “Betrayed by people who are totally incompetent in the field of football and who did not come here to play sports, but to do business”.
It will not be for lack of having said it, written it, rehearsed it, sung it, shouted it. At the time of writing, two elements… https://t.co/7sUwevF2oO
In a tweet, the Ultramarines demanded the “Immediate and immediate departure” by Frédéric Longuépée and hoped that King Street “Working in the coming hours for a healthy and sustainable club sale”.
The players, who left to go green in Brittany for their match in Lorient on Sunday, were notified of the news when they got off the plane. The other club employees were informed by an internal email.