This is a crucial moment for the Girondins de Bordeaux. On Tuesday, President Gérard Lopez’s club is expected by the DNCG, which will decide whether or not to validate its accounts. The setbacks have multiplied in recent weeks for Gerard Lopez, with a blurred image following his stint in Lille from where he was ousted for financial problems at the end of 2020.
Mouscron, a Belgian club he has owned since 2020, had to declare bankruptcy after seeing his professional license not renewed. Boavista, a Portuguese club also taken over in 2020, was banned from recruiting by FIFA for unpaid compensation. Then ten days ago, the Luxembourg prosecutor’s office sent the businessman to a criminal court for “forgery” and “use of forgery” during a transfer of funds dating back to 2014 between the team. of F1 Lotus, which he managed at the time, and the club of Fola Esch, in the Grand Duchy, of which he gave up the presidency in 2017.
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The historic relegation of Bordeaux, which he took over last July, did nothing to help Mr. Lopez’s business. “I made mistakes“, “it is for me a personal failure, and I take responsibility for it“, recognized the leader on May 21, just before the last day of L1. “Saving the club is and remains my goal“, he also added. Because the Bordeaux patient is a great patient of football business, damaged by the calamitous management of the American fund GACP in addition to the health crises, TV and sports rights which have definitively made him sink.
Before the passage Tuesday before the financial policeman of French football, the DNCG, the Girondins tried to negotiate with their creditors King Street and Fortress their debt of 50 million euros and their debt ratio. To what extent have they achieved this? The sale of club-trained Aurélien Tchouameni to Real Madrid, which will bring nearly 11 million euros to Bordeaux, pending that of Jules Koundé tracked by Chelsea, as well as the reduction in the wage bill compared to the GACP era , could also serve their purpose and reassure the DNCG.
The operating deficit is around 40 million euros, which the Girondins hope to make up for by selling their most highly rated players such as Hwang Ui-Jo, Alberth Elis or Junior Onana, in addition to the 7 million parachute. euros paid by the LFP to any demoted club and 8.5 million euros from the CVC investment fund.
Still, to get the green light from the DNCG and start again next season in L2 with a projected budget of 41 million euros and balanced accounts, Lopez and his company Jogo Bonito will have to put their hands in their pockets, in the form of a significant own contributions as desired by the King Street and Fortress lending funds, or through new partners or sponsors.
Gérard Lopez at the UNFP trophy ceremony, May 19, 2019
Credit: Getty Images
If on Tuesday the supervisory body deems the financial guarantees insufficient, it can pronounce an administrative demotion as a precaution in National (3rd division). The Girondins would then have six days to appeal and two weeks to appear for a second hearing, this time set before the federal DNCG.
If the accounts are then approved, Bordeaux can return to L2, the championship of which begins at the end of July. Otherwise, the club will go to a bankruptcy filing before the Commercial Court and a receivership procedure. With an option on the table: the National if the club is taken over, the amateur level (5th division) in the event of liquidation.
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