The specter of receivership fades for Bordeaux after the announcement of an agreement with the former boss of the champions of France Lille on Tuesday.
A judicial reorganization weighed for weeks on the Girondins de Bordeaux: it was dismissed Tuesday after the announcement of an agreement between the former majority shareholder King Street, its lessor Fortress and Gérard Lopez, back in L1 six months after having been disembarked from the presidency of Lille.
After fear, relief. All day Tuesday, supporters and lovers of the Girondins feared that President Frédéric Longuépée, as the club’s corporate officer, would trigger the much feared judicial reorganization procedure, with uncertain sporting consequences.
The club’s statement to the scapular issued shortly after 6 p.m. ended the suspense. “Following long discussions in recent days, an agreement was finally found between King Street, Fortress and Gérard Lopez validating the project carried by the latter.».
Lopez, 49, boss of LOSC from January 2017 to December 2020, who made his fortune in new technologies, brings “the guarantees requested by the Board of Directors», Thus meeting the expectations of the Rothschild investment bank, responsible for the sale of the club, which had itself approached the Spanish-Luxembourg businessman a few weeks ago with regard to his profile.
The question was whether the former owner of the Lotus Formula 1 team, who manages two other European clubs, Mouscron in Belgium and Boavista in Portugal, had the financial capacity to buy the Girondins, a historic club with six league titles. from France, but relegated to the soft underbelly of the L1 for several seasons.
An agreement welcomed by elected officials
A time allied with another potential buyer, Pascal Rigo, a Girondin who made his fortune in the bakery in California, Lopez finally concluded the deal alone with “his personal funds», According to the daily Sud Ouest, and with the help of the Scapular Club, which brings together 250 entrepreneurs, mainly local, who have contributed around 5 million euros.
«A first step has been taken. We have now submitted a solid offer, able to meet the expectations of the various stakeholders“, Said Mr. Lopez in a statement sent to AFP.
For the sale to be effective, Mr. Lopez must now provide guarantees to the Metropolis, whose president Alain Anziani welcomed the agreement, on the payment of the stadium rent (4.9 million euros per year) and will have to also convince the DNCG, the financial policeman of the Professional Football League, that his plan is viable.
His passage in front of the DNCG scheduled for early July will be scrutinized, in particular by Toulouse, beaten during the maintenance / accession barrage in L1 by Nantes and who could be promoted on the green carpet in the event of Bordeaux demotion.
In the meantime, local elected officials have also expressed the beginnings of relief. “The information of an agreement found closes this sequence of hesitation and doubts“, Wrote the mayor (EELV) of Bordeaux Pierre Hurmic, who assures that he will remain”vigilant on the strength and sustainability of the proposed economic model and awaits the rapid establishment of new relationships of trust between the club and the city».
Lopez and the Lille heritage
The other takeover offer, carried by Didier Quillot, former executive director of the Professional Football League (LFP), which demanded that King Street respect an arrangement made in July 2020 before the DNCG, namely to reset the accounts to zero at June 30, which represented 27 million euros, was favored by certain Bordeaux leaders, especially in the event of judicial reorganization.
Seeing Lopez return to the circuit, seven months after being ejected from the presidency of Lille, future champion, by the American investment fund Elliott Management, could however tense up more than one.
Particularly in the North where his passage, based on player trading, was certainly beneficial in sport with a LOSC replaying the leading roles, but not financially, with a debt of more than 120 million euros, the main reason for his ousting in last december.
These “casserolesAre known to Girondins supporters who feared above all the scenario of a judicial reorganization, and for the moment are satisfied with the outcome. “Even though no one can predict the future, it’s a huge relief!», Tweeted the Ultramarines, the main group of supporters, now eager for information on the future organization chart of their club and the competitiveness of the club in the scapular.