Will there be a buyer at the foot of the AS Saint-Etienne Christmas tree next month? The supporters of the Greens are entitled to doubt it. On Tuesday, the consulting firm KPMG said that none of the candidates declared for the takeover of the famous French club had been selected for lack of sufficient guarantees.
“Guarantees of investment in the development of the club or guarantees of the origin of funds have not been provided to date. None of the candidates can therefore enter into exclusive negotiations ”for a recovery, we can read in a press release shared by ASSE.
The candidates had until November 8 to present a firm offer to Bernard Caïazzo, chairman of the supervisory board, and Roland Romeyer, chairman of the management board. Olivier Markarian, a Drôme entrepreneur, had made an offer. A project led by Jean-Michel Roussier and former player Mathieu Bodmer, with the support of a Swiss investment fund backed by Canadian and Chinese capital, was also in the running. Two projects refused therefore, while the hopes raised by a Cambodian prince were showered at the beginning of the month in a battle of staggering press releases. A first attempt to sell was aborted in spring 2018 between AS Saint-Étienne and the American investment fund Peak6.
New candidates would have come into play
AS Saint-Etienne does not want to be defeatist, however. New candidates presented “files that meet the criteria requested by KPMG,” said the press release. “The shareholders await with serenity the recommendations of the audit firm concerning these candidates, whose financial capacity is indisputable, with a desire to conclude as soon as possible”.
However, it is difficult to know how quickly these tracks will be studied. According to Le Progrès, the urgency to sell would indeed be the subject of debate within the two-headed management. Roland Romeyer is still of the opinion that the successor will not take long to take part directly in the winter transfer window in January. Bernard Caïazzo would be more inclined to invest from his pocket. The underlying idea is to save the club from relegation and to offer investors a club that is brighter than it currently is.
Still last in Ligue 1 a fortnight ago, which led to the drop in the club’s market value (between 10 and 12 million euros), Claude Puel’s men have since raised their heads and garnered their first two successes of the season. This made it possible to go back to a point of the first non-relegation with 12 points, but remains far, very far from the prestige of such an institution.