After waiting for over a month, Vital N’Simba can finally plan for the next season. Arriving from Clermont in June to sign for Girondins de Bordeaux, the 29-year-old Congolese defender has been training for several weeks with the scapular club – without a contract. He has been waiting for his approval since the decision made on June 14 by the National Directorate of Management Control (DNCG), the financial police of French football, to administratively demote the Girondins to National 1.
The decision taken by the executive committee of the French Football Federation (FFF), Wednesday, July 27, explains the future of N’Simba, like all players in the Bordeaux workforce. The FFF body has decided to integrate the Girondins into Ligue 2, towards the direction of conciliation proposed on Monday by the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF).
For a hundred-year-old club, a historical monument of French football, this decision is a great relief – it avoids the bankruptcy filing that seems inevitable if there is a demotion in the amateur world – and a victory, after weeks of intense negotiations. After the confirmation of the DNCG’s appeal of the administrative demotion on July 5, Gérard Lopez, the president of the Girondins, reached agreements to demonstrate the financial capacity of the club to continue the activity next season.
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On July 19, the Bordeaux Commercial Court validated these agreements, giving weight to the Girondins’ file before they appeared before the CNOSF. Lopez agreed with the club’s creditors, the American investment fund Fortress and King Street, for the latter to write off half of the 53 million euro debt and restructure the other half.
The businessman has also put into sequestration 10 million euros in capital injection, through his Jogo Bonito Group holding company, and 14 million euros in guarantees, an amount the club says it wants to reach with the sale of players this summer. In fact, Sékou Mara was officially sold on Tuesday to the English club Southampton against 11 million euros.
A classic preseason for the players
All these guarantees convinced the executive committee of FFF. “I am relieved for the local ecosystem and I am also relieved personally. But, for me, this is just another step in the transformation of the club.declares, to world, Gerard Lopez. Bordeaux now look to the upcoming season, which begins with a first Ligue 2 match against Valenciennes on Saturday at the Matmut Atlantique stadium. For this meeting, the president of Bordeaux announced that places will be offered. However, in spite of “comfort” discussed within the club, the last few weeks have been particularly bad for some employees and some players.
“The internal communication of the club has angered the workers. The leaders repeated in front of every channel in front of the DNCG that everything is finedescribes the agent of a Girondins player. Little by little, we realized that not only did they not answer all the requests, but in addition they showed a complete one that I did not care about. There are deadlines that need to be met, and that is not the case. » When the DNCG was judged by the executive committee of the FFF, the CNOSF determined that the decision of the financial police of French football was legitimate at the time it was taken, because of the file presented at that time.
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With uncertainty until Wednesday about their future, all players should prepare for a potential quick departure. “We are working with other clubs to provide a base”agrees Boris Laval, agent of Vital N’Simba. “We remain alert, I asked other clubs if possible”confirms the agent of a Bordeaux player.
The players and staff, however, experienced a classic pre-season, to show themselves, as if nothing had happened, towards the Ligue 2 season. The Girondins thus played five friendlies games, and the players prepare themselves physically, like every summer, before the start of the championship.
August can be hectic
With three wins, one draw and one loss in five friendlies, said coach David Guion “satisfied” in the preseason. Without saying a word about the future of the club. The participation within the workforce explained by the fact that “This preparation is useful in any case for the players, whether their future is in Bordeaux or elsewhere”supported Boris Laval.
If Bordeaux is not thrown into the ground, the club falls behind in changing its workforce. After Sékou Mara, the Girondins look forward to a new start in August (Alberth Elis, Hwang Ui-jo, Junior Onana…). Tuesday August 2, the club must go for the last time before the DNCG, which can decide to regulate the salary or prohibit it from recruiting.
It is known that the Girondins must attract more players in August, Gérard Lopez assured “The goal is always to climb [en Ligue 1], if they [les] let work normally”. The poor start in Ligue 2 will harm this goal as only two teams will be promoted next year in the first division, due to the increase of eighteen clubs in the top flight in 2023-2024 .
“We believe in it, we wouldn’t be here otherwise. With five or six quality arrivals, the eleven will be very strong”, assured Boris Laval. For his part, another agent was less optimistic: “Because of the delay they took, I find it difficult to see Bordeaux coming back directly. And same situation [devant la DNCG] happen in a year. To the people at the head of the club, unfortunately, what happens is a quick rush. “We leave a strong financial base to rebuild”answered Gérard Lopez.
Considered dramatic at the end of May after the club’s relegation from Ligue 1, Bordeaux’s presence in Ligue 2 now works like a miracle. Supporters welcomed the decision of the FFF, as in July 2021, when the DNCG validated the takeover of the club by Gérard Lopez, when the Girondins were preparing to sink after the total withdrawal of the Fortress and King Street. Before finding vertigo in Ligue 1, the Girondins were not yet done with the emotional lift.