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“There are things more serious than the descent of … / France / Girondins de Bordeaux /

Metropolitan Councilor of Bordeaux Métropole, Philippe Poutou is therefore no stranger to the unprecedented crisis that the Girondins are going through. Nostalgic for the Lescure years, those who boycott the Matmut Atlantique are now in favor of a reset complete for the club of his heart. And without Gérard Lopez, of course.


The Council of Bordeaux Métropole recently discussed the situation of the Girondins, through the question of the rent of the stadium. What is the story that emerges from the last meetings?
There is a kind of sacred union, with the left and the right together to save the Girondins. Everyone thinks this is the posture to adopt, we have the impression that this is the drama of the moment in the region and that if we are not interested in it, we risk being on the fringes of the population. We, we want to talk about the substance of the problem, which is indisputable: racketeering in sport, the buyer who is bogus, as there are so many elsewhere. But we don’t discuss that at all. The only thing is to save the Girondins at all costs. I am convinced that there are elected representatives on the left, and even some on the right, who find this disproportionate, but who do not say so, because they feel a kind of pressure from the leaders who set the tone. It was only me who said that I would not be in this union, because there are other problems to manage: health, squats, homeless people, and that if there are demonstrations to be carried out, it is rather on this side that we must act and challenge the government.

“There are more serious things going on. In Bordeaux, as in many other cities, there are other disasters. »

You regret that some of your colleagues are too emotional. Do you find that they find it more difficult to hit big capital when their passion or even their supporterism gets involved?
Absolutely, there is a comfortable side to lining up with the supporters who are mobilizing. The less we talk about the background, financial affairs, sports business, the more we are in the emotion, the heritage side and the ” You realize ? The Girondins, what! Alain Giresse, the Lescure stadium… » and all that stuff. The mayor and the former mayor of Bordeaux even demonstrated side by side behind a banner. It was almost comical to see that the only moment of demonstration in which they participated was that one, while at the same time, there are more serious things happening. In Bordeaux, as in many cities elsewhere, there are other disasters: hospital emergencies no longer work, there are requests from nursing staff, childcare workers… There is discontent that are there, on the disintegration of the public service, on factories threatened with closing too. All that, we do not talk about in the deliberations.

And you, concretely, what is your position? Do you think that the metropolis should intervene to help the club?
The angle of intervention of the metropolis concerns only the question of the rent of the stadium, in particular through deferrals of rent, even freezes or cancellations. If there was this helping hand, conditioned on the prohibition of a redundancy plan behind, it would be completely correct from the metropolis. Except there isn’t even that. We come to wonder what it means to help a company capable of spending so much money on wages that are, for us, unjustified. They paid dearly for players, management and a coach, as well as his multimillion-euro severance pay. We are not opposed to the idea of ​​giving a hand, but that supposes conditions behind at least.

In the past, you had already mentioned the idea of ​​the club going back to the municipal level. Is this a feasible solution today?
As long as the issue of filing for bankruptcy is a fairly likely prospect, with potential relegation confirmed on July 19, that would be the only possible solution. But what a waste of time, what a waste! A year ago, when the choice was made to give the club to Gérard Lopez, there was this possibility that I had put on the table and which had been refused. The aspect that we tried to evoke is to “take advantage” of the fall of the club to rebuild it on sounder bases, that is to say to start again on a sports club at the municipal level. , with values ​​such as equal pay for women’s and men’s football and the fight against discrimination, which would mark a break with this capitalist and business logic. But that’s not to the liking, because no one believes it’s possible to build a big club outside of the current rules.

“I think I was the only one to have voted against the takeover of the Girondins by Gérard Lopez, but I was not the only one to think that it was not good. You know, when there is an assembly of 104 elected members, with pressure, there are many who dare not emancipate themselves. »

Was Gérard Lopez really legitimate to take over the Girondins?
I think I was the only one who voted against his takeover of the Girondins, but I was not the only one who thought it was not good. You know, when there is an assembly of 104 elected members, with pressure, there are many who dare not emancipate themselves. Me, I simply took what was in the press: Lopez already had problems with justice in Lille, as well as stories with Boavista. No one took it into account. I said it was not possible to trust a wheeler-dealer like him. The difference between Lopez and the others is that some really have the means and that gives billionaire clubs that hold up: Manchester City, Juve, Real Madrid… even if morally, it’s not better. When Lopez arrived, he had no money. He took everything he could have: gifts from the metropolis, TV rights… It’s the opposite of how we think sport should be managed.

“Money does not prevent social catastrophes. Look, there could be a redundancy plan which would concern 200 and some employees, it’s huge! Employees who will toast when they have nothing to do with it. »

Gérard Lopez announced a few days ago that he had reinjected 14 million euros from his pocket and that the club’s debt had been reduced by 75%. What inspires you?
We asked ourselves the question at the last metropolitan council: why was Gérard Lopez’s plan refused by the DNCG? Today, we wonder why these additional contributions come later? Why does he not do it before when a lot was played on July 5? What are his arrangements? With whom ? His credibility has plummeted, but no one dares to say so. Above all, we should not screw up the slightest chance that the Girondins have left to remain in professional sport. Money does not prevent social catastrophes. Look, there could be a redundancy plan which would concern 200 and some employees, it’s huge! Employees who will toast when they have nothing to do with it. Women’s football, the same, there is not even a watertight barrier, a partition that would save things that work not too badly.

On the board of Bordeaux Métropole, you affirmed that there had been tens of millions of euros used “opaque manner” among the Girondins. What were you referring to?

I relied on an article by Release, released at the end of June and written by someone who is not from Bordeaux and who therefore did not have this form of pressure to absolutely want to save the Girondins. He spoke in particular of the coach who had been sacked and the compensation that it was going to cost the club. Because when a coach or a player is fired, it’s not the same compensation as what a worker would take. There was also the story of Koscielny, retired in a bizarre way when the club needed him. I wanted to put my finger on several stories like these, handled without any transparency, which cost a lot. I don’t see why the community should help, but not get involved in all that is unhealthy.

On a personal level, how have you experienced this season from a sporting point of view?
I haven’t been to the stadium since Lescure was left out. My boycott of the Matmut Atlantique hasn’t been very harsh in recent years, given how little spectacle there was. Even though I don’t live far away, I could walk there and despite my kid’s desire to go there, I’m not going. But I never completely moved away from the Girondins. This descent into Ligue 2, or even National, it pisses me off, but I won’t say it too much, because I wouldn’t want it to interfere with my speech. At the metropolitan council, I mentioned to them the names of Robert Buigues, Jean-Pierre Tokoto, Christian Delachet… I spoke of the 5-2 victory of the Girondins against PSG in 1978. I am not at all indifferent to what’s going on, but shit, don’t get caught up in the emotional side.

“Why would the Girondins not have the right to go down? There may be nineteen teams that work better. »

Do you attribute responsibility to the players?
We have the right not to be good. It’s the law of football, there is a first and some who go down. We must not blame the players or the coach, whether they are good or stupid… We are happy when there is a title or a cup, but we must not be so dramatic when there is a descent. What is problematic is that there are financial consequences. Why would the Girondins not have the right to descend? There may be nineteen teams that work better. It is the boss of the club who has the biggest responsibilities in what happened, it looks like a chronicle of an announced disaster.

Do you have the feeling that the situation of the Girondins tells something about money in sport?
I think it’s an example to study, which is typical of the embezzlement of money in professional sport, which leads to breaking everything, destroying everything. At least, if the club goes down, it will create conditions for a challenge. As much as it helps to put everything back on track, and see how we can build on socially sound foundations. But it can also very well drop and give nothing.

Interview by Alexandre Lejeune



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