The main shareholder of the Girondins de Bordeaux, King Street, has decided to withdraw from the club, after a series of fiascos on the sporting front and with the supporters.
This Thursday April 2, the American dreams of the Girondins de Bordeaux have definitely come to an end. The American King Street fund, owner of the club, has decided to withdraw. In a press release, this decision is justified by the financial difficulties caused by the health crisis and the crisis in TV rights. But this departure of the shareholders seemed inevitable in view of the various fiascos encountered by the club since their arrival in 2018.
In November 2018, after 19 years of stability with M6 as owner, the Girondins de Bordeaux were sold to American funds. King Street becomes the majority shareholder of the club, taking 86.4% of the capital, and General American Capital Partners (GACP) holds 13.6%. But quickly, relations are strained between the two camps. At the center of the discord: the lifestyle of the club, whose deficit would have worsened, while the wage bill increased by 11 million euros, and that the leaders of GACP would pass many personal expenses in notes of fresh.
Finally, in December 2019, King Street decided to buy GACP’s shares to find himself alone at the helm. In a press release, the club justifies this operation by “fundamental differences in governance“. But since then, the economic situation of the FCGB has not improved, and the deficit would now exceed 50 million euros. This Thursday, April 22, the American fund is therefore announcing”that he no longer wishes to support the club and finance his current and future needs“. The club is therefore placed under the protection of the Bordeaux Commercial Court, hoping to find a buyer.
Demonstrations in town, foray into Haillan, invaded lawn… The supporters demanded the resignation of longtime President Frédéric Longuépée. As early as 2019, the management alienated part of the public by changing those responsible for the security of the Matmut-Atlantique stadium and by limiting access to the bends of the enclosure. In spring 2020, the Ultramarines, a group of FCGB supporters, unveil the “Girondins leaks”, a series of audio recordings, from private meetings between club leaders and some supporters. We hear the voices of Frédéric Longuépée and Anthony Thiodet, former marketing director of the club. They admit having made work employees while they were on leave or partial unemployment, and criticize former players of the club opposed to their policy. Anthony Thiodet is then thanked.
In early summer 2020, the FCGB unveils its new logo, which fans don’t like. Florian Brunet, responsible for the Ultramarines, then calls for a boycott of products derived from the club.
The supporters’ sling does not stop there. In August 2020, the day after the departure of trainer Paulo Sousa, Bordeaux ultras managed to enter Haillan, to once again demand the departure of Frédéric Longuépée. And recently, a poster campaign calling for his capture made the CEO jump, who filed a complaint against X.
In March 2019, the new owners separate from Ricardo, the last coach recruited under the M6 era, and recruit Paulo Sousa. A year later, the Portuguese technician drew up a bitter assessment of his first year on the Gironde bench: “Turbulence, a lot of promises that are not kept, a lot of uncertainties, problems not yet solved“. While the objective was to play for European places, Sousa and his team finished in 12th position in a season aborted by the health crisis. Disappointed with the means at his disposal, he told his executives of his wish to leave the Bordeaux project in June 2020, but finally remained a few more weeks before deciding to leave, in August, two weeks before the resumption of the championship. He was then replaced by Jean-Louis Gasset in a club which had, time of his best hours, Aimé Jacquet on the bench for nine consecutive seasons.