Saint-Etienne (AFP)

The general manager of AS Saint-Étienne, Xavier Thuilot, is leaving the Saint-Etienne club, ASSE announced on Sunday in a press release, once again illustrating its chronic instability by a change of manager.

The direction of the Greens did not wish to explain the reasons for this departure beyond the official communication.

On the sporting front, Claude Puel, appointed general manager and member of the Management Board like Thuilot, arrived in October 2019, i.e. the fifth coach of Saint-Étienne since the departure of Christophe Galtier (December 2009-June 2017).

After Galtier, the Spaniard Oscar Garcia, Julien Sablé, Jean-Louis Gasset and Ghislain Printant took over at the helm of the first team.

For eleven years, this is also the fourth change of CEO after Vincent Tong Cuong (2004-December 2009), Stéphane Tessier (January 2010-September 2015), Roland Romeyer, who has been chairman for more than two years. of the Management Board and CEO, and Frédéric Paquet who only stayed for twenty months (January 9, 2018 - July 15, 2019).

Thuilot, 53, had held the same positions in Lille but also in 2011 at Racing Métro 92 (Rugby Top 14) then in Lens (2013-2015).

He arrived at the Greens at the same time as Puel, who had supported his arrival in Forez, in early October 2019.

The two men had known each other in Lille when Puel was the coach.

- The Greens 16th of L1 -

In a daily interview with L'Équipe, in the fall of 2019, Puel had justified the arrival of Thuilot: "We had already worked together in Lille and I needed someone in the cogs who could initiate and pass messages, be responsive and orderly, "he explained.

"After the difficulties of the course, the quality of our exchanges, the solidity of the whole team will give the viability or not to the project", added Puel.

Beaten Saturday in Reims (3-1), AS Saint-Étienne is only 16th in Ligue 1.

Puel therefore finds himself alone and his future at Saint-Étienne beyond this season - he is under contract until June 30, 2022 - now seems questionable.

The two men seemed inseparable in the project of sporting, economic and structural development of the club.

The agreement between Romeyer, Chairman of the Management Board and Thuilot quickly turned out to be quite difficult, the shareholder manager - with Bernard Caïazzo, Chairman of the Supervisory Board - being suspected of interventionism.

Romeyer and Thuilot would also not have agreed, in particular, on how to handle the dispute between ASSE and its guardian Stéphane Ruffier, whose dismissal was announced on January 4, but also on other files concerning the development of the club.

© 2021 AFP