The stands of Chaban-Delmas are full again this season for the UBB. - Daniel Vaquero / SIPA
- The Bordeaux-Bègles Union can take over the top 14 in the event of a victory against Lyon this Saturday (3.30pm).
- For this poster, the Chaban-Delmas stadium will be sold out for the first time in five years.
- Christophe Urios' team again attracts thanks to historic sports results and spectacular play.
Words and deeds. Christophe Urios would surely have made a very good guest of the former France 2 show. When the manager of the Union Bordeaux-Bègles says something, it is very often followed up.
Since taking office last summer, Christophe Urios repeats to anyone who wants to hear it (and especially to journalists) that his number 1 objective this season is "to win back the hearts of our supporters". Only six months after arriving in Gironde, the UBB will challenge this Saturday (3.30 p.m.) the leader of the Top 14, the LOU, in a sold-out Chaban-Delmas stadium (34,000 spectators). A first for more than five years.
Slow but real erosion
The last time was November 8, 2017 at the reception of Stade Toulousain. At the time, the Bordelo-Bèglais chain the big crowds thanks to sports results always better since their rise in 2011, and a very spectacular game. During the 2015-2016 season, the club even reached the bar of 25,000 spectators on average. The UBB has won the title of first audience in Europe on several occasions.
# Top14 Mid-season crowds
🥈Stad T. 21919
4⃣Stad R. 16000
🔟Stad F. 11319
🔢Agen 8210 pic.twitter.com/cDpn4xyMrt
But in recent years, erosion has been felt in the stands, slow but real as shown by the average attendance of the last two seasons: 22,000 on average in 2017-2018, 20,500 in 2018-2019. Disappointing results, successive managers, a game that has become almost boring, a stadium that is whistling ... The break was even close between the Bordeaux-Bègles Union and its supporters at the end of last season with a new non-qualification for the final stages . So is it unexpected for President Laurent Marti to see Chaban-Delmas full so quickly?
No, because we have known for several seasons that we have won over a large audience. The best in France for six years. After it is true that we were missing a very large crowd like that (except record at Matmut Atlantique against La Rochelle last December). But we know that this audience is never far away.
And he quickly found his way back on the spur of historic sports results for the club (second in the championship) with the added bonus of 10 out of 10 at home since the start of the season in all competitions.
The results but above all the way
For Laurent Marti, there is more important than that today, it is "the way": "That is something I had said to Christophe [Urios] when he arrived. Here, it's not just the result that counts, people want to see the game as well. ”The Bordelais is demanding. Very demanding. And the former trainer from Castres understood this before even disembarking while knowing in the back of his mind that his workforce would not lack talent (Jalibert, Radradra, Cordero…). So, as he once said to its president: "Ferrari cars can't be left in the garage!" "
Bordeaux: Character, Urios, workforce, Radradra ... How to explain the metamorphosis of UBB? https://t.co/vmJjc2i8uv via @ 20minutesBord pic.twitter.com/Avh12MSkMb- 20minutesbordeaux (@ 20minutesbord) December 1, 2019
Since the start of the season, they have been leading the Chaban-Delmas turf with an average of 33 points scored per game. Enough to give their manager a smile: “Yes, the goal is partly achieved because there are people at the stadium and there is a real emulation around the club because people recognize themselves in the team. "
"We know very well that in this city as soon as there are results, people come," explains Nicolas Bessellere, the co-president of United BB, one of the four groups of supporters of the UBB. Those who have doubled their number of members this season also highlight the role of Urios in this renewal with, for example, the organization of meetings with supporters throughout the year. A real novelty.
Always good for club finances
This return of the crowd is also great news for finances. A little in the red at the end of last season, the UBB will surely always be in deficit this year but the ticket office could help to get closer to balance more quickly: “Last season, it represented 15% of the overall budget. If we find our average of four years ago, that will help us. After that, we don't do crazy numbers because we have a pricing policy which is one of the lowest in the Top 14. Five euros in the bend (seven for the gala matches), I want to, "recalls Laurent Marti.
A president who especially hopes to move forward on another project. For him, "there is a big partner space missing at this stage". He wants to build a large glass reception room at the top of one of the two bends. A “real need” when the partners represent 45% of the club's budget.
Meanwhile, like the 34,000 spectators, Laurent Marti hopes to see his team win Saturday against the LOU and at the same time regain first place in the Top 14. And for that, it will take action. He can count on Christophe Urios on this point: “It remains fragile [this return from the public]. Frankly, it's great but nothing is acted! "
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Bordeaux: Character, Urios, workforce, Radradra ... How to explain the metamorphosis of UBB?
- LOU Rugby
- Top 14