Laurent Kocielny, Benoit Costil and Paul Baysse.
NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP
The Girondins host Nîmes on Sunday (3 p.m.).
A team of “our championship”, underlines Benoit Costil.
Today, Bordeaux no longer plays in the big leagues.
For a decade, the club has seen an endless downgrade in Ligue 1.
In difficulty economically, the Bordelais can no longer fight for the top of the table and quietly become a team of the soft underbelly of the championship.
He said it.
Last Saturday, Benoit Costil finally said out loud what everyone has been thinking for a little while after the Girondins de Bordeaux defeat at the Vélodrome against OM (3-1).
At the same time, it could only come from him, a lucid player, without language of wood and who always assumes his responsibilities.
His media release is short but says a lot: “We're going to get back to work, raise our heads and work in our own championship… against Nîmes.
“All this while looking completely annoyed at Laurent Paganelli's microphone.
A few minutes later, Jean-Louis Gasset himself was not even disappointed but just realistic: “The match in Nîmes [this Sunday, 3 pm, at Matmut Atlantique] will be like the match against Dijon [victory, 3- 0].
It's an important game.
All the teams, except the six or seven who are at the top, are in our championship.
This is the harsh reality of the moment for the Bordeaux supporters.
Their team is no longer one of those teams fighting for the top of the table.
This downgrading, they have been living it since 2009 and the last of the club's six French league titles.
Without knowing where it will end.
So how to explain this interminable tumble?
From the 3rd to the 10th budget of Ligue 1
As often in football and many other sectors, everything comes from the sinews of war: money.
At the end of the 2009/2010 season and its quarter-final of the Champions League against Lyon, the club posted the third largest budget in Ligue 1 (81 million) behind OL and OM.
At the time, far ahead of Monaco, Lille, Nice, Rennes, Saint-Etienne or even Nantes.
The list is important because ten years later, all these clubs now have a bigger budget than Bordeaux, having often doubled or even tripled theirs.
Today, the Girondins are one of the very few clubs to refuse to communicate on their budget but it is only the 10th or 11th in the championship, around 70 million euros like Reims.
If the recent acquisition of certain clubs can explain this downgrading (as a reminder, Bordeaux was also bought in 2018), there are other reasons.
What has happened at the Château du Haillan in a decade?
Nothing or rather “anything” as a former Bordeaux leader puts it: “For me, there are two completely missed turns.
The one after the league title where the club offered huge contracts to some players who plagued the accounts for a while and that of the change of stadium in 2015 which was poorly prepared and even completely missed.
During this whole period, the costs were not reduced [126 million euros of expenses in 2018/2019] while the revenues were in free fall [71 million euros in 2018/2019 excluding transfer].
An example, in 2010, the merchandising brought 8 million euros to the club, today it is less than 2 million.
The club has therefore been living for years with a substantial structural deficit of 30 million euros.
A former employee of the club also points to the very structure of the Girondins to explain this situation: “We were 250 employees not long ago.
They've even hired 30 people recently [mostly sales people].
It's more than OL or OM when we have a budget two or three times smaller.
In comparison, clubs like Reims, Saint-Etienne or Angers, with which we struggle, have around sixty employees.
It's impossible to hold on.
" He concludes :
It's simple, the Girondins have a Champions League club structure while they play 10th place in Ligue 1!
In this slump, King Street bailed out the funds like M6 in his time of 27.8 million euros this summer according to
but in exchange the American investment fund owner of Marine et Blanc asked Frédéric Longuépée to apply an austerity plan to reduce costs as much as possible.
The CEO of Girondins has even appointed in recent days a new financial director specializing in financial restructuring.
From a title of champion to the soft belly of the championship
In this context, the athlete cannot come out unscathed since it is linked to the economic health of the club.
And vice versa.
Again, it has nothing to do with it.
Apart from a Coupe de France won in 2013 and a few European qualifiers obtained by snatch, the record is very poor.
Bordeaux has just finished consecutively 14th and 12th in Ligue 1. In terms of the workforce, the Girondins can no longer resist any club when a player starts to shine (Koundé).
Sometimes, they even push them to leave (Youssouf).
In the other direction, the club has mainly chained the flops (Contento, Arrambarri, Kiese Thelin, Gajic, Cafu, etc.).
Few of the recruits have shone under the scapular jersey apart from Malcom and Costil in recent years.
As a reminder before the signing of Hatem Ben Arfa in early October, the Navy and White were one of the only three clubs in Europe and the only one in Ligue 1 not to have recruited during this summer transfer window for lack of resources.
The 2013 Coupe de France is the last trophy won by the Girondins.
- THOMAS SAMSON / AFP
On the ground, the results against the cadors or outsiders of Ligue 1 are scary.
For five years and without even talking about PSG, the Girondins have only beaten OL three times, once OM and never Nice in the last 11 matches in the league.
Once Rennes during this same period.
Finally, only Monaco, Lille and Saint-Etienne still succeed a little in Bordeaux.
Gone are the days when the opponents trembled in the Chaban-Delmas corridor even before entering the lawn when they saw the Giresse, Laslandes, Wiltord, Gourcuff and other Chamakh.
And precisely, this is one of the problems for Sidney Govou who lived the last good years in Bordeaux as an opponent and continues to follow the club closely:
“Bordeaux suffers from the same evil as many French clubs, that of constantly living in the past!
Twenty years he's been living in the past.
It remains a big name in French football but to perpetuate a club, you must not live on the past but build its future.
Even if it is extremely hard to hear, if they are there today it is because they deserve it.
The one who wore number 14 in his career in reference to Jean Tigana and almost signed for Bordeaux under Ricardo in the mid-2000s admits that “as a kid he dreamed of playing at the Girondins like many children, today it is not at all the case for a young player.
Here is the problem.
Beyond the economic factor, the sporting attractiveness of the club is very low.
"For him," we should be able to distribute from zero and start over even if it's hard to accept.
But we don't even know what the owners of this club want to do.
Today, finishing 7th in Ligue 1 is a good season and it hurts to say because I have affection for this club.
But no one will blame him since if Frédéric Longuépée regularly reminds us that the club must play the European Cup regularly, his own sporting director Alain Roche is just talking about being in the top 10 this season.
And we are talking about the Girondins.
A healthy and family club image tarnished in a certain anonymity
But the downgrading is not only economic and sporting in the Girondins, it is also media.
The club has fallen into a certain anonymity in recent years.
Televisions are no longer rushing to Haillan or not for the right reasons.
The poster for Sunday evening, Bordeaux no longer has the right to share from time to time against OM or even PSG.
Our dossier on Ligue 1
The correspondent of a major national sports media admits "to do less and less content on the club, the attractiveness is no longer the same.
On the field with the results but also because there are no more bankable players.
Ben Arfa is the exception that proves the rule.
And then there is also the communication of the club, it is completely closed on him.
It's a bunker.
“To the point that today the Girondins are no longer even masters of their territory with the emergence of the Union Bordeaux-Bèlges.
Hatem Ben Arfa, the new striker of the Girondins de Bordeaux.
- Mehdi Fedouach / AFP
Joe DaGrosa, chairman of the GACP investment fund associated in a King Street Premier, tried to change that with big statements and a very well orchestrated communications campaign.
But it all turned against him.
“The worst thing is that for 5-6 years when we talk about the club, it is to smash it or just make fun of it.
The image is catastrophic, ”adds our colleague.
The last few months are the best example of this with repeated non-sporting affairs (shareholders, managers, supporters, etc.).
The field had almost become secondary and when it returns to the front of the stage, it is to signal, as last week, the weakness of the performance of the Bordeaux people against OM.
Managers, coaches, players… Where are the Girondins de Bordeaux?
- 20 Minutes (@ 20Minutes) August 21, 2020
We are therefore very far from the club that Joe DaGrosa wanted "to bring back in three years in the Champions League".
These great declarations are now mocked and make a leader of M6 laugh yellow: "We were criticized at the time because we had found ourselves over the years in the second circle of Ligue 1 but two years later, the Girondins are now in the third circle and perhaps in some time the fourth, that of the teams fighting for maintenance.
Mathilde Johansson, former pro tenniswoman, at the service of the Girondins de Bordeaux
OM-Girondins de Bordeaux: "Our championship against Nîmes", the Bordeaux residents lucid on their (low) level
Girondins of Bordeaux