A French football memorial leaves the front of the stage. Officially relegated at the end of the last day, Saturday 21 May, Girondins de Bordeaux will develop into Ligue 2 for the first time since 1992. A descent that comes to punctuate a season of nightmares, as the team was not up to par while the controversy outside the grass made the atmosphere toxic.
However, Bordeaux ships started galleys long before the 2021-2022 fiscal year. The team has not qualified for European competition in the past three seasons, despite having done so 13 times since 2000. Since the club was taken over by a US investment fund in the fall of 2018, Navy and White have transformed from a European team deep into the standings. A look back at five symbolic dates for this retreat.
November 6, 2018: GACP takes over a club that is still European
In November 2018, after 19 years in the M6 fold, Purdue was acquired by the US investment fund General American Capital Partners (GACP) after several months of negotiations. “new [page] Opens ” As for Bordeaux, notes the former owner Nicolas de Tavernoust.
The page turns to M6, and a new page for FCGB opens. I wish the new management team a lot of success and thank the Girondins for these 19 years. We have had unforgettable moments of collective emotion and I will remain a staunch supporter of it Tweet embed pic.twitter.com/g4meTVmLSX
– Nicholas de Tavernost (@ndetavernost) November 6, 2018
The change comes after a poor start to the season. Uruguay coach Gustavo Pouille was sacked in August, and the team is still stuck at the bottom of the tournament, even if it still qualified for the Europa League group stage. Bordeaux played their last European match on December 13, 2018, against FC Copenhagen (1–0 win in Denmark), a few weeks after the arrival of GACP.
Fall 2019: distrust wins over supporters, King Street takes down GACP
The start of the 2019-2020 season is more exciting on the field. Bordeaux remains in contact with European markets almost until the armistice. On the other hand, behind the scenes does not dampen the tension. Fans began to stand against the club, especially after a ticket issue that would have prevented some fans from taking places in the south corner.
Above all, Girondin’s financial health worries more and more (a deficit of 25 million in 2018-2019 according to the LFP). Major shareholder King Street announced, on December 16, 2019, the purchase of minority shares in GACP, and confirms its interest in the long-term registration of Gironde.
May 2020: Bordeaux leaks plunge the club into a new crisis
While football across France is on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Girondins de Bordeaux are still talking about it. In early May 2020, the Ultramarines fan group revealed audio recordings from strategy meetings at the club’s helm. They are specifically targeting Vice President, Frederic Longiby, and Ticketing Director, Anthony Theodet, and are hotly contested. So the Ultras seek to denounce what they see as internal club mismanagement: ticket problems, sponsorship of amateur clubs for money… Relations between fans and management are not far from the point of no return.
April-May 2021: First cold sport sweats, King Street let’s go
At the end of the 2020-2021 season, Girondins got a taste of the pressures of a maintenance race for the first time. In the final race, the club spent two days in 16th place, five points from the playoff, with only a few days remaining. He finally finished in twelfth place.
At the same time, a shocking announcement came at the end of April: Bordeaux announced the Avenue King “He no longer wants to support the club and fund its current and future needs.”. Thus, the FCGB is under the protection of the Commercial Court of Bordeaux. The door is open to a takeover offer to avoid receivership. It arrived in June thanks to the Spanish-Luxembourg businessman Gerard Lopez.
The commercial court in July ratified the former president’s takeover of Lille. Allows the Girondins, in the crosshairs of the DNCG, to avoid administrative demotion.
February 17, 2022: Bordeaux adrift and David Guillon arrives
Following the sacking of Vladimir Petkovic, who was sacked after seven months in the position while Bordeaux is the Red Lantern in Ligue 1, the club appointed David Gueun to succeed him. The former Rémois arrives in Gironde as a service firefighter with a clear goal: to hold on to maintenance.
The failure is complete and the numbers are shocking. Since coming to the bench, Bordeaux have won only twice (3-1 against Metz on the 31st and 4-2 over Brest on the last day). The team has the worst defense in the major European leagues (91 goals). Guion even became Girondins coach with the lowest point-per-game ratio (0.78) in the club’s history.
March 2022: The “Costel Affair” leaves the locker room in disrepair
Bordeaux has been struggling on the ground since the start of the season, and is presenting itself with a new extra sporting controversy at the end of March. As the Girondins attempt to end a six-game streak without a win by receiving Montpellier, a half-time altercation erupts between Benoit Costel and the captain of the Ultramarines. The group accuses the former Ren of racism, without substantiating his statements.
The charges also named Laurent Koscielny, whose contract was terminated in January. The chasm is widening between the ultras and the players who unite behind their teammates. On the ground, the stagnation continues. Bordeaux is heading straight for Ligue 2.
May 2022: The team is officially relegated to the Second Division
After 45 minutes of reduction when Saint-Etienne advanced (2-0) in Nice on Wednesday 11 May, before losing (4-2), the ax fell on Saturday 21 May. Despite a recent victory with heart and courage over Brestois who had nothing left to play (4-2), Bordella finished 20th and last in the standings, and was officially relegated to the second division, where he will develop next season.