In an interview with Canal +, Clermont Sporting Director Olivier Chavanon has moved to deny claims from former manager Helena Costa that he acted in bad faith and that this is what forced Costa, who would have become the first female manager ever in French men’s football professional history, to quit as she did. He had the following to say:
“I think it would be good to close this subject and I will do that right now. The fact that the manager is a woman is not for me a talking point. In all honesty, I tried to work with her just as I have worked with other managers in the past. I called her “coach”, I didn’t call her Helena. I didn’t change anything in terms of my process. I try to give the managers all the means to succeed at the club. I didn’t change that at all.
She wanted to have completely closed training, without supporters being able to watch. We are a familial club. One that allows the press and the fans to watch. So that idea was impossible without considerable security so that nobody could see what was going on in training from the outside. It was therefore obvious for me that I should tell her that was not possible.
Disagreements? That is not the right word. In order to have disagreements, one has to actually have a relationship with the other person. Helena Costa, over a month in her position, barely ever called me on the phone, just once. I wasn’t worried about it, as the group and the team were in good shape. I wasn’t worried, we weren’t starting from scratch, and I thought she would pick it up from pre-season.
I did not think that during a period of transfer activity it was right to communicate via email. It was difficult, because we were doing so in English. I did tell her that she was tiring me with her emails.”