L’Équipe report today that current Dijon manager Stéphane Jobard was forced out of the club in the spring of 2018 when he previously held the role of assistant manager under Olivier Dall’Oglio after being accused of stealing from a fellow member of staff at DFCO.
What previously appeared to be Jobard advancing on in his career, moving to Marseille where he joined Rudi Garcia’s coaching staff, this announcement merely hid the real reasons for his departure.
Dijon President Olivier Delcourt has today tried to come out in front of the developing story:
“Today, that is in the past. I am not denying the claims but I will not get into details. It all pertains to the club. Stéphane lost his head, he apologised to his colleagues, the players and to me too.”
This is what happened: like in many clubs, several players and members of staff, in this case notably physio Nicolas Didry, regularly played poker matches, in the middle of the week. Then would come the day that payment was made to the relevant winners from a week’s session, typically these payments were made on a Monday.
The amount of money made by individuals on a nightly basis is not known exactly, but it was not uncommon for winners to earn around close to €1000 a night. Adept at cards, Didry, the physio, would often win. He would place his winnings in his locker, during the training session, before heading home.
As weeks went by, the physio began to realise that he was systematically each week missing a portion of his winnings. Didry went to the individual in charge of security around the 1st team squad, who quickly discovered with his own eyes that the culprit was none other than Stéphane Jobard, then the assistant manager.
When this became known in the squad, players were stupefied. They quickly took the side of the physio. Another fact that became known at the time was regular thefts of football boots, although the culprit there was never caught.
President Delcourt, confronted with CCTV evidence of Jobard’s theft, had no choice but to remove Jobard. He however preferred to do so quietly, he didn’t want to tarnish the reputation of a club legend, especially as no criminal proceedings had been brought against Jobard. Marseille’s interest in Jobard happened to come right place, right time.
Delcourt did admit to Marseille President Jacques-Henri Eyraud about what had happened, but strongly vouched for Jobard at the same time. Rudi Garcia was also aware and told L’Équipe:
“‘Jobi’ quickly informed me what had happened. He is a fantastic guy and everyone deserves a second chance in life.”
Jobard would spend just over a year at Marseille, before leaving earlier this summer when Garcia was fired. Dijon were looking for a new manager and after briefly targeting Bruno Génésio without success, Jobard was turned to.
Delcourt has been quick to add that Jobard apologised to the physio in question, who forgave him:
“In life, we all have the right to make mistakes.”