Bordeaux debt restructuring green-lit by Commercial Court

An agreement between financially-troubled Ligue 2 club Girondins de Bordeaux and its creditors to reduce the debt in the club has received a stamp of approval from the Tribunal de Commerce on Tuesday.

This was a first step ahead of the Bordeaux management’s hearing with the CNOSF on Thursday, which is the last governing body that they can appeal to overturn the French football financial watchdog, the DNCG’s, decision to relegate Les Girondins down to the French 3rd division owing to financial irregularities.

Whilst the decision today is positive for the club’s chances to continue to exist past the end of the month, nothing is definitively resolved at this juncture.

On Thursday, the CNOSF must issue an advisory opinion on the potential maintenance of Les Girondins in Ligue 2 and make a proposal which will then have to be followed or not by the Executive Committee of the FFF.

This process, launched in mid-June, aims to help Bordeaux avoid relegation to the 3rd division, and a probable judicial liquidation in the process.

The negotiated agreement notably provides for a capital increase of €10m by Jogo Bonito Group, a holding company owned by Gérard Lopez. This same group will put up a €14m guarantee if this amount is not achieved in capital gains with the sale of the players this summer. Finally, King Street and Fortress have agreed to reduce the club’s debt by €34.5 million out of the total €53m owed to them.

This proposal has been validated by the Commercial Court, for which “the terms of the agreement are likely to promote the sustainability of the company’s activity.” This judgment released Tuesday afternoon also states that “the agreement does not affect the interests of non-signatory creditors.”

This decision gives reason to hope for an entire club whose future will be decided in part before the CNOSF on Thursday. The green light from the Court will be a major pro in the Girondins’ CNOSF case, but does not in any way assure him of his maintenance in Ligue 2 next season.

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