Bordeaux owner Gérard Lopez strikes new deal with club’s debtors ahead of relegation appeal

20 minutes report this afternoon that Bordeaux owner Gérard Lopez has reached a new agreement with the club’s debtors and former stakeholders, American investment funds King Street and Fortress, ahead of the club’s appeal hearing next week over their relegation to the third tier for financial reasons.

The DNCG – French football’s financial regulator – had demoted the club, who were already down in Ligue 2 after finishing bottom of the top flight last year, over their €40m deficit. Lopez’s initial deal with the creditors to deal with their debts was pushed back. The appeal hearing will take place next Tuesday.

Bordeaux had been asked to provide a more credible roadmap on three major points – reducing the club’s ratio, having the sell-on fees for Aurélien Tchouaméni and Jules Koundé go straight to the club, and putting forward a €22m guarantee for upcoming player sales this summer.

The transfer of half of the club’s €52m debt from its creditors to one of Gérard Lopez’s companies is now complete and approved, while he will also put €10m on the table out of his own pocket. The €8m-€11m the investment funds were due to receive from Tchouaméni’s move to Real Madrid, according to the deal by which Lopez bought the club last year, will now go straight to the club. This would also mean that the remaining player sales would only have to amount to €14m instead of €22m, with everything over that amount being split between debtors and club.

One aspect of the DNCG hearing which has changed from previous years is that the authorities now want to see the money being brought to the club up front rather than a guarantee, which Fortress have agreed to do. It now remains to be seen whether the appeal will be successful.



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