Calls for resignations and pitch invasions – Metz furious but powerless

FC Metz are without a win in any competition since 26th November 2023. With 10 games without a victory in Ligue 1 (one draw, nine defeats), Les Grenats are 17th in the league and above bottom side Clermont Foot only on goal difference.

In such a circumstance, the manager’s position would come into question, however, there is little room for manoeuvre. After leading Metz back into the top flight at the first time of asking, Laszlo Bölöni orchestrated a largely convincing start to the current campaign with two wins and two draws in their first five matches.

It wasn’t the form of a team that looked set to be threatened by relegation, and for that, Bölöni was rewarded. The Romanian was handed a contract extension until 2025. The contracts of his staff (Christophe Delmotte, Christophe Marichez, Florian Simon and Sébastien Roi) were also extended at the same time.

Having handed out these extensions, L’Équipe understands that Metz are financially incapable of parting ways with Bölöni, who has thus far shown himself incapable of stopping the rot.

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Despite this, Metz’s fans are piling pressure on the club’s hierarchy. Bölöni’s post-match interview with Prime Video Sport following Les Granats’ 3-0 defeat against fellow strugglers Montpellier HSC was interrupted by fans calling for his resignation. He isn’t the only one to be subject to these calls, with members of the club’s hierarchy also targeted. “Their frustration isn’t bigger than mine,” reacted the Metz coach.

The frustration of the Metz fans took the form of a pitch invasion in the wake of their recent defeat, this time at the hands of a resurgent Olympique Lyonnais. “In football, nothing is impossible,” reacted Bölöni when asked whether he could save the club from an increasingly probable relegation.

However, with each passing game, a return to Ligue 2 seems more likely. Sunday’s fixture against fellow strugglers FC Nantes is followed by a match against rock-bottom Clermont Foot. It feels like last last-chance saloon, but regardless of the outcomes of those fixtures, the club’s financial situation seemingly leaves them powerless to accept their fate.

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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