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Alès / Football: the optimism of Didier Bilange, ambitious president of the OAC

At the club since 2009, the president is resolutely optimistic, despite the complicated start to the season for his team, which returns to its Pibarot stadium this Saturday, January 14, against Sète (7 p.m.).

What does a president say to himself when he sees his club in the penultimate place of his pool in January?

He said to himself that the project should not change for all that. Experience has taught me that when you experience change, there is always inertia. You don’t get results right away. Hakim (Malek, the coach) arrived at the end of November and we already have results in the game. We are seeing improvements. We won’t win every match, but the success rate will be higher.

I have always been very calm. We are starting to reap the fruits of our efforts and I think we are going to write very beautiful pages in the history of the club. Managerially, he takes everyone with him. He is the man we needed to pull the club up, even if we must salute the work done by Stéphane Saurat before him.

The event this Saturday is the return to Pibarot. What do you expect from this reunion at home?

This lawn is first and foremost for the players. It must allow us to play the best of our game. We expect this “home” side, with a beautiful lawn, entertainment, spectators… Then, in terms of partners, of course it’s more attractive. This makes it possible to display, announce, seek out new partners interested in this media coverage of the N2.

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The stadium is very important in the project. At the moment, we are also hiring a sales agent, with the aim of marketing our offers and our services. It is a whole. The project, which is called “OAC 2024”, is part of this objective of playing National. These are successive stages. For example, we plan to improve the lodges next season…

You will need, for this, a municipality with you 100%…

The objective is completely validated by the town hall, which undertakes to help us in the means it can make available to us. It is clear that the higher we go, the less it will be the first funder. Jubil Interim (of which Didier Bilange is the CEO) will be in front this year. Today, the contribution is equal, up to €300,000 per year.

Does your budget (1.4 M€), located in the average of N2, really allow you to aim for the National in the short term?

It’s a good question. But you have Thonon at €6.5m, Hyères at €3.5m, and yet these clubs are not prancing at the top of the pool. In our region, unfortunately, we don’t have very significant economic means. However, it is necessary to give oneself the financial means to have more luck in accession.

Our goal is to increase the budget by at least 20% per year. In National, you cannot have a budget of less than 3 M€. To be comfortable, it’s more like €5 million. But I’m not worried. We created a company, Soc Invest. It brings together capital and a dozen shareholders, who have a historical link with Alès and who sponsor. She is able to manage a budget of 6 M€.

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What motivates a president who has never said he is passionate about football?

I have a visceral attachment to my city. And it’s also the human adventure that appeals to me. I’m not super passionate, especially at the time of football business. But if you look closely, I’m one of the most long-lived presidents. I like this idea of ​​a project, of progression over the years, telling myself that success means succeeding once more than failing.

We always learn from experience. I only plan to maintain it, but if we fail, we will come back stronger. We will continue to work on creating a club that has the right financial level and the right structure to play in the National.

“In Alès, we even pay in advance!”

Sanctioned in December by 5 points by the National Management Control Department (DNCG), which also supervised its payroll, the OAC did not win its case on Thursday on appeal. A “hard verdict” in the eyes of Didier Bilange and the club, relating “to the registration of public subsidies”, the president told us this week. “But the capacities, the means, we have them. I bring a solvency that is beyond doubt. In Alès, in December, we even paid the players in advance! Around the 20th of the month, for Christmas gifts. ..” If the club leaves time for reflection, Didier Bilange has already indicated that he would exhaust “all remedies, because we are within our rights”.

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