Officially relegated following the LFP’s announcement to end the season, Toulouse plunges into the unknown. In early March, the club was in the process of being bought by the former Sino-American owners of the OGC Nice. Since ? Radio silence. So much so that Olivier Sadran seems to have left to continue his purple reign, when he has once again become a man of influence behind the scenes of French football. No time to sell off your baby.
The TFC is that object found on Sunday in the local flea market. Worn, pale, dusty … In short, not really flashy. Once taken in hand, its sometimes glorious past resurfaces and the hope of offering it a second life with DIY returns. Come on, convinced. But against all odds, its owner crudely seated on a camping chair launches: “Leave, I thought about it. Finally, I no longer sell. ”
If the metaphor reminds us of the good memories of the crowded Sunday mornings, it especially draws a portrait of what TFC represents for Olivier Sadran. A business that causes him more trouble than happiness, but to which he is deeply attached. However, passion has largely waned since the club was bought in 2001. In addition to the money it costs him, as the main shareholder. The CEO of the Newrest catering company delegates day-to-day business to Jean-François Soucasse, general manager, to gradually move away from the club.
Lee Galaxy Dog
Horse riding – which her daughter practices at a high level – and sailing would now have her preferences. So much so that he has repeated several times in recent months his desire to give up. “I would love to find someone to take over the club” , he confessed at the crisis press conference after the ouster of Antoine Kombouaré in January. A club, in sporting decay and located in a big city, whose president does not want any more: the windfall was too good for Chien Lee (NewCity Capital, tourism and hotel activities) and Paul Conway (Pacific Media Group, activities media), associated investors.
After selling the OGC Nice to Ineos in August 2019, the two men were looking for a new project in France. They already own FC Thun (Swiss D1), Barnsley (English D2) and recently acquired Ostend (Belgian D1). RMC Sport said in early March that Toulouse would be sold to them. Without anyone (players, employees), internally, being made aware of these negotiations. The team, in the process, advanced an agreement against an amount of about twenty million euros in addition to future commercial negotiations between the consortium taking over and the company of Olivier Sadran. The club would have integrated their small galaxy of clubs to retype.
Sadran supporter of “Sold in France”
The sale of the TFC already well under way, the organization chart even came to take shape: Gauthier Ganaye (thirty years) president and Gilles Grimandi sports director, according to the site LesViolets.Com. Attracted by the quality of the training center and the promotion of young players, their objective was to restructure Toulouse, to invest (moderately), to make trading, then move the club back into the elite … before selling it for a profit. In short, reiterate the economic success of Nice: Ineos bought the club against a hundred million euros, while the Sino-Americans had spent three times less money in 2016. As always when information comes out in the press, Tèf had denied the sale.
Publicly, President Sadran has always said that he would favor a French solution. As in an interview with The South Dispatch, in March : “What would interest me, as I have already said, if one day it happens, is a lasting solution economically, rather French, even regional. ” A will confirmed by The team, the last days. In short, the boss of the TFC was never won over by the Sino-American proposal. But it was serious enough to at least consider it. But patatras, the house of cards would have fallen, and a sale would no longer be taking place. A local club follower says: “For the moment, the sale will not be made. Sadran should remain at his post. ” Not quite buried a few days ago, the deal could completely evaporate. Delayed or abandoned sale? Difficult to say, for the time being, even if relegation could reshuffle the cards.
A status quo reinforced by the coronavirus
Édouard Philippe actually announced this Tuesday at the National Assembly, the LFP ratified it yesterday in the offices: Ligue 1 version 2019-2020 will not resume, and Téfécé – last in the championship – line up inferior. Beyond the sporting field, Olivier Sadran would nevertheless have somewhat recovered the flame in recent weeks. At a time when sport, as in all countries, is facing the coronavirus crisis, the president of the TFC was able to measure his influence in French football. Thanks, in particular, to his recognized qualities as a negotiator.
In the same way as Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, Jean-Pierre Rivère and Jacques-Henri Eyraud, Olivier Sadran was mandated by Canal Plus and the LFP to lead the negotiations concerning the payment of television rights by broadcasters. Toulouse finds itself – through it – at the heart of negotiations and the future of clubs in France, alongside behemoths. It is up to him, if he remains in office, to reconnect with purple supporters who are increasingly defiant of him. On the side of Ramier Island, many were seduced by the idea of a new era. However, it risks being struck with the OS seal. Back to square one, in Ligue 2.
By Arthur Stroebele