“Sad and angry”, the Sochaux fans, threatened with bankruptcy, hold their breath

The club, a monument of French football, must return to the DNCG on Thursday. The French football finance guard has administratively relegated the club to the third division, due to a projected deficit of €21m. Fans now fear their club will disappear.

An entire region is holding its breath: fans of the Football Club Sochaux-Montbéliard (or FCSM) will soon know more about the future of their club. FCSM returns on Thursday July 20 at the DCG. Sochaux, 9th in League 2 last season, were administratively relegated to National 1 (the third division) by the French football finance guard due to a projected €21m budget deficit.

The club’s Chinese owner, real estate group Nenking, is set to sell the club for 12 million euros, Nicolas Pacquot, Renaissance deputy for Doubs, said in a statement.

“It’s Getting Unbearable”

Doubtful fans are worried about their club, two-time French champions (1935, 1938). They fear seeing him simply disappear from the professional world. “It becomes unbearable“, whispers Pascal, 63, a Cubs fan, when Jean-Charles, his 32-year-old son slips: “Every quarter of an hour, every twenty minutes, I check to see if there’s anything new“.

Supporting FCSM is a passion that has been handed down from generation to generation, starting with the Peugeot factory that houses the stadium. “I became a real fan at the age of 13, in 1973 and worked at Peugeot from 1979 to 2020“, says Pascal, who went there with his father, and then brought his son back “in the pram“.

Peugeot sold the club in 2015.”too popular“for the automaker that decides to sell it to Chinese investors. The first goes bankrupt, the other manages the club’s finances very badly”.I’m angry, even sad, but mostly angrythrows Pascal remembering “that we are the club that launched professionalism and that we will disappear! We have no right, we have no right!“Your son Jean-Charles is not very optimistic.”I think we are slowly getting used to the ideathis fan admits, but we still don’t want to believe it“.

12 million euros to save FCSM

Now time is running out: fans, residents and elected officials are therefore trying in every way to find a buyer willing to pay 12 million euros. Nicolas Pacquot, the Renaissance MP for the constituency, hopes a solution will be found.

“Apart from all the affective and emotional aspects surrounding a football club, it is also a company that risks being fired tomorrow and that is never good news for a territory”.

Nicolas Pacquot, deputy of the constituency

on franceinfo

“We are in resistance”

150 employees work for the club, and the very famous training center is also in danger of disappearing, which worries young people, parents and educators. Deputy Nicolas Pacquot then asked Olivier Becht, the minister in charge of foreign trade”to save jobs, a historic club, I think a minister is not too much”, Only now many supporters want to have their say. Cédric Lagler is one of them.

In front of the Bonal stadium, the Lupetti enclosure displays the portrait of Auguste Bonal, “symbol of the Resistance, unfortunately the Resistance, we’ve been here for a few years now“, blows this fan. The “Sociochaux” association of which he is a member proposes to transform the club into a cooperative society, where the “socios”, the supporters, would have shares in the club and could “sit in the Council bringing this regional anchorage and this dialogue that has been missing“.

As proof that the fans do not let their club go in the storm, there were almost 3,000 on 14 July in the stands of the Bonal, mobilized to prevent FCSM from sinking definitively. “Sochaux, it’s us”, recalls an inscription on the walls of the stadium.

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