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Red Star supporters rise up against the sale of the club to an investment fund

Eleventh in National with four rounds to go, the Red Star could experience a turbulent end to the season. If the club, stuck in the soft belly of the championship of 3and division, has nothing more to hope for at the sporting level, it is on the other hand playing its future for the next seasons, and the atmosphere is far from being festive.

Smoke jets

By means of a long “777 NOT WELCOME” banner, accompanied by numerous “777 OUT” signs and songs such as “777 break away”, the supporters of the audonian club strongly expressed their opposition to the takeover of the club by the American investment fund 777 Partners, during the match against Sète (30and day), Friday, April 15.

Interrupted several times by jets of smoke on the lawn, the meeting at the Bauer stadium was definitively stopped in the 38and minute as the visitors led (0-1).

The management of the club, whose president Patrice Haddad entered into exclusive negotiations at the beginning of April with 777 for the sale of 100% of the shares, condemned the excesses by denouncing a “unusual and unacceptable behavior”.

A fund present in insurance

The fans assume. “The announcement was brutal: we learned through the press that management was in exclusive negotiations with this investment fund, explains Vincent Chutet-Mézence, president of the Red Star Bauer collective. The reaction matched the announcement. »

Present in aeronautics or insurance, 777 Partners, headquartered in Miami, has taken control in recent months of several clubs such as Standard de Liège (Belgium), Genoa (Italy) and Vasco de Gama (Brazil). ), in addition to holding “significant turnout” in Sevilla FC, according to his terms.

He would be ready to put between 10 and 19 million euros to buy the shares of Patrice Haddad, at the head of the club since 2008, who would remain president after the transaction. “777 is part of our roadmap and intends to respect the DNA of the club”, emphasizes management, who adds that they have “took the trouble to open the door to dialogue with the representatives of the collective (…) but the invitation was unfortunately declined”.

“It’s true, we refused to discuss with management and 777 Partners. We are ready to discuss but on the basis of a new investor, explains Vincent Chutet-Mézence. 777 Partners, we don’t want it. We call on Red Star management to come to their senses. »

“A financial gamble”

Concerns partly shared by the municipality. “If the manifestation of anger is reprehensible, the claims are legitimate”indicates Karim Bouamrane, PS mayor of Saint-Ouen, who is due to meet with representatives of the fund in the coming days.

“We share an observation with the management, slips Vincent Chutet-Mézence, is that the club is out of breath. We therefore need a new investor with a real sports project, a new management team that is involved in a sustainable way to restructure and develop the club sportingly. There, we are faced with an investment fund, based 5,000 kilometers away, which, in the space of seven months, has bought a significant number of clubs. This is not sp investmentortif but a financial gamble. »

“A form of hypocrisy”

Supporters fear that the Seine-Saint-Denis club, in a region full of young talent, will serve as a breeding ground for other teams. “Our fear is that the Red Star will be the fifth wheel of the carriage in the middle of Standard de Liège, Genoa and the other clubs, details the spokesperson for the Rino-Della-Negra tribune. We’re gonna be the little academy we’re gonna loot. This model does not work. In Bordeaux (19and of L1), it’s a disaster. In Nancy (20and of L2), co-management with Ostend (Belgium) and Brighton (England) does not work…”

The next few weeks are likely to be tense. ” The management surfs on the values ​​of Red Star, a different, social club, but it is completely incompatible with what they are doing. There is a form of hypocrisy. If the negotiation for the sale continues and is successful, the environment around the club will be seriously disturbed, warns Vincent Chutet-Mézence.VSIt won’t benefit anyone and everyone will leave their feathers behind. »