Uncertainties about the redemption, sporting crisis, AS Saint Etienne is in turmoil, before hosting Nice this Saturday at 5pm.
Drowned in the Forez deluge. As a symbol, the Saint-Etienne ship did not withstand the storm that struck against the Girondins de Bordeaux last Saturday (1-2), as part of the 90th anniversary of the Geoffroy Guichard stadium. 19th in Ligue 1, no success in the league, the Greens are going through an unprecedented sporting crisis. Coupled with this, an attempt at redemption that crystallizes passions and slows down the club’s current ambitions.
The race to maintain is on
In free fall for several years, the sporting situation has reached its climax this season. The Forez club are worryingly in 19th place, with only 3 points scored in 7 Ligue 1 matches. Claude Puel’s proteges are running desperately behind their first success of the season and have not won a game for 9 games. Worse still, the Greens remain on 4 consecutive losses (the last against Monaco this week) and are stuck in the bottom of the standings. Last attack of the championship in company of Reims, Troyes and Reims, with 7 goals scored in as many games, the Greens are experiencing the worst difficulties in the world to find the net.
The consequences of a recruitment abandoned for several years, and symbolized by the surprise arrival of Ignacio Ramirez (24, Uruguay) who has struggled to convince observers of the club since his arrival. Uninspired on the offensive plan, the Stéphanois also lack success, like the match against Monaco (3-1) where the Greens were not unworthy and have touched the amounts on several occasions. “Everything is the opposite, we are not really successful. We make two posts on the same occasion, we are not rewarded. And on our first loss of the ball, we suffered the opening of the scoring“Claude Puel said after the defeat in Monaco (3-1).
Few recruits, even less expense … Make way for young people
With such a start to the season, Saint-Etienne is advancing as a serious candidate for relegation. Claude Puel is naturally under fire from critics, but the former technician from Nice, has to deal with an extremely young workforce, and devoid of real investments since 2019. With an excellent training center, the Greens give up their best elements each year with the respective sales of William Saliba to Arsenal and Wesley Fofana to Leicester. Successful sales which brought in nearly 65 million but which are not reinvested in any way to strengthen the workforce. The Greens are then condemned to bet on a youth who is not necessarily ready to face the harsh reality of Ligue 1.
However, Claude Puel was expected on this, witnessing his status as a recognized trainer, after his successful experiences in Lille, or more recently in Nice. The fruit of a sporting policy that leaves much to be desired, marked by an attempted takeover that divides the two presidents, Saint-Etienne flows in silence on all floors. With the hope of regaining its letters of nobility through the arrival of a new shareholder.
A club for sale
Last April, Roland Romeyer and Bernard Caiazzo officially announced the sale of Saint-Etienne. “In order to ensure the continuity and development of our club, we have entrusted a reputable investment bank with the mission of selecting the best investor “. Since then, an incessant wave of rumors has flooded the club around potential buyers, but the takeover is struggling to materialize. A situation which generates negative externalities around the team, and which accentuates the vagueness around the sports project of the Greens.
” I don’t expect anything from the sale. We have no control over the schedule. I leave that outside the group. Thinking about that would mean we wouldn’t be in the action. “
Initially, the two presidents claimed an amount estimated at 60 million. Faced with the difficulties encountered, the duo have lowered their ambitions and now only require 40 million to share. Mandated by ASSE, the KPMG is responsible for studying and selecting investor files. Currently, 4 projects are being scrutinized, but it is Olivier Markarian and the Cambodian prince who seem to stand out. Indeed, according to the Team, the KPMG decided to open the data room this week to these two projects, which represents the fourth step in a buyout process. A strong signal, which shows that these two projects seem sufficiently solid.
The prince of Cambodia, Norodom Ravichak is willing to put 55 million, followed by 45 million injectable into the club. A passionate football fan, Ravichak has the advantage of investing money at all times, and has the support of Bernard Caiazzo. “I want to invest for the long term and take care of ASSE. If we come to an agreement, I will provide sufficient resources to achieve these ambitions and allow Saint-Étienne to regain its splendor.»Ravichak revealed on RFI.
However, doubts remain about the financial soundness of the project led by the 47-year-old businessman. For his part, Olivier Markarian embodies a local project. 50-year-old Markarian is a lover of the Greens, and knows his history well. Surrounded by local entrepreneurs, he is supported by Roland Romeyer. On the other hand, it has more modest means compared to its competitor, but its financial resources are more identified for the KPMG.
At all levels, Saint Etienne has its share of instabilities. Engaged in a maintenance operation in the league, the Greens also face a duel between the two presidents to record the sale of the club. A buyout that centralizes attention and could ultimately restore the image of a monument of French football.