Victory in the Coupe de France will not be enough to reconcile the leaders of FC Nantes with their supporters. Coach Antoine Kombouaré recalled: “Under the presidency of [Waldemar] Kita, it hasn’t been easy for them. And so, they compartmentalized. Me, I don’t always get along very well with the president, but I put him aside. »
Setting aside Waldemar Kita, owner of the club since 2007 – an era during which the divorce with the public of the Canaries only increased – is one of the objectives of the Nantes Collective. He is leading a fundraiser from local companies and a crowdfunding operation via an individual subscription of one hundred euros.
The Collective, led by former goalkeeper Mickaël Landreau and business manager Philippe Plantive, intends “anchor more [le FCN] on the local territory in order to spread the values that have made it a historic club”. With support that extends from sponsors to supporters’ associations, he hopes to enter the capital alongside a future buyer.
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Members rather than consumers
The shipwrecks of the Girondins de Bordeaux and AS Nancy Lorraine endorse fears that also illustrates the opposition of Red Star supporters to its takeover by an American fund. The need to give the public a voice in the matter is in any case widely recognized today.
After fans mobilized against the private European Super League project, in April 2021, the six English clubs involved pledged to renew ties. “But apart from Liverpool, these approaches have remained cosmetic, and are similar to consumer panels”regrets Ronan Evain, executive director of the Football Supporters Europe federation.
Therefore, making supporters the owners or co-owners of clubs is a growing temptation, inspired by the Spanish model of socios. However, the associative structures of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona did not deter them from joining the Super League…
There is also the problem of the acquisition price. After several failed recovery attempts “by the base” of Manchester United, for lack of sufficient financial resources, some fans had resolved, in 2005, to found their own club, FC United of Manchester (currently in the seventh division), whose leaders are elected according to the principle “one partner, one vote”.
For high-level French clubs too, the entry ticket is prohibitive. “It will always be necessary to rely on majority shareholders with means that supporters cannot bring togethersums up Jean-François Brocard, economist at the Center for Sports Law and Economics. The DNCG [Direction nationale du contrôle de gestion] asks for guarantees, but no one is going to mortgage their house for their club. »
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