At the French Tennis Federation, a large-scale social malaise

“Climate of panic and terror”, “purge vibe”, “rough management”etc. After the French Football Federation (FFF) and the Rugby Federation (FFR), in the midst of turmoil, another major body in French sport finds itself tossed about by headwinds: the second in number of licensees (behind the FFF) but far the richest, with a turnover of 378 million euros in 2022, of which 308 million generated by its goose that lays the golden eggs, the Roland-Garros tournament. The French Tennis Federation (FFT) is going through a major social crisis, calling into question its governance, at a time when the Minister of Sports is calling for a “new spring of French sport”. “It is our duty to promote irreproachable governance of French sport”wrote Amélie Oudéa-Castéra in a forum at the World at the beginning of March.

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The minister – a promising ex-tennis player as a teenager – sees this time pinned down a “house” that she knows well for having officiated there as general manager for fifteen months, until her appointment at the end of May 2022, and that she made no secret of having considered above all as a “springboard”. To prevent any conflict of interest, a decree dated August 4, 2022 prevents him from exercising supervision over the FFT, placed under the authority of Matignon.

With the election of Gilles Moretton at its head in February 2021 for four years, French tennis intended to turn the page on Bernard Giudicelli, beaten by the former professional player after four years of a mandate with the air of “hyper-presidency”.

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Alas, the hope of a break in style did not last long. After the revelations of Mediapart and RMC Sport attesting to a deteriorated social climate, the ten or so testimonials from employees and elected officials collected by The world reported serious managerial shortcomings. “Everyone is afraid. There are those who are not well, and those who pretend to be well so as not to risk losing their job, because they know they can be kicked out in ten minutes., sums up a framework still within the walls. In this context, all those interviewed speak only on condition of anonymity.

More than a hundred departures in two years

Since the arrival of Gilles Moretton, the institution of more than 400 employees has been faced with an unprecedented wave of departures: since March 2021, more than 110 departures have been recorded, according to our information, i.e. more than a quarter of the workforce. Among the most sensational, the former director of communications and former player Sarah Pitkowski, the director of human resources, a legal director, the director of the federal pole, an IT director or even several coaches, including two former players, Thierry Champion and Thierry Tulasne.

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