Formally, the election of the president of the French Tennis Federation (FFT) will only take place on Saturday, February 13 following a vote at the general assembly. But its outcome is already known.
The ballot based on the vote of 199 electors – the delegates of the leagues and the departmental committees – the last counts carried out show that Gilles Moretton gathered on his name the majority of them. He will succeed Bernard Giudicelli, who had held this post for four years. The two men were the only candidates in the running.
Gilles Moretton, 63, will thus become the fourth former player – after René Lacoste, Marcel Bernard and Philippe Chatrier – to take the presidency of the FFT since 1920. Ex-finalist of the Davis Cup 1982, he had put away his rackets of the day the next day after a defeat (in doubles) at Roland Garros, in 1984.
President of the Auvergne-Rhones-Alpes (ARA) league since 2018, licensed in Saint-Maurice-de-Beynost (Ain), Mr. Moretton benefits from the support of weight leagues, such as the powerful Ile-de-France. He also has the support of former players, such as Arnaud Clément, Arnaud Di Pasquale, François Jauffret (president of the Ile-de-France League), or even Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, one of the rare female heads of poster of her team (she is currently one of the managers of the Carrefour group).
“Giving a voice to the clubs”
he had declared to World a few months ago, when he was in the countryside, that one of his goals would be “To give a voice to the clubs”. He promised that once elected, he would give them the right to vote to elect the president, and establish a consultation “At least three times a year on strong themes”.
In sporting terms, Mr. Moretton has also shown his desire, during his campaign, to straighten the curve in the number of licensees: their number rose from 1.1 million in 2012 to 979,000 in 2019. “Tennis remains the second sport in France [derrière le football], but we are no longer fashionable sport. We have to be attractive and recreate the pleasure dimension in our clubs ”, he declared to World in the fall of 2020.
Regarding the high level, he had, in May 2020 in an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP), declared it necessary to “Move from the current logic, which is a logic of selection, to a logic of training”.
In an interview with Corsica-Morning On Wednesday, Bernard Giudicelli however argued that, during his tenure, French tennis had seen “The emergence of Gastons, Humbert and a few others, the three junior world titles in a row, which had never happened in the history of French tennis”.
Another priority axis of Mr. Moretton’s program concerns the governance of the federation. He promised, with regard to the composition of the executive committee (Comex), the decision-making body of the FFT composed of eighteen people, to ” come back “ to a performance “Proportional”, between members of its own list and members of the competing list.
Mr. Moretton will take the helm of a federation, which, if it is among the richest, has despite everything, like the others, accused the backlash of the Covid-19 epidemic. In 2019, the FFT posted a budget of 325 million euros, including 255.4 million from the Roland-Garros tournament alone. But the near-closed session imposed on the tournament in the fall of 2020 had a financial impact that the director general of the federation, Jean-François Vilotte, quantified. “To 80 million to 100 million euros”. He nevertheless assured that the accounts were “Roughly balanced”.
Gilles Moretton’s journey
February 10, 1958: birth in Lyon.
1979: 8e finalist at Roland-Garros.
1982 : Davis Cup finalist lost 4-1 against the United States, alongside Yannick Noah, Henri Leconte and Thierry Tulasne.
1984: sports retreat.
1985: founder of the ATP tournament in Lyon, then of the Gilles Moretton Organization (GMO), specialized in the organization of sporting events.
2001: president of ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne (until 2014).
Since 2018: president of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes tennis league.