By dint of retreating, AS Saint-Étienne ended up jumping. In a boiling but also very tense cauldron, Pascal Dupraz’s team failed to beat AJ Auxerre after regulation time, then extra time. Penalties sent the Burgundians to seventh heaven (1-1, 5-4 pens), while the Greens saw the fury of their own supporters descend on them with invasion of the field and throwing smoke bombs. A very sad conclusion for the Forez club, which is returning to Ligue 2, 18 years after leaving it. Difficult to find extenuating circumstances for this monument of French football who multiplied the bad casting choices, like his trainer presented as a firefighter on duty, but who never really knew how to put out the fire that was spreading.
From start to finish, Denis Bouanga and his family have never shown solid assets over time to maintain themselves. There was indeed a slight shock when Pascal Dupraz arrived, but the Greens quickly fell back into their ways. With 77 goals conceded, the Foréziens took on water from all sides and the arrival of a defender with international experience like Eliaquim Mangala did not change the situation. What follows promises to be just as tricky. Many executives, including Wahbi Khazri, will leave. However, perhaps the most complicated task will be the link with the supporters. When you see the scenes of Sunday night chaos at Geoffroy-Guichard, the wound might be open for a while. We will also wait for the sanctions following this violent invasion: many matches behind closed doors, even penalty points may be recorded.
Shareholders’ press release.
Sunday evening, no member of the Greens wished to speak, from Pascal Dupraz to the players. The hammer blow is terrible. In a different style from the Girondins de Bordeaux, which changed owners without ever finding the right formula, the Greens suffered the slow but certain deterioration of their leaders. The famous Bernard Caïazzo-Roland Romeyer duo have not been able to regain the stability of the Christophe Galtier years, when ASSE won a League Cup and played in the European Cup several times. The first has moved to Dubai and wants to temporize the future of the club while the second has always been more open to selling.
Expected at the turn after this colossal failure, the pair expressed themselves through a press release. “We share the immense pain and sadness of everyone who loves the Greens, whether they are supporters or partners. This failure must be accepted. As major shareholders, we take full responsibility for this. Beyond the bitter observation, it is necessarily the future of ASSE that the two presidents must now consider. They already give the temperature. “In a while we will announce important news regarding the future of the club and ours. An essential page of our life will be turned, but we place above all the ASSE institution which will very quickly find, we are convinced, the path of the elite. A new buyer in sight? KPMG, an Anglo-Dutch audit firm, has been responsible for several months of facilitating the handover.