Nancy relegated to National in chaos, or how the thistle club faded

It’s been a long time since AS Nancy Lorraine’s Chardon has tickled many people. Cut from its roots by an unfortunate sale, the club is now just the shadow of the one that won a Coupe de France in 1978 with Michel Platini and a League Cup in 2006.

After falling into the anonymity of Ligue 2 for several years, the ASNL continues its slow agony and will evolve into National next season, after the match against Quevilly-Rouen on Friday 22 April was halted due to smoke bombs from Lorraine supporters, then that the Nancy were leading 3-0 on their lawn. Without even waiting for the League’s decision on the continuation of these events, the ASNL announced its relegation. A look back at the events that plunged Nancy into an endless winter.

2017, relegation too much

To the west was Stade Rennais, the club in red and black that goes up and down. To the east, Nancy has long returned to him the image in the champion mirror of the elevators between the elite and the ground floor. From the year 2000 to the present, the ASNL has spent 13 seasons in Ligue 2. Under the yoke of Pablo Correa, Nancy has nevertheless been on the top flight for nearly a decade with the key to a Coupe de la League in 2006 and a historic 4th place in the 2007-2008 season.

Nancy’s emblematic coach will return between 2013 and 2017 to bring the club back to Ligue 1. It will only last one season. On May 20, 2017, the evening of a victory of honor against Saint-Etienne (3-1), Nancy dropped to the lower level. The Beginning of Golgotha.

2020: a sale that uproots the thistle

AS Nancy Lorraine was approached by the City Football Group (Emirati owner of Manchester City, among others) in early 2020 and then thought of joining this group of clubs. But the Emiratis ultimately prefer ESTAC Troyes to ASNL, whose president wants to get rid of Rousselot, tired of 27 years of presidency and repeated financial patches to avoid administrative degradation. The emblematic leader of Nancy finally gives up control in the winter of 2020.

Jacques Rousselot knew all about Nancy. European epics, titles and relegations. After a first aborted sale in 2018 and a first transfer to Jean-Michel Roussier, the historic ASNL chairman finally has his buyers. For ten million euros, the Lorraine club was bought by New City Capital, a consortium of Chinese-American investors who already owned the clubs of Ostend (Belgian D1), Barnsley (English D2), Den Bosch (D2 Dutch), Esbjerg (Danish D2) and Thun (Swiss D2).

This sale destabilizes the club whose chairman Gauthier Ganaye, a thirty-year-old who lives in the north and is also chairman of the Ostend club, often stands out for his absence. Without a boss and without roots, the club loses its footing at all levels. The team skates on the field. Nancy stands on the edge of the abyss.

A season in Hell

8th at the end of the 2021 season, Nancy doesn’t expect to fall into the abyss so quickly. Craftsman of Barnsley’s rise to the English second division, German coach Daniel Stendel is called in by shareholders to revive the team. Ten days later, ASNL has still not won a game and is in last place in the standings in Ligue 2. Stendel is sacked and replaced by Benoît Pedretti, who will take over for more than three months.

Reserve coach at the start of the season, the former international feels out of place and lets his management know. He leaves the bank in mid-January. The hot potato then ends up in the hands of Albert Cartier, a former member of the house. Red lantern since the 5th day, Nancy still doesn’t get off the ground and remains on a win in his last eleven matches when Quevilly-Rouen-Métropole arrives at Marcel-Picot.

But just like the season, the match turns into a nightmare at the last chance. Nancy sinks and is 3-0 behind before half time. A rain of smoke caused two game interruptions before half-time. The competition is permanently canceled for safety reasons. The curtain falls. Without even waiting for an eventual decision by the League on the continuation of events, the ASNL announced its own relegation. When the club’s future is written in National, a first at this level since ASNL’s inception in 1967, it is more uncertain than ever.

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