This Monday, on the occasion of the 31and Day of Ligue 2, AS Nancy-Lorraine receives AC Ajaccio in a match that already seems to be the last chance for Albert Cartier’s men. Eight points behind Quevilly-Rouen’s barrage, it would be a miracle if the ASNL didn’t sink into the National. Story of a descent into hell.
On an evening in April 2019, AS Nancy-Lorraine and AC Ajaccio – who played this Monday evening at the end of the 31and Ligue 2 day – crossed swords so as not to perish. At the time, the Nancy had won (1-0) thanks to a late goal from Laurent Abergel, before they could guarantee their maintenance more easily than their island mates. Except that since then the Corsicans have become contenders for the climb. Nancy, the red lantern of the Ligue 2 (with 23 points in 30 games), for her part, goes straight to the National. Without showing the slightest ability to break out of the red zone after Christmas, as has been the case every season since 2017, the year of the descent into the antechamber of the elite.
After finishing eighth last year, the best ranking over the period, the ASNL started to see the clouds coming en masse. A year ago, coach Jean-Louis Garcia had already made the choice not to renew his contract. Good news for Nancy’s new president, Gauthier Ganaye, who had no intention of proposing to him. “It didn’t meet the criteria of the project I wanted to installrewinds the successor of Jacques Rousselot. I was naive enough to think that Daniel Stendel’s previous success at Barnsley could be replicated (another group ownership moved to the English second division in 2019). † Because yes, in this winter of 2020, the truce of the confectioners was rather that of the bankers with the acquisition of ASNL by New City Capital, a consortium of Chinese-American investors that passed OGC Nice (2016-2019). Two years later, the result is not there.
“The English respect authority. Here they complained about too long, too hard sessions, while at Albert today they accept. † Gauthier Ganaye, President of ASNL
“I underestimated the cultural difference”
After the establishment of a gene pressing (in theory “counter-pressing” à la Klopp) so visibly ineffective when misunderstood by the players, four points in ten games and an explicit resignation of the German tactician, it was already time for a change before October. Benoît Pedretti goes from reserve to pro before being replaced by Albert Cartier in early 2022. “I underestimated the cultural difference between the English players and the French. The English respect Stendel’s authority. Here they complained about sessions that were too long and too heavy, while they accept that with Albert today.” , remarks Gervais Martel’s ex-right arm at RC Lens. The latter was also a strong ally in praising his protégé’s skills to his friend Jacques Rousselot.
The first exercise without “JR” at the helm got off to a bad start. And not only, because at the resumption in June only twelve players made up the workforce. “As if nothing was foreseen” , notes a member of the previous staff. After 27 years of presidency, a Coupe de la Ligue, two Ligue 2 championship titles, two European epics, Jacques Rousselot had finally managed to sell. Approach taken over several years by assuming only the financial losses for the DNCG. “He sold so as not to lose any more money. He was psychologically exhausted by presenting the situation to people who were not interested in footballsucks a good friend of the former boss. Of the twenty offers received, this is the least bizarre. †
“When the boss is gone, as in any company, the behavior is not the same. † Michaël Chrétien, legend of Nancy
This yields a check for ten million euros, three of which are to pay off the debts. And a departure, without fanfare, during a season behind closed doors. Dan regrets with regard to the sporting and administrative situation, according to an intimate: “He is bothered by it, he has the feeling that he has been betrayed by selling. He misses the football world, only it’s not the same anymore…” No more paternalistic presidents who can enter the locker room if necessary. “He was close to us. When things weren’t going well, he liked to say: “I believe in you, don’t listen to what is said,” recalls Michaël Chrétien, fullback (2002-2011 and 2015-2018). This is what the club is missing. In the offices and in the dressing room. When the boss is gone, as in any company, the behavior is not the same. †
So that’s it, “a leader of the 21st”and century”?
Gauthier Ganaye does not live in Nancy, but in the north of France. The 30-year-old shares his schedule with the Belgian presidency of Ostend. “Last season the results were good, so this operation, known from the start, raised no questions.he answers daily about his absence. Would my coming to the stadium create a healthy climate, conducive to performance, while still being maintained? † Once the audit was done on his arrival, the new remote strongman thought he was counting on the three (more than two now) CEOs and a good Wi-Fi connection to link video conferencing to set the course. But the Northerner especially noticed “a certain sluggishness, like any club that advertises for sale. Except that we weren’t going to add employees when there was already an operating deficit” † His rare direct associates at the club ensure that he “up to the task with the tools of a 21st century leader”and century ” † The others are waiting for a reply to their emails.
“How do you present a project to future sponsors? Even we don’t know in the short, medium and long term. † ASNL employees
While the sports table leans more towards a very pale white than a bright red, the administrative one is no more brilliant. Some employees feel “left to their own devices. How to present a project to future sponsors? Even we don’t know in the short, medium and long term. † Another one of the training center is wondering “what they came here to do. It’s like buying a house and letting it fall into disrepair without investing” † While six months after their arrival, the new investors who already invest little decided to enroll the women’s team in Regional 1 instead of D2 for economic reasons. A month later, to replenish the treasury, the two-headed president sold Mickaël Biron to Ostend’s big brother before it is immediately lent.
“ASNL was closer to death when we arrived”
This economic situation has prompted the Grand-Nancy metropolis to stagger the payment of the stadium rent, while at the same time investing in the club Kaiserslauten. This raises the question of what to do on a descent: “Shareholders will not shy away from it. We bought the club when he was 17and from L2, so the risk was already there. The ASNL was closer to death when we arrived than today.” Judge Gauthier Ganaye. An analysis not shared by Pablo Correa, historical coach (2002-2011 and 2013-2017). “The situation belongs to the people who are there. I’m not saying that because I’m part of ASNL’s recent past. If they were the first, does it seem like it is the legacy of the previous one? No, it looks like the buyers succeeded and it’s thanks to them. In Toulouse nobody talks about Olivier Sadran. †
“If they were the first, does it feel like it’s the legacy of the previous one?” No, it looks like the buyers succeeded and it’s thanks to them. In Toulouse nobody talks about Olivier Sadran. † Pablo Correa, guru from Nancy
The man with all powers under Jacques Rousselot “accept their mistakes” and call “those who are in the office doing the same. Even the one I set… wrong. But we only know that afterwards.” † These poor sporting choices by the old and new management are reflected in the field, then in the rankings and in the finances. A recruiting unit “so complex to identify that agents are reluctant to make deals”one of them continues. Sergei Chernik, Patrik Eler, nobody wanted them. Eler, was recruited only on videos and described as: “poker shot” in a meeting. † Éric Martin, for his part, arranged his own transfer. Now retired, the former head of recruiting is tasked with missions of: scouting in Africa for… New City Capital. The same hesitation at the training center where coaches are asked to ask their colleagues in professional clubs about the elements not held on April 30.“It’s the first time Nancy has worked like this. Screening meetings have never been so short and late in the season” , supports a regular customer in these sessions. A thistle that no longer stings much among professionals. Worse, he’s wasting away. Without being sure that the roots are still alive.
By Alexandre Plumey
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