After a fight of almost two months, Sochaux obtained Thursday, August 17 the authorization of the national direction of management control (DNCG), then of the French Football Federation (FFF) to play this season in National, the third division of French football, thus avoiding bankruptcy.
A few hours after the decision of the DNCG, financial policeman of French football, the executive committee of the FFF “confirmed the favorable opinion (…) maintaining professional status in National 1 for FC Sochaux-Montbéliard for the current 2023-2024 season ([qui a] started on August 11)”, according to its press release, where we also learn that the payroll and transfer compensation of this historic club of French football would be framed. The FCSM2028 project and the budget presented by Jean-Claude Plessis and Pierre Wantiez, at the head of a group of private investors, therefore convinced the football authorities.
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This decision removes the specter of bankruptcy that once hovered over the club. “The new leaders will now work on setting up their project, with the first priority being the construction of a competitive sports team in order to do well in the national championship, whose first meeting for the FCSM is set for Friday. August 25 on the lawn of Red Star FC »added FC Sochaux-Montbéliard in its press release.
Abandoned by its owner
Jean-Claude Plessis will take over the presidency of the club, and Pierre Wantiez the general management, revealed the latter during a press video conference in the afternoon. “The problem, it starts tomorrowtempered Jean-Claude Plessis. It was almost the fight of my life. It’s not won yet, we don’t have a team, we’ll have to make the team. (…) The objective is not to go down, and to go up next season. »
Ninth in Ligue 2 last season, the almost century-old club had been abandoned by its owner, the Chinese real estate group Nenking, in great financial difficulty. In July, a project led by Romain Peugeot, great-grandson of the club’s founder, was then born to try to keep the Cubs in Ligue 2. In vain, the file did not convince the executive committee of the FFF, nor the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF), nor the administrative court of Paris.
It was then the club’s former president Jean-Claude Plessis, at the helm from 1999 to 2008, and Pierre Wantiez, who had returned expressly from Le Havre AC, who took up the torch, initially managing to find a sales agreement with Nenking before convincing the DNCG. “We had a very good file, well balanced, with investors from Franche-Comté, people from our regionsaid Mr. Plessis. I think it was a very appreciated thing. (…) The world of football wanted us to get away with it. »
The former president of the FCSM and the one who led the Doubian club (2000-2008) rallied a group of private investors, but also obtained a significant financial contribution from local authorities and the group of Sociochaux supporters, who entered the capital and in club governance structures.
“We should remember this historic moment of sacred union with the aim of celebrating our 100th anniversary within the elite of French football”greeted the club by giving an appointment for its centenary, which will take place in 2028 and from which the name of the recovery project is drawn: FCSM2028. “The club was saved with the local communities and with the Sociosrejoiced Pierre Wantiez. This is perhaps the first time that a rescue has been so collective. We still receive people today who want to join the project. »
Founded in 1928 in the cradle of car manufacturer Peugeot, the Sochaux club was a model of stability for almost ninety years, when it was owned by the family of the same name, who sold it in 2015.
Sochaux is one of the founding members of the first French professional championship, which took place in 1932-1933. The Cubs were French champions twice (1935, 1938) and won the Coupe de France twice (1937, 2007), as well as the Coupe de la Ligue in 2004.
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