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the OGC Nice strategy to regain serenity and good results

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the OGC Nice strategy to regain serenity and good results

Nantais Florent Mollet (left) and Niçois Melvin Bard, at La Beaujoire stadium, in Nantes, December 2, 2023. LOIC VENANCE / AFP

A perfect practical case. Friday, December 1, the three main leaders of OGC Nice detailed Monde the profound transformation of the club, highlighted by a series of thirteen matches without defeat in Ligue 1. The next day, Nantes inflicted on the Aiglons their first defeat of the season, a sporting hazard that the operation put in place – sometimes painfully – for several months is supposed to amortize. Despite this setback, Nice occupied an advantageous 2nd place in the L1 standings before the start of the 15th. Sunday at 1 p.m., the Aiglons host Reims.

President for twelve years, with the exception of a parenthesis in 2019, Jean-Pierre Rivère enjoys a fullness comparable to the 2016-2017 season, ended with the laurels of autumn champion and a third place in the final. “Except that today, slips the 66-year-old leader, we have more conviction in our organization. »

In the spring of 2022, the English petrochemical group Ineos, owner of the Riviera club since 2019, had thought very big and imagined five-star recruitment: only internationals, the Blues Marcus Thuram and Steve Mandanda at the head of the gondola, Roberto De Zerbi, coach at fashion, in charge. But suddenly the investment capacity was reduced and the ambitious plan fell through. Rivère, laconic, evokes “a little uncertainty about the very nature of the project”.

No one understood who was doing what anymore.

Sportingly, the end of the 2021-2022 season was disappointing: defeat against Nantes in the final of the Coupe de France and failed European qualification. Worse, a quarrel based on racism broke out publicly between Christophe Galtier and the football director, Julien Fournier. Despite the coach’s departure to PSG – who will be tried for discrimination and moral harassment on December 15 – Nice got bogged down.

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Read also: Article reserved for our Ligue 1 subscribers: the OGC Nice Aiglons fly in a zone of turbulence

An endless audit carried out by Dave Brailsford, director of sport at Ineos, was then felt internally as “a silent terror”according to The Sunday Journal. A cycling ace but a football beginner, Brailsford would have imposed at least one recruit: an obscure external consultant, Iain Moody, parachuted in in the middle of the transfer window in place of Fournier, who had become undesirable. Rivère, for his part, recalled Lucien Favre, successful coach of Nice between 2016 and 2018. In short, during this cacophonous summer, no one understood who was doing what.

Read also: Coach Christophe Galtier, suspected of “discrimination”, will be tried for moral harassment and discrimination

The 2022-2023 season is off to a poor start, and the shifting staff has racked its brains: “For twelve years, we did more with less. How to get back to these fundamentals? » Favre dismissed mid-season, interim Didier Digard saved appearances (9th in Ligue 1). But the main thing was happening in the offices. “The quality of governance is what makes the difference in the success of a club”estimates Fabrice Bocquet, appointed Director General (DG) in September 2022.

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