US fund pulls out of Bordeaux leaving club on brink of insolvency

April 23 – French Ligue1 club Bordeaux are on the brink of bankruptcy after American investment fund King Street decided to withdraw its financial support. 

The club has been placed under the control of a local commercial court following the decision by King Street, who succeeded M6 as the majority stakeholder in the club in a €70 million takeover in 2018. King Street have since invested  €46 million in Bordeaux, but no longer “wish to support the club and finance its current and future needs”, according to a statement released by the club on Thursday.

“The economic context linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and the withdrawal of Mediapro has caused an unprecedented drop in revenues for French football clubs,” said Bordeaux. “These events come on top of the financial consequences that already hit clubs hard last season due to the early closure of the season and the resulting loss of income.”

By 2019, King Street were the sole owners of the club and France’s DNCG demanded reassurances from the fund over Bordeaux’s deficit. When Bordeaux still piled on the losses in July 2020, the DNCG turned a blind eye as King Street injected €27.5 million in the club. Last December, the fund supported the club with a further €40 million and more than a dozen redundancies were announced at the start of 2021 to streamline operations, but even so, Bordeaux is expected to run up losses of €80 million by the end of the current season, according to French sports daily L’Equipe.

The club statement continued: “These circumstances led the president to protect the club by placing it under the protection of the Bordeaux Commercial Court. An ad hoc representative has been appointed, who will be responsible for assisting Girondins de Bordeaux in their search for a lasting solution.”

In the Ligue 1 table, Bordeaux are hovering just above the relegation zone in 16th position, with 36 points from 33 matches.

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