a membership on the brink after two years of turbulence

Earlier than the journey to Lille this Sunday (3 p.m.), over the past day of the championship earlier than the break, the scenario is way from easy for SCO Angers, whether or not from a sporting viewpoint or in backstage.

A couple of hours earlier than shifting to Lille this Sunday (3 p.m.), the environment is way from holy on the SCO in Angers. Purple lantern in Ligue 1 earlier than the beginning of the fifteenth day (8 pts), Gérald Baticle’s males have gained solely two video games for the reason that begin of the season (Montpellier and Good) and are already 4 factors behind Nantes, first relegation earlier than the World Cup break.

Image of malaise: Nabil Bentaleb’s teammates stay on a horrible sequence of six consecutive defeats. Past the sporting difficulties, the environment is way from being good behind the scenes of the SCO. And this, for greater than two years.

A sinking board

The descent into hell started in February 2020. President Saïd Chabane faces fees of aggravated sexual assault of 4 girls, aged 25 to 30, workers or former workers of the membership. In September 2021, two new complaints, adopted by two indictments, have been added to the file. Then a seventh criticism weighed down the file on January 26, as revealed by RMC Sport and confirmed by the general public prosecutor of Angers, Eric Bouillard. Two and a half years later, the case remains to be underneath investigation and leaves a troublesome local weather hanging over the membership.

A couple of months later, in April 2020, the overall supervisor of the SCO, Olivier Pickeu, on the membership since 2006, was dismissed for severe misconduct. A shock as Pickeu was the cornerstone of the return of the SCO to the fore with coach Stéphane Moulin. The previous normal supervisor challenged his dismissal on the Labor Court docket and gained. The Labor Court docket condemned the SCO to pay three million euros to Pickeu. The membership appealed and the case is because of be retried subsequent yr earlier than the Court docket of Attraction.

Gamers not spared by justice

Nonetheless on the authorized aspect, this time it’s the gamers who’re focused. Farid El-Melali (4 video games this season) was given a six-month suspended jail sentence in October 2020 for sexual exhibition, following two complaints filed by two younger girls. Over the identical interval, one other SCO striker, Stéphane Bahoken, was sentenced to a four-month suspended jail sentence for violence, insults and loss of life threats towards his associate, in addition to a three-month suspended sentence for a visitors offence.

In July 2021, it was former midfielder and captain Cheick Ndoye who, after attacking the membership on the Prud’hommes for the non-execution of a two-year contract in 2019, gained in flip and noticed the SCO ordered to pay him 450,000 euros.

A brand new authorized battle additionally emerged this week. It opposes this time the SCO and its former sports activities director Sébastien Larcier. The latter had taken over from Pickeu in Could 2020, earlier than being dismissed from his publish in October 2021 “for skilled incompetence”. The listening to earlier than the Prud’hommes befell on November 9 and the choice shall be deliberated on January 11. Larcier claims 800,000 euros from the Anjou membership.

The departure of Stéphane Moulin, image of the top of an period

In sporting phrases, the changeover and the top of an period is symbolized by the departure of Stéphane Moulin, the emblematic coach, on the finish of the 2020-2021 season after ten years on the bench of the primary group – a document of longevity in Europe – and 6 consecutive maintenances in Ligue 1. After the departure of Olivier Pickeu, it’s the DNA of the SCO which is gone.

The remainder of the DNA left the membership on the finish of final season with the departure of historic gamers equivalent to Romain Thomas, Thomas Mangani, Ismael Traoré and Vincent Manceau.

Decisions that query

For 2 years, Saïd Chabane has multiplied the alternatives of males round him, with generally shocking appointments. A few of them stay in publish for barely a couple of months. After his indictment, the president of the SCO stated he wished to take a step again. He appointed a Deputy Chairman (Fabrice Favetto Bon), who will solely keep for 5 months, Chabane regaining management of “his membership”.

In September 2021, he appointed Mohamed Toubache-Ter, very influential on social networks as director of communication. Right here too, the journey was solely short-lived (two months).

Then final October, it was the shocking profile of Mohamed Sifaoui, a journalist specializing in spiritual points and Islam, who was chosen to be the communications director. From the beginning of his mandate, Sifaoui dotted the i’s. It begins with a warning concerning the rights of the press, the day earlier than the publication of the investigation by Ouest France into the brutal strategies of the director of the coaching middle, Abdel Bouhazama, and coach of the reserve group.

Sifaoui additionally alienated the supporters a couple of days later by stigmatizing “the trolls” who encourage the group.

One other delicate subject on this interval of hassle: the sale of the SCO introduced by Saïd Chabane in Could 2022. The latter had introduced negotiations with the American group GFC, earlier than turning round in August.

A couple of weeks later, the arrival of Jalal Benalla within the recruitment cell of the Angevin membership didn’t go unnoticed. On the origin of the arrivals of Mohamed-Ali Cho, Batista Mendy, Bilal Brahimi, and even younger Noah Fatar, Ayoub Yousfi and Jaly Mouaddib, the previous judoka approached the Angevin membership and its president Saïd Chabane these three current seasons. On June 15, he was heard in a questionable switch investigation carried out by the police. The premises of the SCO had been searched the day earlier than this listening to.

A number of turbulence internally which doesn’t favor a local weather of efficiency. twentieth with ten defeats in 14 video games, the SCO is near the abyss. Gérald Baticle nonetheless needs to educate as a result of it’s the alternative of Saïd Chabane. To fireside him could be to again down, since he has already bolstered it twice this season, in September and October, on social networks. However he has since clarified to The Group this Monday “{that a} level could be made on the truce”. The match towards Lille subsequently guarantees to be a turning level within the season for the Scoists.

Analie Simon, with Xavier Grimault

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