This is a monument to French women’s handball, which is drowning in indifference. Fleury Loiret Handball will probably file for bankruptcy on November 25th. Except for a miracle. With a club from the suburbs of Orleans (Loire), we are talking about the champion of France in 2015 with participation in the Champions League on the move, vice-champion in 2013 and 2016, winner of the French Cup in 2014. and Brest today, Fleury dominated the tricolor of the arm in mid-2010. Estelle Nze Minko, the current captain of the French national team, played there, like Amélie Gougeot or Manon Watt, who made their debut there. This club spent almost 20 years in the women’s league (1st division) from 2002 to 2021 before being relegated to the second division last summer. Already the first signs of anxiety.
This weekend, Fleury is due to play in Besançon on Day 7 of D 2, the first since the break due to the European Championship. The club will not relocate and announced this on 25 November. His requested postponement of the match was denied. This package confirms his disappearance.
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To save themselves, the club must find 200,000 euros this Friday. If he doesn’t have them – which he does – his manager will appear before the close of the case in the Commercial Court of Orleans to file for bankruptcy. “The situation is dramatic. We are indeed two days away from filing for bankruptcy,” President Sabine Guillen Heinrich warned this week. If a patron does not show up at the last minute, the club will go bankrupt, leaving the players, staff and administrative staff, about twenty people, out of work in the middle of the season. In particular, it is almost impossible for players to find a club until next season. At our request, no one was willing to respond to the dramatic situation. Club too. He believes it is now “too late” for a demonstration, despite several warnings from him in previous weeks, to mobilize public opinion. Employees will receive a letter of resignation for economic reasons early next week.
The metropolis refused to help 100,000 euros, a fatal blow
Fleury’s problem is financial in nature amid a dispute between the club, the city and the metropolitan area of Orléans. On November 17, the latter refused to provide exceptional assistance in the amount of 100,000 euros. “The payment of the subsidy will be equivalent to the payment of 100,000 euros of lost funds,” calculated the mayor (LR) of Orléans and the president of the metropolis, Serge Groire. The club counted on this check to pay off part of its deficit, which the agglomeration estimates at 763,000 euros. The figure disputed by the Panthers is the nickname of the players: “No, the CASP deficit is not set at 763,000 euros, but at 293,000 euros,” the club swears. We have provided 100% of the guarantees requested by the metropolis that this subsidy will be paid as promised. »
The Fédération Française and the Women’s League, with the votes of their President Philippe Bahn and Nogialem Mjaro, support the club’s figures in a press release: “The federal players confirm that the payment of this counterbalancing subsidy, which Metropolis has taken over, will ensure the continued activity of the FLG. All information about the state of the club known to the National Commission for Management Control of the Federation is reliable. Their presentation at the Metropolitan Council is erroneous. »
At the local level, the situation with the Panthers turns into a big political quarrel with a clear rivalry between the city (PS) and the metropolis (LR): “The fate prepared for the club is of the order of cruel treatment.. The rejection of the exclusive subsidy was organized in an organized way,” said the mayor (PS) of the city, Carole Canette. However, despite the support of French handball, nothing saves Fleury from defeat: “His disappearance means the destruction of 16 jobs, as well as the termination of the club’s training center with 8 players under the agreement, federal officials helplessly insist.
This is not the first time this year that the Elite women’s handball club is in a serious crisis. This indicates that it is difficult for many clubs to survive once the community shuts off the financial faucet. In the spring of 2022, Bourg-de-Péage, who was replaced on the bench in recent days by former international Gregory Anquetil, was also close to declaring himself bankrupt. At the very last moment, an investor came in and invested 150,000 euros to save him. Fleury is not so lucky. The Panthers will retire, if they can afford it, in National 1 in 2023 at the amateur level.