Sponsoring, foreigners, budgets: the truths of Gérard Le Saint

Sponsoring, foreigners, budgets: the truths of Gérard Le Saint
Sponsoring, foreigners, budgets: the truths of Gérard Le Saint

If we win against Metz, we will be 99% champion. Come on ! I’m going to say this: if we win, over the next five years we will be champions at least four times! » Gérard Le Saint said this with bravado. Good in his style, direct. A bit of a provocation before the clash between Brest, the club of which he has been president since 2012, and Metz, the defending champion, visiting the Arena this Wednesday evening, to a sold-out crowd (4,700 tickets).

Football results will have no economic impact

Four days from the end with five points ahead of… Metz, the BBH is leader and the only undefeated. On January 17 in Moselle, Pablo Morel’s team inflicted the only defeat on that of Emmanuel Mayonnade (23-22). About which, The Saint had entrusted to our colleague from Republican Lorraine : “ What do I envy in Metz? His trainer! » Why not try to poach him then? “ It is formatted Metzreplies the boss, bursting out laughing. Already, we avoid stealing too many players from them. » This was still done regularly, as with Ana Gros (today in Györ), the Slovenian fullback “stolen” from Metz in 2018, valuable during a successful 2020-2021 BBH season: national title , Coupe de France and Champions League final.

This did not prevent Laurent Bezeau from being replaced by Pablo Morel who will not be retained, coronation or not this time. “ People forget that we make contracts and that we are not obliged to renew them », says Le Saint, business manager. He chose to recruit ex-international Raphaëlle Tervel (45), on an active sabbatical year since her departure from her position as assistant coach at Györ last season. “ She has experience, she knows the Champions League, she is popular in the country. It’s a challenge for her, a bit like Pablo when he came to us. We give them the ingredients to succeed. »

The annual budget of the BBH is 7.5 million euros. Will the European qualification of neighboring footballers, chaired by his brother Denis, have an impact? “ No, it will stay the same. It is rather a cocktail of satisfaction and happiness, it is the territory that rises, gains value », he rejoices, boss with his brother of the Le Saint network, the second largest fresh produce distribution group in France.

“50% of the France team plays abroad. How do you become European champion? »

At the start of the season, he was offended that the minimum envelope for access to the Women’s Pro League was not higher (1 million euros). Reference to the financial difficulties of some, leading to bankruptcy filings. “ The League wants to increase to 12 clubs in two years, that’s good. It’s hard to have a shaky, semi-pro, semi-associative status. Small clubs do a lot of DIY. They get by and the day things go wrong, they disappear. » He also railed against the League and the Federation, too directive for his taste, particularly in terms of sponsorship: “ They impose things on us without us knowing. It’s a little better but there’s still work to be done. »

The exile of the French internationals

The president also raised the issue of limiting the number of foreigners and the fact that many French internationals are going into exile. Trained at BBH, Alicia Toublanc will join Valcea in Romania. “ What annoys me the most is that 50% of the France team plays abroad. How do you become European champion?plague Le Saint. I wanted to ask the president (from the Federation, Philippe Bana) that they cannot play in the French team or that we have the right to more than six foreigners. »

Coveted by the Breton club, Estelle Nze Minko, the captain of the Bleues, extended her contract to Györ. “ We have always been second on his list… Today, we have no track record (European that is),” measures the manager. A new French champion title, and a more substantial continental campaign next season (stopping in the 8th this time) would help the BBH to grow further.

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