Ligue 1: Olympique Lyonnais is struggling against its downgrading

Lyon, current 9th in the French championship, could live a third in four season without European qualification. What question the club’s sports policy. OL plays Ajaccio on Sunday at 5:05 p.m.

by Anthony Hernandez

Olympique Lyonnais embodies a surprising paradox. Valored at nearly 800 million euros during his acquisition by the American John Textor in December 2022 – a record for a French club – OL lives at the same time a sporting downgrade that he had not known since 25 years.

Owner of his large stadium, scratulating infrastructures, an American franchise of female soccer and soon of an Arena multifunction, Lyon is an economic juggernaut. Ninth of Ligue 1 at the end of the 19 day, seventh in 2020 and eighth in 2022, the club of President Jean-Michel Aulas, which travels to Ajaccio, Sunday January 29 at 5 p.m. 05, is no longer a sports giant, or Formula 1 that the leader was praised a few years ago. “We may have the beautiful body of a Ferrari with magnificent infrastructure, but there are big shortcomings in the engine, the sports sector,” says Sidney Govou, former glory of the club.

An observation that the Lyonnais leaders refute. “We recognize a difficult passage, we dispute the downgrading on the medium or long term,” pleads Vincent Ponsot, director general of football. Also interviewed by MO12345lemonde, President Jean-Michel Aulas explains, optimistic: “We have less good results for two or three years, but it is not a sporting downgrading. We know why and we have clearly identified the causes. We just corrected and it will start again. “

badly embarked in 2023 (17 points of the podium before the 20 day), the Gones could however miss for the third time in four seasons a European qualification. In Lyon, players and coaches pass -named during the season, Laurent Blanc is the fifth coach in six years -, the counter -performance remains. How is OL, flagship club of the beginning of the XXI th century in France, has it found itself to evoke a drunk boat more than a racing sailboat?

Bruno Cheyrou, future sports director

After a home defeat in Ligue 1 on January 14 against Strasbourg, the support groups did not confine themselves to incriminating certain players. They called for the resignations of the technical advisor and recruitment director Bruno Cheyrou and Vincent Ponsot. “Mr. Ponsot It is high time to leave the sportsman and return to your first love,” proclaimed the ultras on a banner, recalling that, for ten years, the manager was in charge of the legal as deputy director of the club .

Jean-Michel Aulas did not taste this dissatisfaction targeting his trusted men. “The Kops can have an opinion on the players. It is their right,” said the now deputy president – since the sale of the club. But that they attack leaders who are exemplary. It is me they attack … “

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/Media reports cited above.