The charter of the UNFP, the players’ union, allows an automatic 20% drop in players’ salaries following relegation. But it’s not that simple. In 2011, a Guingamp player challenged the unilateral reduction (decided by the employer alone) of his salary and brought the case to court. The Court of Cassation (2016) then the Court of Appeal (2018) agreed with him and he obtained compensation by receiving 36,000 euros in back pay.
Since then, the article is still present in the LFP regulations and in the charter, but it is considered illegal and unenforceable. Most clubs therefore protect themselves by inserting a “Ligue 2 clause” in employment contracts. This is far from being the case with the Girondins – who have long believed they were safe from danger – except on the most recent contracts, those of young people for example. Since coercion is impossible, the Girondins do otherwise: according to our information, players have received a letter asking them to consent to a 20% drop in salary.
Negotiations can occur to go further with this or that player. This could in particular concern the pros sent to train in reserve, for whom Bordeaux can hardly hope for a transfer indemnity: Rouyard, Mexer (paid more than 100,000 euros per month for another season), Medioub (extended for three years in last February at 40,000 euros monthly plus 400,000 euros in premiums to be collected by September), Baysse (under contract until 2024) or Kwateng (70,000 euros monthly, one-year contract).
So many conditions, often inherited from the GACP and King Street eras, which hardly encourage players to leave Bordeaux or make an effort. “Negotiations are ongoing. Some players have accepted a 50% drop or a shift to next season, ”according to a source familiar with the matter, without giving further details. International ambassador since January, Laurent Koscielny (250,000 euros monthly) is of course not included in the player payroll.
These wage cuts will not give enough leeway to Bordeaux, which must therefore also sell. In his plan presented to the Commercial Court and the DNCG on Tuesday, he undertook to earn 25 million in transfer compensation during this summer transfer window, not counting the profit-sharing on Aurélien Tchouaméni (7.8 million euros). euros). After the transfer of Sekou Mara to Southampton (11 million plus 2 bonuses), there is still between 12 and 14 million to be found.
Mara did not represent a significant salary. Ditto for Junior Onana, for whom the club hopes to approach eight million euros in sales, and Alberth Elis, who was not even one of the ten highest earners last season. The Girondins – who have still not formalized the exercise of his option to buy from Boavista – do not rule out keeping the Honduran but the player’s agent has repeatedly said that a departure this summer was inevitable.
On the other hand, three big salaries are on the way out, but Hwang Ui-Jo (150,000 euros gross monthly, one-year contract), Rémi Oudin (120,000 gross, two-year contract) and M’Baye Niang (90,000 gross, one-year contract) are in very different situations. The South Korean is of interest to several clubs, including Nantes, and his departure should bring in between five and six million euros. The price of the former Rémois has been set at four million euros by Admar Lopes, who also hopes to obtain a small compensation for the former Milanese.
Selling well would make it possible to increase cash flow and therefore obtain additional leeway from the DNCG. The problem, of course, is that the Girondins are in no way in a strong position to get good prices.