Absorption of the “Red Star”: the new owner presents his obligations

The meeting between the settling of accounts and the settlement agreement. In Saint-Ouen (Saint-Denis), this Wednesday 8 uin, the municipal council is not a formality. Elected officials and residents traveled there to “officially hear 777 Partners’ position on its strategy, its ambitions and its positioning in the short to medium term,” according to Mayor (PS) Karim Bouamran. They want to know what kind of American investment fund that just a month ago came to buy their club “Red Star”, so “consubstantial with the history of our city.”

The club, well known to football fans and promoted to the National 3 category, announced on May 11 that it was being sold to an American investment fund chaired by Josh Wanders. Patrice Haddad, who has been the majority shareholder for 15 years, remains its president. But this was not enough to assuage all the fears that have arisen since then.

Partial Guarantees

Thus, on June 8 of this year, Josh Wanders made the trip himself, and Kareem Bouamran intends to ask him for guarantees. The mayor first wants to make sure that Crvena Zvezda continue to play at the local Stade Bauer stadium. The equipment was sold in May 2021 to promoter Réalités, which is undergoing a major overhaul.

The city councilor also wants to ensure that the group will remain the owner over time, that it will invest, and that the social prices for access to matches will be maintained “to keep Crvena Zvezda a popular club.”

“Bauer is Red Star and Red Star is Bauer,” replies Josh Wanders. “We are a holding company that invests in quality business generating long-term cash flow. Football is exactly the kind of business that requires patience and investment. The group has already announced investments of between 25 and 30 million euros over five years, including 7.5 million euros already invested. Josh Wanders, on the other hand, promised no social pricing other than a “price freeze for hours of work.”

angry supporters

Karim Buamran makes other demands. Red Star has a new department-funded training facility that is due to open soon at the Marville State Sports Park (between Saint-Denis and La Courneuve). Therefore, the mayor of St. Ouen requires that the club train only its own players there, and not players from other partner clubs 777. Josh Wanders already controls the Standard de Liège (Belgium), Genoa (Italy) and Vasco de Gama teams (Brazil) and also owns a “significant stake” in Sevilla.

Came to the municipal council, supporters, they are annoyed. Vincent Schute-Mezens, president of the Red Star Bauer supporters, recalls the “cop’s” opposition to the takeover, saying he was “extremely angry” at the takeover, “unacceptable in form and content.” Indeed, he believes that the supporters “who are involved in improving this asset, that is the club, through the atmosphere of every game night” should have been consulted. “Mr Haddad sees the club as a common good when it comes to rent waivers for the construction of the Bauer stadium or funding the construction of his training centre, but when it comes to selling he thinks it is his own business and does it. on the sly! he is screaming.

In an effort to calm the situation, Josh Wanders agreed that new discussions are taking place between the club, the City, the Department and the Supporters Collective to establish a charter of commitment. Without commenting, however, on the city’s desire to sit on the club’s board of directors.