“Ego and jealousy have taken over” / France / Clermont / SOFOOT.com

A Clermont Foot determine since Ahmet Schaefer’s acquisition of the membership in 2019, Jérôme Champagne would have left his place as adviser to the president in response to an official assertion revealed earlier this week. A viewpoint that the principal involved doesn’t share in any respect. In accordance with him, he would merely be expelled from the membership. The previous FIFA member presents his model of occasions.


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In accordance with the membership’s press launch launched on Monday, you’ll be leaving Clermont by alternative. How did you expertise it in your facet?
The press launch is completely deceptive. You aren’t leaving your son. Clermont Foot is a undertaking we created collectively: Ahmet Schaefer, Yannick Flavien and myself. I’ve fairly an extended profession, in diplomacy, at FIFA, with thrilling tasks in Kosovo, Palestine, Cyprus … However Clermont was one of the best skilled expertise of my life. In collaboration with others I used to be in a position to arrange what I take into account a soccer membership, with a horizontal mode of operation the place the precedence is the athlete, however not solely. Clermont is now a membership dedicated to its territory whereas town is moderately marked by rugby with the ASM. We needed to make Clermont Foot an entity that assumes its social and social obligations. We’ve got labored quite a bit in collaboration with the neighborhoods across the Gabriel Montpied stadium to attempt to combine the membership into the native social material. This corresponds to a philosophy that I defend. I might by no means go away Clermont.

Since when did relations with its president Ahmet Schaefer start to deteriorate?
There have been two pivotal moments. Firstly of April, Ahmet Schaefer introduced that he desires to transform the French recruiting unit, which is nonetheless doing an important job with Philippe Vaugeois. We opposed Yannick Flavien. Then there was the switch of Cédric Hountondji this summer season. He had been promised an exit coupon within the occasion of a beautiful supply. However not in Angers, not with a direct competitor when there are 4 runs this season. Particularly for the reason that participant is price way more than the 2 million for which he was offered off. I might say that the ties have actually loosened little by little. On the finish of final season we had a decisive sequence with Metz, Troyes and Montpellier at residence shortly after. We actually needed to win to remain, however Schaefer did not come …

Did you might have an evidence along with your president earlier than your departure?

“What is occurring to me is sadly trivial. It’s the story of a start-up that originally had no cash. However as he grows up, questions of ego, authority and jealousy come. It is all a waste. “

We’ve got had a number of discussions with Ahmet Schaefer, however what is occurring to me is unfortunately trivial. It’s the story of a start-up that originally had no cash. We labored to create a approach of organizing with a type of three-way collegiality with Yannick Flavien. An authentic system with out normal supervisor or sports activities director, however the start-up has grown and from there come up questions of ego, authority and jealousy. Yannick Flavien and I have been actually current in Clermont. You needed to be there on a regular basis as a result of a soccer staff is not only about sports activities scores. We additionally needed to innovate in communication. I’m pleased with this originality as a result of I constructed it. However all of this can be a waste.

You additionally talked about an unpaid Ligue 1 upside bonus. What was anticipated?
In a start-up, main contributors are promised to be paid in motion when there isn’t any cash. That is what Ahmet Schaefer did when he instructed us a few 5% climb bonus for me and Yannick Flavien. The guarantees weren’t saved. However that is not an issue, a minimum of not on my half. Perhaps it was simpler for Ahmet Schaefer to get me to go away to keep away from giving me that 5% as a result of the membership right this moment is price way more than the acquisition worth in 2019, however it isn’t a monetary battle that precipitated my departure. We tried to create an authentic and horizontal mode of operation… Let’s return into verticality.

In actual fact, you might have repeated a number of occasions over the previous three years {that a} conventional vertical operation typically results in inner quarrels. Trying again, do you continue to suppose your triumvirate was the most suitable choice to steer a membership?

Horizontality is key as a result of nobody is ready to perceive the complexity of the world of soccer on their very own. I feel the system we put in place was the fitting one ”.

Horizontality is one thing important as a result of nobody is ready to perceive the complexity of the world of soccer alone. I feel the system we put in place was the fitting one. We’ve got united town round soccer. One of many symbols of our success is the occupancy price, the second in Ligue 1 behind PSG with over 95%. Plus, fan feedback are one of the best revealers. They do not perceive why I used to be kicked out. During which membership do the ultras defend a frontrunner? For me, it is one of the best reward and it makes my coronary heart really feel higher.

Was the connection between coach Pascal Gastien and the administration affected by your battle?
Completely not as a result of now we have accomplished every thing to guard the group with Yannick Flavien. We have been very near the locker room. This was the distinction between Ahmet and us. He did not care a lot. When he was there, he arrived at 2:30 pm for a sport at 3pm, he took footage and if he went properly he climbed onto the locker room desk to distribute the bonuses earlier than disappearing. We have been there on a regular basis. Nonetheless, I’ve no animosity in opposition to Ahmet. I’ve recognized him for 16 years. Sadly, the problems of ego and jealousy have taken over.

Is that this the most important disappointment in your skilled life?
It’s not a disappointment, it’s a ache. FIFA was knowledgeable disappointment (Jérôme Champagne aimed on the presidency of the world physique in 2014, ed.). I used to be going through political obstacles. There, it is not the identical. I, who am a diplomat, have visited 138 nations in my life however for 3 years Clermont has allowed me to find about twenty French cities that I didn’t know. In Auvergne I found charming and good individuals. You simply should see what the followers say about me: I used to be there, I went to say howdy and I got here to drink beer with them. This departure is a tear, though in actuality I do know it’s moderately trivial. In a start-up, when success occurs, it’s important to free a sure variety of individuals. It doesn’t shock me.

You say that Yannick Flavien usually held the identical positions as you relating to Ahmet Schaefer’s choices. Easy methods to clarify that you simply alone have been pushed in direction of the exit?

“At first the president surrounded himself to learn from varied recommendation. However after some time he decides to fireside some individuals as a result of he thinks he can do his job on his personal.

Within the trio, every of us had their very own talents. Ahmet was in command of advertising and TV rights, Yannick was the banker in command of finance, and I used to be extra fascinated with sports activities, politics and communications. At first, the president surrounded himself to learn from varied recommendation. However after some time he decides to fireside some individuals as a result of he thinks he can do his job on his personal. If Ahmet has held again Yannick Flavien, it is also as a result of he does not grasp his space of ​​experience. I additionally suppose Ahmet did not like me being the face of Clermont Foot.

Now that your Clermont stint is over, might you spend money on one other membership sooner or later?
I do not suppose my relationship with Clermont Foot is over. How ? I can’t let you know. A variety of issues can occur in a membership. As for excited about one other membership, it’s clearly too early. I simply misplaced a son. I do not surprise if I would like one other one. I really like Clermont deeply and imagine that the recruitment that has been accomplished is optimistic. There’s the need to maintain it for the second consecutive time, which might be historic. My story is unhappy however what issues is to be totally behind the group as a result of it’s the membership of my coronary heart.

Interview by Gabriele Joly

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