France Bleu Gironde: How do you feel after the Girondins de Bordeaux season?
Said Ennjimi: So a bit bitter, like many supporters and lovers of the Girondins de Bordeaux. Limoges, the city I grew up in, is very close to the Girondins, it was kind of our local club and therefore bitter, because it’s hard to live with, and then, secondly, with regard to my position as president of de League , it is delicate not to have an elite club, because we need an elite club to attract our best young people in a way, so that they can integrate the Girondins de Bordeaux as long as they would have stayed in Ligue1. If we like youngsters a little less, they are more likely to go to other pro clubs, other regions and then we find them less for those who unfortunately don’t have the chance to turn pro in our regional and national clubs.
And your feelings about the passage for the DNCG on June 14?
Worried like everyone else. We are talking about tens of millions of euros. Some people talk about 20 million euros, others about 40 million euros. What is certain is that the net situation, or the equity capital of the structure of the Girondins de Bordeaux must be in balance. Without wishing to say nonsense, the deficits have in any case increased over the past two years. We will have to show our credentials to the DNCG in some way to be able to return to Ligue 2. So yes, quite clearly, the shareholders will have to put fresh money on the table to give the DNCG credit. Will they be able to do it in such a short time, I hope so, we all hope. It would be really catastrophic in the event of an additional relegation.
You are talking about shareholders, more than a sporting spectacle, football has become a financial product. How do you live it?
It is a fairly natural development from the accumulation of financial obligations in the context of football. A football club today, which is quite paradoxical and almost abnormal, only lives by the exceptional. That is, he cannot balance his lifestyle and he waits until the end of the season by selling players to balance his lifestyle. This is what is abnormal if you will, in the context of a logical business operation. It’s in that sense, if you want me to think it’s very important and relevant to have wage cap criteria so that a club can live off its resources and not hope to sell its good players at the end of the season. This might limit the desire of some of our leaders to seek at all costs the rare gem in order to resell it at the most expensive price, forgetting the sporting interest and perhaps all too often deconstructing the workforce that, in the year after year no longer meet. And we’re in a yo-yo context. Economy takes too much precedence over sport. This is what has become deplorable in football in recent years.
Do you feel that Gérard Lopez is not necessarily welcome in the football world in France?
I could not afford to give you an opinion, as I have not had the opportunity to discuss with him since his arrival. It is true that he was most certainly very busy. So we just exchanged for a few minutes, I prefer a relationship with Thomas Jacquemier, the general manager of the Girondins de Bordeaux. I’m sorry, but I also put myself in his place with a difficult finish in a difficult context. I prefer to talk about the future in the hope that it is there, of course.
It is often said that Bordeaux is no longer whistled as a very high-level team. If you feel like you’re refereeing an institution, can that have a little impact or not?
Referees are only men. That is, by definition we are always affected. Due to the training of high-ranking referees, this influence share is very low. But it’s true that it’s a little easier, in quotes for clubs with powerful institutions, to be referenced in the best possible way rather than when you’re in a little bit of trouble, so it shows in the behavior of the players on the field , nervousness, annoyance. Finally, there are a lot of things that mean that the more serene the club, the stronger the attitude and the more detail there will be, meaning that arbitration will weigh less on these clubs than on those who are in trouble, such as our Girondins de Bordeaux have been this season in particular.
Are you in favor of sound systems for referees?
Yes, because on the one hand it would improve pedagogy in a world that anyway sounds every second that passes with social networks, everything is known always and everywhere. So it would also be a great moment if we could also evolve with this well-known sound system for the referees. So pedagogy towards each other, tranquility can be more pronounced on the part of the players, but can also sometimes be a certain annoyance on the part of the referees, that also exists and finally I hope the Professional Football League can improve its income. And the last meeting I could have with Vincent Labrune (Editor’s Note: President of the LFP), as I was part of the working group on the evolution of the arbitration context, it was perhaps to have financial implications for our referees that would need it in terms of training, promotion, so that we have some more referees in the field of amateur football. This is a topic I take up with the Pro Football League.
Football is too often an outlet for the ills of our society, it is still too often for racism like last Sunday in Gironde† What do you do against this plague?
So you have to remember that we had about 60 hard cases, including the ones you mentioned out of the 60,000 matches. So I will never stop repeating that football is not fundamentally violent, not just the bad image we would like to give it. That said, there are cases that are inadmissible, like the one you mention, and in our league, for example, we decided to increase the penalties, that is, multiply the scale by two. I am going to consult with the referees at the beginning of the season to ask them not to hesitate to stop the matches systematically, not at the request of the players, but at the request of the referees, so that this subject of racism, that he is also anti white, anti arab or black and the Said that I am has absolutely no qualms telling you that so we can stop this racism that hurts us a lot.
We heard that our consultant François Grenet was getting closer to the New Aquitaine Football League
He is a very good, very devoted person. He is also someone who has the hallmark of being both a former renowned player and a rare close association with amateur football, the volunteers that require a lot of benevolence. In fact, amateur clubs do not ask for much and above all kindness, a little proximity. If you’ve had a great career like François and you have the ability to approach them in a very simple way, that’s great. It is absolutely essential that we have a few professional players, there is also Sophie Istillart, the former captain of the Girondines de Bordeaux that I met recently so that we can have a panel of former pros who can give desire and dreams to our young children in particular, but also for the not so young. I hope it can also help to put the old pros back in the spotlight. Because without professionalism you don’t really build professionalism.
Do you miss former professionals of the volunteers, of the amateur world?
Absolute. And I think it wasn’t really a strategy, which is really damaging. They want to get involved, but if we don’t reach them, if we don’t give them the chance to do so, it’s going to be difficult. And François Grenet also has a certain institutional character. So I really hope he participates in the political concert if I may say so and I hope he will demonstrate it to everyone, that he has the skills to bring his expertise and his experience both at the institution and at the level of the clubs of the youngest, especially during the selection actions, but also with our technicians, some thirty across the territory who, I think, will also enjoy hearing its story and its view of the game .