Bordeaux fans delay match 27 minutes in protest of American-led ownership

Bordeaux fans protested the club's American-led ownership during a match against Nîmes on Tuesday. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Tuesday’s Ligue 1 match between Bordeaux and Nîmes was delayed 27 minutes after Bordeaux ultras gathered on the field to protest the club’s American-led ownership and board.

The interruption began about 10 minutes after kickoff, with Bordeaux captain Benoît Costil and others heading over to the crowd in an attempt to make peace. By the 14th minute, the referee had ordered every player from both teams to the locker room to avoid further incident, and the match resumed 27 minutes later after order was restored, according to the beIN Sports broadcast.

The fans also unfurled a banner that read “Against King Street and their two puppets Longuépée and Thiodet.”

What does that mean? The first part alludes to the messy ownership situation at Bordeaux. American businessman Joseph DaGrosa joined with King Street Capital Management, a company headquartered in New York City, to purchase the club in November 2018. Neither side had enough money to buy Bordeaux outright, and the two investors have reportedly clashed behind the scenes on numerous occasions already.

The second part of the banner refers to club president Frédéric Longuépée and director of commercial strategy Antony Thiodet. Hired away from resident Ligue 1 powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain in an attempt to catch his former club, Longuépée’s tenure at Bordeaux working with Thiodet has been a disappointment. The club won just six times in 26 league games to close last season, and while Bordeaux is currently third this season, it’s also seven points behind mighty PSG, which has two additional games in hand.

In a broader scope, fans of the six-time Ligue 1 champion Bordeaux might be looking at the backslides of Manchester United and Arsenal under American ownership that treats the clubs as stocks in a portfolio and little more. Not to mention Marseille’s underwhelming performance since being bought by former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt in 2016.

Bordeaux beat bottom-feeding Nîmes 6-0 behind Josh Maja’s hat trick, which included a first-half goal to give the home fans something to cheer about:

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