The future of Gazélec Football Club Ajaccio (GFCA) is now written in dotted lines. Monday, January 30, the commercial court of Ajaccio placed the island club in compulsory liquidation for serious financial difficulties. On December 20, 2022, the same court opened receivership proceedings after noting the state of cessation of payments of the GFCA.
This decision definitively puts an end to the activity of the simplified joint-stock company – whose accounts have been frozen for a year and a half – which manages the GFCA and comes even though Johann Carta, its president since the summer of 2022, has been put under examination and imprisoned, at the end of November, for extortion, fraud, money laundering in an organized gang and association of criminals within the framework of a judicial investigation opened by the specialized interregional jurisdiction (JIRS) of Marseille.
Another JIRS investigation targets the Ajaccien club. It gave rise to the summoning of three of its successive presidents, who will be tried on February 8 and 9, for concealed work and abuse of corporate assets. This file of social fraud has its source in the case involving the alleged leaders of the Corsican criminal gang of Petit Bar.
Ephemeral passage in Ligue 1
Created in 1960, following a merger between FC Ajaccio (founded in 1910) and the Gazélec Corse Club (founded in 1956), both in the honor division (6ᵉ national level), the GFCA had climbed the ladder to become a regular at the National (3ᵉ division) and Ligue 2. He had even climbed to Ligue 1 for the 2015-2016 season, the club’s only passage among the elite of French football.
Sportingly demoted, the “Gaz” went on for three seasons in Ligue 2 before its destiny changed on June 2, 2019. That day, it welcomed Le Mans FC in the National-Ligue 2 return play-off. Winners in the first leg on Sarthe soil ( 2-1) five days earlier, the Corsicans lost at the very last second (2-0) on the Isle of Beauty. With a fantastic acrobatic return, the Le Mans striker Mamadou Soro sends the gaziers to the third division. The beginning of the galleys.
Ten months later, in April 2020, the French government announced the cessation of all sports competitions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The French Football Federation freezes the classification. Gazélec, then in bad shape, suffered a second demotion, this time to National 2, the fourth French level. A level he had not known since 2011.
“We fall from above”
But the GFCA is not at the end of its troubles. At the end of June 2020, the National Directorate of Management Control (DNCG) sanctions the club, whose financial situation is no longer healthy, with an administrative demotion to National 3. After appealing the decision, Gazélec wins its case, for one year only. In June 2021, the DNCG downgraded it a second time for the same reasons. Calling the club won’t change that.
“Return to Ligue 2 within five years”this was Johann Carta’s objective when he took over Gazélec in July 2022. And the Corsican businessman had given himself the means, according to Captain Jérémy Choplin: “The recruitment had been ambitious. Everything had been done to get back up quickly. » If the GFCA no longer had the status, it operated like a professional club. “We trained every day, sometimes twice. No player was working nearby. There was a secretary, a sports director.details the experienced central defender passed by FC Metz, SC Bastia or AC Ajaccio.
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Since the start of the season, the “Gaz” occupied the top of the rankings, and seemed able to win accession to National 2. The judicial liquidation is hard to swallow. “We fall from above. We knew that the club had difficulties, but we were focused on the championship. Salary payments have been delayed for the past two months, but the club has always paid us.confides Jérémy Choplin.
Since the deliberation of the judicial liquidation of the GFCA by the commercial court of Ajaccio, on January 23, training had been suspended and its two senior teams (National 3 and Regional 2) forfeited in competition. “We have broken our contracts and our licenses which bound us with the club. The players find themselves on the floorconcedes the red and blue captain. Gazélec will have to start from a lower amateur level, in the regional championship. »