The national Red Star-FC Sete match was definitively called off in the 40th minute of play last night, after three interruptions for throwing pyrotechnic devices. An act of militants of the Saint-Ouen club, dissatisfied with a plan to buy the club by an American investment fund, 777 Partners.
Had they not inquired, FC Ste players could have been targeted initially. Even before kick-off, supporters of Collectif Red Star Bauer shouted “Break Up 777”, or “777 Not Welcome”, from the Rino della Negra stand. Calendar prospect, these slogans actually criticized the proposed acquisition of Red Star by 777 Partners, an American investment fund, announced by the club in a press release on 6 April.
Buyer “Not Welcome”
The group of supporters overtook the simple slogans with three successive waves of smoke bombs. At 8:25, fifty minutes after the second interruption, the announcer at the Bauer Stadium still warned: “The match will resume in a few minutes. In the next jet of pyrotechnic equipment, it will certainly be interrupted.” A few minutes later, surprisingly, new projectiles littered the lawn. So the referee sent both teams back to the locker room and the announcer sent everyone home. The start of Sete’s score in the 34th minute is an anecdote.
Inquired by The Indian Paper thirty minutes before the start of the meeting, the chairman of the collectif Red Star Bauer, Vincent Chutet-Mezens, mentioned it in half. “We will let this new buyer know that he is not welcome here in a clear, firm and demonstrated way.”
Supporters’ group oppose the sale of the club to “an investment fund located 5,000 km from here, on a policy of frantic buying of the clubs” (note: based in Miami, 777 Partners took over Genoa in 2021 and will soon become a buyer of 100% of Standard de Lease and 70% of Vasco da Gama’s shares). “For fear of being the fifth wheel of the car, the little academy of young people of le-de-France that we are going to rob”, continues Vincent Chutet-Mazens, still well aware of the current state of Red Star, 11th National. “We know the club is out of breath, we need new investors to avoid vegetation in the third division.”
Supporters of Red Star and involved in the structure of the club, the Mayor of Saint-Ouen Karim Baumrane were present in the stands this Friday evening and condemned these incidents. The councilor shares the same concerns as the collective but calls for dialogue. “On the one hand so that the values of the club are preserved, and on the other the projects undertaken by 777 Partners can be discussed, debated and interested to all.” The mayor of Saint-Ouen will also meet with investment fund representatives next Thursday to “ask for a guarantee”.
Acquisition formalities in the coming weeks
But communication between the club and the group of supporters seems to be broken. General Manager of Red Star Luke Pontigia “strongly condemns these excesses”. “We nevertheless took the trouble to open the door for talks with representatives of the Red Star Bauer Collective to meet with 777, but the invitation was declined”, he regretted to The Indian Paper.
The fortunes of the popular club founded in 1897 seem to have been recorded. According to the club’s communication, the formalities for the acquisition should take place in the coming weeks. The next act of protest by the Red Star Bauer Collective could happen with a sedan reception on 29 April.