first team / Club Statement

Response to BUT

Published on the 08 November 2006 à 18:25

In response to an article published in But magazine on Tuesday, regarding statements made by Jean-Michel Aulas, the Olympique Lyonnais department of communications sent the following response to the magazines chief editor...

Dear François-Xavier,

I am writing to you regarding an article published on page 5 of your magazine, published on Tuesday, November 7, entitled AULAS, OH DESPAIR, which struck me for both its tone and the errors contained within it.

In the introduction, Jean-Michel Aulas’ statement was not referring to the defeat to Rennes, but rather to a general context he was evoking.
If your journalist ‘could not resist’ responding point by point to ‘Alas’ griefs’ I will also respond point by point to his commentary, but without your journalists obvious joy, which I find incomprehensible.

1/ You say: “Never has such a dominant club ever received so much support from the media.” That is your opinion, but I was not aware it was the media’s role to support a team or not.
You continue: ‘while conflict regularly menaces the club’s stability.’ I don’t know what constitutes a conflict, but it is certainly not any of the examples you cite. The episode ‘CAREW/HOULLIER’ was nothing more than a curious interpretation of events by a solitary journalist – none other than your Lyon correspondent. As for the ‘discord between coach and president’ I don’t begin to see what you are referring too.
To conclude on this point, it is not these ‘pseudo conflicts’ that can threaten the stability of the club in which such attention is paid to the economic, the sporting and the human aspects.

2/ You enjoy mixing up issues such as how television rights can complicate the sporting management of a league season and the financial benefits which come from television rights, yet Jean-Michel AULAS was referring uniquely to the calendar of matches and it just because Lille have played more matches, doesn’t mean that Olympique Lyonnais does not have an over-charged calendar, especially considering the 16 internationals players and their national team matches, that the club has on its books.
And while you’re discussing the Lille situation, you might have mentioned that fact that both clubs wanted their league encounter brought forward to Friday, September 22, in order to better prepare for the midweek Champions League matches, but that it was decided the match was to be played as initially proposed on the Saturday afternoon.

3/ When Jean-Michel AULAS said ‘there has been a series of flagrant abnormalities, designed purely to stop Olympique Lyonnais,’ you explain that ‘each season, thanks to the support of the LFP, the club obtains changes to the legislation...’ Yet once again you are confusing your napkins with your tea-towels. Do you not think, to take but one example, that is abnormal to start a league season and deliberately deprive a club of its World Cup players, allowed holidays, as the regulations demand?
In this particular case, Olympique Lyonnais, was obliged to contest the Trophée des Champions and start the season without seven first-choice players!
As for the legislative changes, they are not only for the benefit of Olympique Lyonnais as you would have us believe, but for the benefit of all French sport, and not just football.

4/ I find it rather impolite for Sylvain MARVEAUX when you state your surprise ‘to see the president of a great club lower himself to respond to the comments of a young player…’
As for your judgement that ‘the refereeing favours OL…’ How can you say such things?
You are mistaken to say that Sylvain WILTORD’s goal at Bordeaux was offside when all the referee’s agree that the goal was legal.
Concerning the match against PSG, Olympique Lyonnais’ equalising goal was offside, but why don’t you evoke the situation of Christian RODRIGUEZ who should have been sent off, or that of Sylvain ARMAND on Karim BENZEMA at the end of the match would could have resulted in a penalty and a red card for the Parisian?
Finally, to return to the Bordeaux match, why do you not mention the aggressions committed by Franck .JURIETTI and David DJEMALI also santionable with expulsion?
I remain at your disposal, should you or your journalists require information and corrections before the publishing of future articles.

Yours sincerely.