About thirty ultra supporters of AS Saint-Etienne were arrested at their homes on Monday morning, September 19, and represented in police custody as part of an investigation into the violence that occurred at the end of May in Geoffroy-Guichard stadium after the Ligue 1-Ligue 2 play-off match, according to several concordant sources.
The operation, called “Ultras 42”, began at 6 a.m., mobilizing a hundred police officers, said a source close to the investigation. The arrested supporters are suspected of having participated in the violence that occurred on May 29, inside the stadium after the final whistle and the defeat of the Greens against Auxerre (1-1, 4 pens to 5), synonymous with relegation in the second division.
The departmental direction of public security of the Loire had revealed in recent months that four police officers were working full time on this case, in particular by exploiting the images of the two hundred and fifty cameras from inside the stadium, as well as those of the city of Saint-Etienne, near the enclosure.
Six withdrawal points in the Ligue 2 championship
In the seconds following the penalty shootout, hundreds of ultras had invaded the lawn, showing their anger by launching smoke bombs and firework mortars towards the official stand, sometimes with tight fire. This violence involving between one hundred and fifty and two hundred men, often hidden under hoods, scarves and scarves, lasted nearly two hours and caused damage estimated at around 500,000 euros by the club’s advertising department for the destruction of advertising screens. in LEDs and 90,000 euros on the mainland side. ASSE and Saint-Etienne Métropole had filed a complaint.
About thirty slightly injured – fourteen among the police, seventeen among the supporters and two players from Auxerre – had been designated, according to the prefecture, who had mobilized two hundred and fifty police and gendarmes.
After this violence, the Saint-Etienne club had been sanctioned by the Professional Football League (LFP) with six games behind closed doors, two of which were suspended, and a withdrawal of six points, three of which were firm. He hadn’t called.
Difficult sporting situation
ASSE is currently eighteenth in Ligue 2 with seven points and therefore in a relegation position in National (third division). There are four runs this season in L2, as in L1, as part of the reduction in the number of teams from twenty to eighteen in these championships.
For the reception of Grenoble at the “Cauldron”, scheduled for 1uh October at 3 p.m. for the tenth day of the championship, only three stands will be open. The fourth, which was already closed for the match against Auxerre following incidents that occurred for the reception of Monaco on April 23, must still serve two closing matches.
Poisoned for years by its conflictual relations with its groups of ultras, AS Saint-Etienne did not wish to comment on the ongoing investigation.
The sale of the club in question
the spring of 2018 and the failure Since the first sale of ASSE, the ultras have been demanding, with increasing vehemence, the sale of the club by the two reference shareholders, Bernard Caïazzo and Roland Romeyer, presidents since 2004, hope that another governance develops new economic prospects to restore sporting ambitions.
In the entourage of the club, some nevertheless doubt the real intention of the two men to sell their parts in the short term, despite the more or less pronounced and serious interest of French or foreign investors.
As soon as the end of the match against Auxerre and while the lawn was still invaded, the two shareholders had sent a press release announcing “in some time important news for the future of the club”, announced half-word the quick sale of ASSE. This declaration, kept without further action, was perceived as a way of gaining time. Especially since in Ligue 2 the value of ASSE is less than in the elite.
Parisian businessman, now domiciled in Dubai, Mr. Caïazzo, chairman of the supervisory board, has not come for two and a half years to Saint-Etienne, where he considers himself in danger.
As soon as he arrived at the club, he had to face a climate of mistrust and had been forced to join forces, on the recommendations of the municipality, with Roland Romeyer, a local entrepreneur, present in the environment of ASSE for very many years and chairman of the board. The two men appointed the operational management of the club to Jean-François Soucasse, appointed executive chairman on 1uh July 2021.