1 New owner, new management
It was on July 20, 2020 that Olivier Sadran, owner of the TFC for almost twenty years, handed over to the American investment fund RedBird. He was replaced as president by Damien Comolli, known in particular for having been a recruiter at Arsenal or sports director at Tottenham and Liverpool. The objective is…
1 New owner, new management
It was on July 20, 2020 that Olivier Sadran, owner of the TFC for almost twenty years, handed over to the American investment fund RedBird. He was replaced as president by Damien Comolli, known in particular for having been a recruiter at Arsenal or sports director at Tottenham and Liverpool. The objective is clear: go back to L1, stabilize the club there and then aim for the top of the table.
In the meantime, it was necessary to slim down a payroll which amounted to more than 30 million euros per year. About fifteen departures the first summer (including Gradel, Dossevi, Vainqueur, Reynet…) reduced it by a third, twenty others later (including Saïd, Koulouris, Mubele…) accentuated the process. Some promising youngsters stayed, like defender Manu Koné and striker Amine Adli.
The club was lucky to be more or less healthy financially: it had finished the 19/20 financial year with a deficit of less than five million euros. After the descent, it was sold for 28 million players. In the summer of 2021, despite a big drop in revenue in L2, losses were reduced to… two million. RedBird had undertaken to plug the hole, also reduced by significantly reduced salaries (players ended the 19/20 season with 5000 euros per month).
2 Recruitment data like the “Strategist”
For two years, the recruitment of the TFC has been an almost total success, almost insolent. They are called Branco van den Boomen, Rhys Healey, Mikkel Desler, were unknown in France two years ago and have largely lost in the comeback. All were recruited according to a model based largely on data (statistical data) thanks to an American company, Zelus, which operates in the USA on baseball or the NFL.
“We are a club that makes all its decisions with the help of data and statistics. For recruitment, we cover about 70 championships around the world. First or second level depending on the country. In some countries we cover the 3rd and 4th level, like in England. In France we go down to the National ”, recently explained Comolli to RMC Sport.
The principle, inspired by the book “Moneyball” which was adapted for the cinema with the film “The Strategist” (with Brad Pitt) consists in analyzing the data of the players before going to supervise him (once is enough). By fetching players from minor leagues, the rates are obviously lower. Branco van den Boomen (12 goals and 21 assists this season) was thus bought for 350,000 euros… And the human being? For each potential recruit, the TFC speaks with four people who know the player to determine his personality and character.
Recruitment is not everything: “out of a group of 23 players, half were trained at the club. These are players who have the Toulouse identity inscribed in them, ”said the Toulouse president at the end of 2020 to La Dépêche.
3 Reconnect with the public
14,232 spectators: this was the average attendance at the Stadium during the L1 2019/2020 season, that of the descent. The weakest since the rise of the club in L1 of the club. Over the years, the TFC has lost its audience. “When I arrived, I realized that there was a complete rift between the city and the club. We had to reconnect people to the club. I do this job to make people happy,” says Comolli.
Communication has been strengthened, around the slogan “always standing”, “inside” videos in the changing rooms for greater proximity to the public. Subscription prices were particularly advantageous. After a 20/21 exercise behind closed doors, the launch of the season just ended was done timidly, with 5,000 spectators and the attendance rose crescendo, reaching 15,000 in February and then sold out at the end of the season. , helping results.
“We were in reconquest of our public but also in conquest of a new public. And on the day of this match, I saw families, a very feminine audience… and that’s thanks to the pricing policy of our general manager Olivier Jaubert. We want a very popular stadium and it remains so in Ligue 1. We want there to be a lot of diversity in the stadium, ”says Comolli. The return to Ligue 1 should confirm this improvement.