French billionaire François Pinault calls on Grands Crus to help ailing Bordeaux football club

Monday May 03 2021 by Vitisphere

 There are already numerous connections between the wine industry and Bordeaux football. Jean-Louis Triaud, the manager of Châteaux Gloria and Saint-Pierre (Domaines Henri Martin in Saint-Julien-Beychevelle), who chaired the Girondins de Bordeaux (from 1996 to 2017), is a good example. There are already numerous connections between the wine industry and Bordeaux football. Jean-Louis Triaud, the manager of Châteaux Gloria and Saint-Pierre (Domaines Henri Martin in Saint-Julien-Beychevelle), who chaired the Girondins de Bordeaux (from 1996 to 2017), is a good example. - Photo credit : Stade Rennais

Bordeaux may still be reeling from the effects of the recent spring frosts and ongoing challenges in the marketplace, but the city’s football club is not in good shape either. On the verge of celebrating its 140th anniversary, the Girondins de Bordeaux Football Club is struggling to maintain its position in the first division. It has just been dropped by its shareholder, the investment company King Street Capital Management, and placed under the protection of the Bordeaux Commercial Court.

François Pinault, the founder of the fashion group Kering (formerly PPR, Pinault Printemps Redoute) and owner of Château Latour with its 90 hectares of organically-certified, 1855-classified Premier Grand Cru vineyards in Pauillac, feels that these sporting and financial setbacks could be turned into an opportunity for the wine industry to get involved in the Girondins club. In an “open letter to my colleagues and owners of Bordeaux great growths”, published in the local Sud-Ouest newspaper on 26 April, François Pinault “feels that the legendary Girondins club is important for Bordeaux, its influence and its balance with which all wine owners can only identify”.

As a shareholder of Stade Rennais, the Breton billionaire has his hands tied and cannot take over the Bordeaux club, but he is “ready to support any operation mounted by the wine industry”. The initiative has been generally well received by Grands Crus Classés properties, coming as it did in the midst of En Primeurs week. But it seems that it still has to be put into effect.

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