“That’s a shame, you’re a shame.” “The Pinder Circus”… On social media, the US Créteil 1936 account and Créteil supporters have shown their annoyance, sometimes with a bit of ridiculous humor, since Friday evening. After his defeat at Bastia Borgo (2-0), Creteil will develop next season in the second national championship. A great humiliation, the Val-de-Marne club seized the dull red lantern chair. Three years after his ascent, the former resident of the second level would find the fourth national level.
But this is only the logical penalty for chaining errors and a function that is not always easy to read. Kretel had already finished the 17th and penultimate season but was drafted thanks to the amateur championship being discontinued. Clearly, lessons have not been learned.
But at the start of the season, coach Mano da Costa, who arrived in March 2021, did not hide his satisfaction that he had been able to “build a team that looked like him”. The truth is that he did not have complete control over the recruitment and had to deal with General Manager Roy Pataka. Things got more complicated with Helder Estevez returning to the club in November in a murky role as an athletic coordinator he hadn’t held before.
The former striker came out of two training experiences in Annecy and Tounon Evian GG. It was he who carried out the recruitment process in January. Between da Costa, Pataca and Esteves, the process was not smooth at all. Internally, pataca is disputed, not much listened to and externally unanimous (agents, authorities, etc.). In the fall of 2020, it was he who vetoed coach Carlos Secretario (Who had to leave the club for health reasons) to the return of Cheick Ndoye who was training with the group. They were afraid that he would gain too much influence. So the Senegalese fell for the Red Star. Geoffrey Durbant of Ile-de-France was also rejected arguing that Creteil was looking for “real players at the national level”… As a result, Durbant scored 16 goals this season and would rise to Level 2 with Laval.
The influence of some members of the steering committee, close to President Armand Lopez, has also complicated decision-making circles. Inside the club, the atmosphere is deplorable. At the beginning of the year, da Costa suggested his resignation, but his management refused. Then he attacked mysterious inner forces that were going to interfere with his work. “People who think that there is no change because my name is of Portuguese origin, and that there is an agreement with the Portuguese in Creteil, do not know me. I am not a professional, I do not think only of myself. It is easy to get cheese to drop ship at such moments. I have a lot of Affection towards this club and my administration, but there are many things that people do not know. But I, dirty linen, wash it in the family. Today, my threshold and level of receptivity to things to the fullest,” he said on February 25 after another defeat.
His management found, with some difficulty, its limits. Young Patrick Coffey (20) was borrowed by the Paris FC where he knew L2, and returned “shocked” at his cristal experience. One morning when he arrived at training, he saw that his locker had emptied without his knowledge to push him out. The American striker from Côte d’Ivoire broke his loan in December and his promising career has come to a standstill so far.
Last week, da Costa crushed his players after defeat to Villefranche (0-2): “I’m not a loser and I never did. But polluting my club, harnessing my management as I heard it, harnessing my supporters, harnessing my staff, my obliquely name, and that, I don’t admit it. If they want to denigrate their name, let them denigrate it. The split is real. After winning just 8 league games in the 13 months since arriving at Créteil, it seems unlikely that he will be renewed in National 2.
Bassam Al Homsi, the new strong man
The construction site promises to be massive. But it will be marked by a change of importance. Armand Lopez, 79, president since 2002, is about to step down. Bassam Al-Homsi, a 54-year-old French-Syrian businessman, will take up Creteil’s position in the well-established construction sector in the Val-de-Marne. In recent months, he has already become a shareholder in the club and entered the board of directors.
According to our information, he also approached the team and came to talk to the players several times. Al-Homsi, who values da Costa, will have to make quick decisions regarding the sports and administrative staff. With what happened this season, it seems impossible for him to continue getting some people to live together.