Our performances in February continued to the end of the season. Neither great, nor terrible; but good enough, it seems. And, to be honest, with the amount of failed takeover bids that we’ve been through this season (four!), I’m surprised the players have been able to focus on the games at all.
We rounded off February with a win against En Avant de Guincamp (it feels like I’m always playing them, and headed into March where our inconsistency continued. April was much the same, if even a little worse, and we started to slip out of European contention.
By the time May comes round, we’re back and forth between 6th and 7th, and we need to face 2nd and 3rd in the league. In the end, we draw against AS Monaco, but lose to Olympique Marseille while we get 3 points against 10th place Racing Club de Lens.
So we finish in 7th place, which is a couple of places back from where I’d hoped we would end the season. It’s worth remembering (at least, that’s what I tell myself) that the media had predicted we’d finish 19th, and were 1000-1 outsiders for the title. All the board wanted was for us not to get involved in a relegation battle. All in, we can be pleased with our performances, but we have struggled against the bigger teams, and I’ll need to try and rectify that, if I stay next season.
The cup competitions were another success. In the Coupe de France, we were expected to reach the 11th round, and exceeded those expectations by reaching the semi-final and being knocked out by eventual winners AS Saint-Etienne. In the Coupe de la Ligue, we did what we were supposed to, and reached the 4th round.
Finances are not great, despite me not getting anywhere near the upper limits of either the transfer or the wage budget. When the season closes, I get notification of the fact that I will be able to spend £291k on players next season, and that our facilities have been down-graded. Quite frankly, it seems like this club is being run by crooks!
Shortly after this news, takeover number 5 concludes successfully, and a “consortium led by London-based investor Kelvin Thomas” ousts former Chairman Francesco Becchetti.
“I don’t have a clear view yet of where the club might go under new leadership and therefore I’m a little uncertain about things“, is what I tell Luca Raynal of the French Football Free Press when he comes looking for a quote.