President of Dijon since 2012, Olivier Delcourt, 53, is also the head of the Dijonnaise de Routes Ferrées (DVF), a railway works operator.
Before Dijon-PSG, scheduled for this Saturday February 27 at 5 p.m., he explains how he is experiencing the difficult sporting situation of his club.
Isn't it exhausting to run a club over and over again?
If I did not accept this pressure, I would not be president.
But it is not easy or very pleasant to live with.
Sometimes, we sleep less well and worries at the club impact professional and personal life.
My luck is that football is not my job.
The pleasure that I do not have in my club, I take it in my company, with my employees.
I can also rely on my wife who has always supported me, my children, family, friends… Some messages are heartwarming and help to get back into the fight.
What is the most difficult to go through?
I am, of course, the majority shareholder, but I never considered that the club belonged to me.
It belongs to the city, to the supporters.
Me, I am the first supporter of DFCO and, younger, I also supported clubs.
I put myself in people's shoes, I know what it's like to have a bad week after a loss.
What makes me saddest is that our supporters are deprived of a stadium and that we are showing them a distressing spectacle ...
You yourself are not immune to criticism.
How do you live it?
When you go through difficult times, this is where you see those who really love the club and those who spend their time spitting on you.
In eight years, I learned to forge a shell.
I am living it a little better than two or three years ago.
I try to take a step back.
Even if, inside, I screw up, you'll never see me freak out in public.
When you're bad, of course you have to say it.
But sometimes it goes overboard.
I accept criticism when it is respectful.
We are still men who have the right to make mistakes.
Do you feel you made mistakes?
If I hadn't done it, we certainly wouldn't be here… But, like in my business, I tried to improve things.
Our model of recruiting from lower divisions was having its limits.
I wanted to change my method.
I trusted people, who are good people, but who did not necessarily have the experience of an L1 club.
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Do you mean your former sports director, Peguy Luyindula?
Among other things… Peguy, I appreciate him a lot.
But the observation is relentless: it did not work.
Beyond him, it's been two or three years since we made mistakes in recruiting.
We must raise our level in this area.
Since the dismissal of Olivier Dall'Oglio at the end of 2018, you have had three coaches.
Do you regret this instability?
I take responsibility for my choices.
Olivier Dall'Oglio is a good trainer and he proves it in Brest with a good squad.
There are not many presidents who keep their coach for six and a half years, especially since I had renewed him.
My decisions have always been made in order to move the club forward.
I would have liked us to take a step forward, by positioning ourselves between 10th and 14th places, in order to live more serenely.
If we didn't succeed, that's what I didn't do quite well.
The team has not won any home game.
What can you expect from the arrival of PSG?
The managers, the staff, the employees are all mobilized.
But it is not us who play… To be last, that should stir at the level of their pride.
With the Covid, a lot of people are in difficulty and I cannot admit that players who are privileged to have such behavior.
In the field, we should have eleven fighters, but we only have five or six.
Some are not affected.
It makes me beside myself.
We are in L1 to experience this kind of match.
So I expect players to at least go for coal.
We had the merit of staying five years in L1 and I still believe in maintaining it, even if, week after week, hope is diminishing.
Ligue 1: David Linarès, the coach who can save Dijon?
Would relegation to L2 jeopardize the future of the club?
All is not good in Dijon, but at least our finances are.
Me, I never spent the money that I did not have.
I did not, like some, anticipate the increase in TV rights with the arrival of Mediapro… There, at least, I had seen it right.
On a budget of 46-48 million euros, we will be short of 24 million euros with Mediapro, ticketing, sponsorship.
We've had to dip into our reserves for seven years, but we'll get by.
I am not worried about the future of DFCO.