The strong words used by Jean-Michel Aulas reflect the crisis, the “storm”, even, crossed by Olympique Lyonnais, eighth in Ligue 1 and deprived of the European Cup next season. While the seven-time champion of France is living his worst year since a 1997/1998 exercise ended in sixth place, its president took up the pen on Tuesday evening and wrote an open letter to Rhone supporters.
Published on the club’s website two days after a humiliating setback conceded on the ground of the red lantern Metz (2-3), it reports a season “where nothing has been spared us” and regret this paradox “who wants that after a great European campaign, crowned by a first French place in UEFA, we will certainly not find this same Europe next season”.
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refusing to invoke “the sacred union” before the match against Nantes on Saturday, both the fans “have answered present so many times”the Lyon manager calls for patience: “Everything is not played out in a single season when you are an institution as solid as ours. Remember the failures and reconstructions of AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus or Atlético.”
“We have already started a deep questioning at the end of this three-year cycle, marked by 175 million euros of investment for our men’s team.he continues. We must face our mistakes so as not to repeat them again, without hiding or finding excuses.”
OL values and new cycle
Jean-Michel Aulas takes as an example the performances of the Women, who will play their tenth European final on May 21, cites the victory in Gambardella of young people and highlights “the Academy which completes one of the most beautiful seasons in its history”. The Lyon formation often comes up in the letter. It is about the extension of Wendie Renard and Mohamed El Arouch, the “determination” of the club to extend Maxence Caqueret and Rayan Cherki, trained at OL: “This DNA is one of our keys to building the new cycle.”
For the president of Olympique Lyonnais, his team will be animated “with a spirit of revenge” next season. And the coach in all this? “The coach must also be the guarantor of our OL values, we must help him in his mission, allow him to have players with this exemplary state of mind and be ready to open the door for those who are not in this Lyon philosophy”, explains Jean-Michel Aulas, without naming Peter Bosz.
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