April 25, 2019
Statement by Chien Lee and Alex Zheng
Of course, we are aware of everything that has been said and written for several days. As the noise increases, we deem it necessary to bring a certain number of clarifications to the legitimate questions posed by those that love OGC Nice and put an end to this poisonous atmosphere. It can only harm the club.
It is not our objective to sell the OGC Nice. If we did meet with potential investors, it was with the agreement of the entire Board, with the sole and unique ambition that these potential investors would join us in further accelerating the club's development. We are very attached to the sustainability of OGC Nice, and it seemed natural to us to study if this eventuality could be in the club’s best interests. It is regrettable that this noble intention can now be manipulated from its original intention and that certain sources suggest we had a secret agenda. Our position has never changed and will not change. We have made the same speech in recent days to Mr Christian Estrosi (Mayor of Nice), Mr Robert Ratcliffe, as well as to the representatives of the Popular South. Our commitment to the club is long-term. We have maintained this since day one and in each of our official statements. Our recent actions also attest to this, with the strengthening of our organization under the leadership of Gauthier Ganaye, thanks to the arrival of Gilles Grimandi (Technical Director) and Matthieu Louis-Jean (Chief Scout) from Arsenal and Manchester United, respectively. Our future actions will be consistent with this endeavor.
We are absolutely convinced that OGC Nice is now on the right track with this new organization. The new management team’s first initiatives have been very positively received by the club's environment. This is what we are looking forward to. Just as we deplore repeated attempts to destabilize the club. They invariably occur a few days before each of our home games. To manipulate the Nice fans? We don’t want to believe this is the case, as it would so irresponsible. When you say you love OGC Nice, you can't imagine scoring against your own team. These attacks are futile. In the face of them, the club will show its solidity by using all the legal means at its disposal.
Today, however, these attempts are not helping the various departments that comprise OGC Nice any good in their work to prepare for the future. But we reiterate that they all have the support of the shareholders, management and the coach. We stand united in the face of adversity.
For the future, the question of financial resources is obviously crucial. Substantial work has been undertaken by the new management team. It is already beginning to bear fruit and will ensure a significant increase in our commercial revenues. All profits will be reinjected into the club. We have never stopped investing in the team. On the contrary, since our arrival in June 2016, we have spent more money each season on recruitment than the previous one, and it is noted that we will provide additional resources in 2019-20. Our team will be ambitious and attractive.
It is an understatement to say that Patrick Vieira knows football. While he could have left us following the departure of Jean-Pierre Rivère and Julien Fournier, he clearly placed his trust in the new management team. As the new team prepares its first mercato, we can only ask you to do the same. And then to judge it on the evidence.
Today, OGC Nice has the greatest need of a calm climate to finish the current season in the best possible way and prepare its future with ambition. That is the purpose of our intervention today, in the hope that it will put a definitive end to the suppositions and the harmful rumors around the club.
Chien Lee (shareholder and chairman of the OGC Nice supervisory board) and Alex Zheng (shareholder)