Basketball / N1M. ‘The story was beautiful, it’s over’: Painful transition to Dax/Gamarde

Challenging their now former employee, the leaders of the DGB40, Jerome Manzani (Director) and Jean Laminere (Chair), immediately responded to what they saw as baseless attacks. The dispute between the three men highlights an opposing view regarding club management, between a coach with high demands and a management with hands tied on a tight budget.

The only point of convergence between the two sides: the starting point of hostilities. If certain grievances, rooted in the club’s business, were upstream, it was 2020 that set the powder on fire. The DGB then played the first season in its history at N1, and former captain Jerome Manzani was appointed sporting director.

The jobs that Denis Mitai desired, as well as his coaching hat. President Jean Laminier said: “He wanted the full management of the club. Given our business model, how we wanted to structure the club, we decided that our former captain would be a volunteer general manager. I think he took it poorly. It is our choice and I will not return to it. I think we were not wrong.”

a lot hurt

Thus, the desires conflict and generate the first tensions. Denis Mitai, who has worked notably in high-ranking clubs (Pau-Orthes, Le Mans and Rouen), wants to draw inspiration from elite coaching, both in sport and in management. Jerome Manzani and Jean Laminere defend a unique performance. “Our economic model is the opposite of 90% of the N1 clubs, continued the president. It is 80% funded by foundations and 20% from private or event organizing. In return, we get 25% of our budget from communities and the rest comes from sponsors and events.”

A modus operandi that has been undermined by the Covid years, where events with the public are scarce, and where the financial health of DAX investors is in tatters. The club’s budget, which is just under €500,000, one of the lowest in N1, is experiencing repercussions. Leaders tighten their belts. Lack of luck, meanwhile, multiplies infections within the workforce. Denis Mitai is waiting for the bench. without result.

Jerome Manzani explains: “Depending on our budget, the federation makes certain salaries available to us for players, teachers and all potential club employees. Social Security takes care of a part of the injured’s wages, we could have contracted players to compensate for the absences. But when the injured returns, what about doubling the salary?”

Unlike professional departments, N1M rules do not allow the use of medical independents. In fact, some clubs circumvent this legislation by amicably terminating the Jokers’ contract when their player returns from injury.

Few sponsors

In “Sud Ouest”, Denis Mettay also criticized his management for a lack of initiative in trying to increase the club’s small budget and thus the competitiveness of the N1M that La Rochelle has won this season and its 1.3 million euros budget. Jean Laminere denies it: “We’ve just hired someone who will take care of the partnerships next year. It’s an effort, because our payroll is low again. Little by little, we’re trying to push the club forward. Maybe not fast enough for Mr. Mitai’s taste, even if I give him that we should.” Organizing ourselves.”

Another criticism from the former coach, the lack of establishment of the club in Dax since 2010 and the association with Spa City. According to Denis Mettay, the DGB, of which 80 of the 90 volunteers who work each year with the club are from Gamarde, has not done enough with schools to retain children and parents.

Argument again defeated by management. “Obviously the largest base of volunteers comes from Gamarde, acknowledges Jerome Manzani. When the club moved to Dax, the city already had a US dollar basketball division. The goal is not to strip them of their volunteers on the pretext that we are in a better split. Like all clubs, we face Difficulties finding volunteers. Perhaps we could have done more, but this will come little by little, while we establish ourselves here.”

Next season, he will find Dax-Gamarde N2, who left three years ago. A challenge the management has chosen to take on with Erwan Maurier, the former captain of Les Sables Vendée, as coach. Denis Mitai will fight again in NM1, this time on Roel’s bench. Jerome Manzani concludes: “We’re going to stop these liquidations. We made him win, we made him win. The story was beautiful. It’s over.”

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