Asked in L’Equipe after the DNCG confirmed the demotion of Pau-Lacq-Orthez in the amateur championship, Pierre Saillant, historic leader of Elan Béarnais, speaks of “disaster”.
Pierre Seillant (81) is in shock. Like all fans of one day or always of Elan Béarnais, the former president of this club which was first called Orthez then Pau-Orthez during his reign does not recover of the DNCG’s decision to send Pau-Lacq-Orthez (current name) to the amateur level. Monday evening, the financial policeman of the National Basketball League (LNB) indeed confirmed the demotion of the club crowned nine times champion of France between the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 2000s. Historical leader as much as emblematic of these colors also crowned with victory in the Korac Cup (in 1984) there too when he was already the president, Seillant says he is stunned, without being surprised.
Another blow to the head for Seillant
“I had already taken a first hit on the head last month. And we’ve been preparing for it over the past few weeks. It’s a disaster not only sporting but also moral compared to everything we have done for fifty years, volunteers, supporters, partners, players, coaches, managers. Last year, I was in favor of the sale to the Americans by the urban area of Pau because it could not manage it indefinitely”, deplores in The Team this former professional insurer, who had made his apron as president in May 2008.
Seillant: “They didn’t understand anything about the club, about France”
The former strong man of the club reveals in passing, without really knowing what awaits Pau-Lacq-Orthez in the future (“It will take money, time but above all men because in National 1, it does not there will be more people) than the American owners had approached him “some time ago” for financial support, but he refused. “He wanted us to put his hand in his pocket but we said no, because they did not keep their commitments. We never had any information or figures. They mismanaged the thing and understood nothing about the club, about France. “A misunderstanding and a vagueness which led to this very regrettable situation for all the supporters of Elan Béarnais. Pierre Seillant is one of them. And he is very sad.