Jean-Michel Aulas takes stock of things on OL Night System
Containment and how he's keeping busy
"You have to know how to adapt. I was not scheduled to stay in an apartment in Lyon for that long. There are many things to consider. There is a lot of anxiety among all the employees of OL and the other companies I work for. We are working now even more than when we are able to move about... I have learned a lot of humility during this period. Nothing will be as it was before."
Uncertainty surrounding the return of L1
"It is difficult. There are different factions. There are those who are in the European places, those who do not want to suffer the drop. All of these positions are being interpreted differently. From the start, there was the assumption that the table would be stopped when the championship was stopped, that is, on the 27th day. There have been many temptations to find solutions. There was also a legal solution with the idea of a voided season. This was not chosen for obvious reasons because it closer to being over than not. Anyone can understand that. We had an LFP meeting this morning to tell us that we were going to resume on May 11 at the time of the end of confinement. We must have the exact dates that the government will propose to us in hand. From this perspective, the championship would likely resume on June 15. Everything will have to be finished by August 3 as UEFA will also end its Champions League campaigns by August 29. This is the ideal scenario we are working on... health must come first. The health of the players, the staff, and of all those who will participate in these matches, which will probably be behind closed doors at least at the beginning. There is also the respect of the fans on this subject, playing behind closed doors. The matches should be televised. Football is a part of life that must resume."
An extension for Memphis?
"We work every day on this matter. I have a lot of direct contact with Memphis. Rudi and Juninho also have this as well. We have made a number of proposals to him. He has not yet given his decision yet. He was waiting to be able to resume playing. He had also imagined playing in European competition with the Netherlands. Then there was this injury. We did not find an agreement but there is no break in negotiations. We keep talking on one side with his agents and directly with him. We will do everything to have him sign an extension. All the decision-making bodies, which are Juninho, Rudi Garcia and myself, are very much in favor of extending his contract."
"It is the responsibility of Juninho who will confer with the decision-making bodies on the recruitment framework for the coming seasons. We know who can leave, who is reaching the end of their contract. We have built a certain number of protocols which will make it possible to revive the transfer window. This is year 1 of the Juninho plan. Recruitment had not been done entirely by him last year. We are starting on a plan of several years, which will require the recruitment of players who may have even more character than the players we have. With Juninho, we have the man who will help continue to boost OL over the coming years."
The future of Toko, Gouiri and Aouar
"With Karl Toko Ekambi, things are unanimous. There were special conditions for exercising the purchase option. We have to be in Europe. We have asked for a postponement of the decision which is linked to the end of the league. We all want to keep him and he wants to stay. Amine Gouiri is a product of the Academy who has all the talent. Unfortunately, he has had this injury which has delayed his progress. He must be reintegrated into the playing squad. I am sure he will have a great season as he comes back. Our will is obviously to keep him… Houssem Aouar? The players' opinion is always essential. Keeping a player against their will is not reasonable. Houssem has not expressed the desire to leave. Our will is to try to keep him even if the demands are high. There is no negotiation in progress. "
The departure of Florian Maurice
"There was no decision made regarding him. He told me that he wanted to leave on the second day of confinement. We took note of this. It will be necessary to check that the contractual conditions and the destination he chooses correspond to what we can accept. I understood that he was going to Rennes but the president denied this. I don't really know where we are anymore with this. We will discuss thingss with him and we will go find someone who has probably been a player, who is multilingual and who has the networks to chat with all the agents. They must be 100% compatible with Juninho."
Lower wages for the male and female players?
"It is a difficult subject to discuss in public. It’s very personal. The players are partially unemployed. We have to lower our standard of living. We made offers to them. Almost all of the players want to help the club, more or less. It’s a work in progress. We are close to an agreement with the players. We haven't decided yet, we will continue to discuss things."
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